Yesterday was our annual journey to the past, a journey to a time when people ate giant legs of roasted turkey, when disputes were decided by spear-wielders on horseback, and women wore bikinis made of chain mail. Actually, I'm not sure about that last one, but somehow chain mail bikinis have become inexorably entwined with the revels of the Renaissance Festival. Among other inadvisable "clothing" items.
This year, we decided to hit the Festival on opening weekend, for several reasons. First, the weather here in sunny AZ gets too darned hot even in March, which is when we usually go, and we knew this year we wanted to make the effort to enjoy the Festival sweat-free. Second, while the Festival-grounds aren't really far away, they are far enough to make the thought of going into labor out there just a bit scary, and so we needed to go before I headed into my ninth month. Finally, we discovered a coupon that gave us two adult tickets for the price of one, for opening weekend only. Score! The date of our journey was thus decided.
Veronica the fairy-sprite, protectress of piggies, Sir Donovan Swiftwing and Sir Michael Dragon-bane were all in attendance.
Sir Michael may have forgotten that knights fight dragons, not become dragons.
The first event of the day was a joust. (Sorry this is turned sideways. I forgot for a moment that you can't change the orientation of videos. Sorry also that you can't see much besides Veronica's head, it was kind of cramped in the stands). You can tell what Veronica's favorite part was:
Horseys! After the joust was lunch.
This is a (mostly-eaten) giant smoked turkey leg.
These are two small boys attempting to eat a giant smoked turkey leg.
One of the shows we try to catch every year is Tartanic, who make music with bagpipes and drums:
It's always a fun show that gets the crowd moving.
But maybe a little loud for some.
The Birds of Prey show is something we hadn't caught for a few years, and most of us were very interested in seeing it.
Some were more interested in catching a few Zzzz's.
This was one of my favorites.
"Whatchya wanna do?" "I dunno, watchya wanna do?" "Now don't start that again!"
This vulture picked a drumstick clean in 7 seconds.
Sadly, after seeing the birds, Sir Donovan and Sir Michael had to go home for a nap...I mean, go back to their castles and fight off dragons and monsters. So the rest of us pressed on as best we could.
Veronica managed to find joy at the petting zoo:
And luckily Paul stopped filming before I embarrassed myself on camera by trying to rise from a squatting position while eight months pregnant and holding an eighteen-month old.
She also likes the "Hippies," AKA sheep:
Although, as Paul said, it is a combination of joy and terror. She kept climbing higher and higher up his side.
Then it was time for an orange icee. Yum! You can't see in the picture, but it is actually frozen to half of an orange. That makes it more fun!
The icee kept us cool while we watched the fiery acrobat show. Ouch. I don't know how her legs aren't broken. We also caught the last half of the hypnotist show, which I am always a little skeptical of, but can be fun to watch nonetheless.
All in all, we had a great day. Between shows, we got to browse the artisan shops a bit, which is always fun. There's usually some cool pottery, many things made of leather and wood, a variety of goblets and mugs, and of course, swords. Lots of swords. And many, many more awesome wares made by talented people.
And despite my fear of chain mail bikinis, the cooler temperatures meant that most attire was actually appropriate, and it was fun to see what kinds of costumes people came up with. Maybe one year I won't be either pregnant or nursing, and will actually get to wear a costume again.