There’s no place like home |

There’s no place like home

OK, so 5-year-olds can't drive in Nevada County (except maybe under the safe confines of 49er Fun Park). But it's still a great place to live. There's plenty of things to do this week. Take a drive around the county and enjoy!
Brett Bentley/ |

Last week I took time off to spend some quality time with the family. Our destination? The Happiest Place on Earth.

I expected a week away from Prospector and the daily deadlines of my job would be good for me. A chance to spend the majority of my day with my daughters and husband, rather than at my desk sorting through the many theatrical and musical opportunities available in Nevada County each week; to play silly games with my kindergartner while moving up and down stairs and lines for rides at Disney, rather than conversations with my back to her as we drive along Highway 49 to school and work each morning.

I hadn’t been to Disneyland in 30 years. The memories of that youthful trip are so faded, I really had no idea of what to expect from the theme park itself. Last Wednesday, when I would normally be at my desk, getting Prospector ready to go to print, I was instead sitting in the Royal Theater, watching a vaudevillian-style production of Beauty and the Beast. A few hours later, we caught a parade on Main Street. The next day, my family had the opportunity to meet a Disney Imagineer, who shared with us artwork of Mickey and Minnie set to go on exhibit at the park’s gallery soon. By Friday, we even found ourselves walking on Highway 49 — in California Adventure. (I will refrain from using a Small World joke here.)

It was a comforting reminder that we live in an incredible community. As I planned which Disney shows we wanted to catch each day, I could easily have been picking out the plays and concerts to attend here. The parade down Main Street in Disneyland shuts down the center of the park as people line up for hours in advance, not unlike our own Fourth of July parades. And next week, there is sure to be more than a few princesses spotted around town at various Halloween celebrations. Or in daily parades around my living room.

Sure, Nevada County can’t tout super clean streets, but the lack of traffic here more than makes up for it.

If you haven’t gotten out in a while to a county event or performance, I encourage you to do so this weekend. The Center for the Arts will host its annual Rock ‘n’ Boowl (sic) fundraiser from 5 to 8 p.m. Sunday. This event benefits the nonprofit arts organization. Check out their website ( for more information. Smith Vineyard will host the last of its Harvest Open Houses Saturday out at the vineyard from noon to 4 p.m. Community Asian Theater of the Sierra will bring back its popular Asian Ghost Stories event to the Nevada Theatre Sunday. Pioneer Arts Club will host a reception for its 30th annual exhibit and show in Grass Valley Sunday as well, and that’s just a small sampling of this week’s opportunities.

Check out the following pages for more on any of these events.

Disneyland proved to be a wonderful time that I will never forget.

But as I watched the sunset through the vibrantly colored fall leaves when we got home, I knew that after seven hours of driving, we had made it back to our happiest place on earth.

Features Editor Brett Bentley can be reached at or by calling 530-477-4219.

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