Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Ye Olde Renaissance Faire

Last year, a dear friend of mine from high school, Miss Ashley B, went to the Texas Renaissance Festival and wrote me up a lovely guest post on the experience complete with tons of photos. But since I never got a chance to post it up for you guys and I'll be having my own Texas Renaissance Festival outing this Saturday, I thought now would be a perfect time to post it up - Hope you guys enjoy!! xo KB

((dont forget to enter the give-away from Fine Thread Art))

I have always wanted to go to the Renaissance Festival ever since high school. The honors classes always scheduled a trip to Plantersville, Texas, where the nation’s biggest Ren Fest is held annually- eight weekends out of the year. Unfortunately, my dad never let me go because it was “too expensive.” For some reason, I find it hard to believe 40 dollars is a hefty sum. But I digress.

A few months ago my husband, Tyler, picked up a Renaissance brochure from Albertsons just to do it. I guess because he knows I’m obsessed with medieval times and anything before the eighteenth century. As soon as I saw it I thought, “Holy Sh*t! I forgot about this thing!” and looked at all of the dates. One of the weekends just so happened to fall the day after my birthday – October 17th, and 18th- the Fairy and Elves themed weekend. Close enough.

We decided to only go the Saturday just to see if we would like it (could handle it). We drove up to Lake Charles, Louisiana from Baton Rouge the night of my birthday – the 16th. In doing this, we broke up the trip almost in half just to cut up the five and a half hour drive. We ate sushi with his family and had cake…and blah blah blah – now the Renaissance Festival. ** angels break into chorus**

My husband decided that night along with friend Mike and little brother Paul, to dress up. They hadn’t previously planned this, but since my costume was so epic they would have looked like idiots. The costumes they made didn’t exactly change that, but they tried, and it was a cute effort – kind of. Just kidding.

They stayed up until 2:30 am sewing their own crests onto Wal-Mart shirts (heyo!). I went to bed at 1:30 just watching this spectacle. That was a bad idea considering I had to wake up at 5am to braid my hair and do my makeup. They woke up at 6am. So basically we got the same amount of sleep. Yippee. We left at 7am, an hour later than we wanted to. It all turned out okay; we got there just a little later than expected.

When we arrived at the gate – we arrived at pure awesomeness. Turns out the people who don’t dress up look like the uninterested stand-outers. The moment we walked in, “Ann Boleyn” got up in our grills and we looked like deer in the headlights. I guess we weren’t expecting the old English accent right off the bat and it caught us off guard. She asked, “ Are ye lookin’ fuh me?” First I said to myself, “ I thought Ann Boleyn spoke more elegantly than this?” Then Tyler, Mike and Paul all just nodded. Assholes. She went on to tell us about the jousting match and what section of the crowd she will be sitting in. We didn’t go to the jousting until 3pm.

There were a lot of awesome characters walking around. I have given Kora a few of the ones I took pictures with, and some that I snuck photos of. You can tell in some of them because they have a look on their face (helmet) like they just caught a small medieval castle peasant stealing an apple. One looked as though I stole his soul. Oh well, I got the picture.

The first thing on my agenda was to buy a turkey leg. Of course we went to the place that was the only shop that didn’t carry turkey legs. Now, I’ve heard from everyone that has went, to get a darned turkey leg and I’ll be damned if I didn’t get one. The bartender wench said that most of the food stores have them and just to look around. Well I guess we were blind because soon after we turned the corner all we saw were giant wooden turkey leg signs. DOH! Tyler bought us each a turkey leg, and it was glorious. I also supplied Kora with these sweet pics.

We mainly walked around the entire day because there was so much to see (and buy). They had rows upon rows of costume shops. Since there are different themed weekends, such as pirates, gypsies, Scottish clans, elves and fairies, Halloween and Christmas, each shop had different types of clothes. They had a store for wooden mugs, silver mugs and you –name-it-they-had-it mugs. They sold colorful hand carved staves, wooden chairs, authentic micro-suede capes, scarves, candles… I mean anything, and that was just the “trade district.” That’s what I’ll call it for now. In the Mage Quarter, and that’s what it’s actually called, they had “Drench a Wench.” This was the medieval style dunking booth. She said typical trash talking things and so on. They also had a guy locked in the stocks that you could throw tomatoes at. He said some pretty nasty things such as “hey honey if I had a face like that I’d paint it too.” Below the belt, but funny. The Mage Quarter was pretty much an entire section of games and crafts. You could also shoot bows and arrows, throw ninja stars, toss maces and axes, and fish in ponds.
The chapel section of the 56 acre theme festival was very pretty. They are totally legit chapels and there was actually a wedding held that day. We saw the procession of the bride and groom coming from the Trade District. The chapels had vines growing all around them and they were also near a courtyard with a fountain. Very cool.

One of the shows we saw was the “Ded Bob Show”. He was like Jeff Dunham the ventriloquist comic on Comedy Central except the man had a mask over his face. That definitely defeats the purpose, but his comedic improve more than made up for it. He called on members of the audience to embarrass them and thank God he didn’t call on me. PHEW. Sorry guys, no pics, I was too nervous he would get me on stage. The jousting show was “different”. I was expecting some spectacular reenactments, but I guess these guys were retirees of the Medieval Times restaurant because they kind of sucked. They completely whiffed when going to lance the other knight and purposefully threw themselves off of their horses. It was almost comical, so I let it slide. I wasn’t going to let it ruin my awesome adventure.

One of the last places we went to was the cape store because it looked like capes from Lord of the Rings of course. They even had little leaf brooches. Shut up- it’s cool. The guy working the counter inquired about Tyler and his friend’s crest and asked if they were “part of a thing”. I laughed. On the inside. Mike followed with, “Oh no man, we made these.” He pointed to each of them as he said, “I made mine, he (Tyler) made his, oh and (Paul) his mom sewed his.” THEN, I laughed. Poor kid. The guy seemed a little too amazed for comfort, and then proceeded to tell us how he wears his cape every day. Awkward.

That about sums up my day at the Renaissance Festival. We’ll probably go every year now because I had that much fun. I also got a Renaissance Festival 2009 ceramic mug out of it, so it’s all good. The next one on our list is probably the Christmas one because they apparently deck the town out in lights and stuff. The town stays up all year; they just maintain it in the off season I guess. We didn’t get a chance to see the rest of the craft stores such as the candle making and glass blowing stands. We also didn’t get to explore the Magic Gardens section. Now I know what’s first on the list next year! OH, and they had an armory museum, it was cool. The end.


city girl said...

I used to love the Renaissance Faire! I'd go with my cousins all the time and we'd have the greatest time playing the games and checking out all the elaborate costumes. I haven't been in years though. Glad you had fun!

Salt said...

Fun! I love the Ren Fest and just went with a group of friends a couple weeks ago. I love your outfit!

Sara Louise said...

Oh my lord! This brought back memories! I went to the Texas Renaissance Fair when I was 14 (I'm not going to admit how long ago that was!) with my bestie. We had a ridiculously fun time. I'd really love to go again :-)

Dominion said...

I live in Houston so I go every year. If you think just walking around is fun, you should try camping there for the weekend. Things get really wild (in a totally pagan way) once the sun goes down. :)

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