Our family had a great time at the Renaissance Festival, and we have the pictures to prove it!
Sarah, Dylan, and Jacob with Sarah's best buddy Emmi (age 19)
This little bridge was between two of the many, many small shops lining the village.
Sarah, Emmi, and Dylan with a dragon outside an art shop.
I love to go through these little shops. I thought the kids would be bored to tears as I dragged them from one to the next, but to my surprise, they really enjoyed it. I think it's because these little stores sell really unique, interesting items.
This puppet shop sold little dragons, griffins, and other mythical creatures you could wear on your shoulder or hold in your hand. Their little heads turned and nodded, guaranteed to amaze your friends with their movements. Here, Dylan and a baby dragon check each other out.
Jacob wasn't too sure about this little guy watching from a perch on his shoulder! Those rose-colored eyes were a bit creepy...
There were also plenty of gaming booths. We all toured a dungeon filled with grisly torture devices, but for the most part we left the sporting events to Dylan. Here he has his first experience with a crossbow. He did so well he won a ring! His very first shot went right to the center of a tiny star on the target.
He didn't do quite as well on the "strong man" ring-the-bell-with-the-hammer contest. Not realizing how heavy and unwieldy that hammer was, he was sure he'd send the ringer straight up to "Kingly Man" level and ring the bell. He made it past "Pustule," "Plague flea," and "Tit-mouse" to barely reach "Nurse Maid"!
We stopped for lunch around 11:30. We girls had soup served in bread bowls. Mine was broccoli-cheddar, yum! Dylan ate my bread bowl for me, and for himself he opted for a slice of pepperoni pizza. (In Medieval England? I don't think so!)
Jacob wasn't feeling well, so we just got him some water. He perked up and was fine after that. We were all a little overpowered by the 80+ degrees of sunshine, being unaccustomed as we are to spring temperatures over the low 60s.
After lunch we visited the "privy" and then found a shady spot to sit for a few minutes. That's when the pretzel man walked by. Dylan decided his lunch hadn't quite filled his belly, so he chased down the pretzel vendor to make a purchase.
Back in 2001 we had visited this shop where they sell "crystal stix" and Jacob fell in love with them. He wanted a set of sticks badly, but they were expensive and we were poor, so we weren't able to get him a set.
This time, Jacob made a beeline for the shop as soon as he saw it. Soon he and Dylan were trying out the practice stix and getting instructions from the elf-gypsy lady in charge (at right). They were getting pretty good at spinning the baton by using the two control stix.
If you've never seen crystal stix in action, click on this YouTube video. The guy on this video is pretty good and gives a 2-minute demo:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qxhf96z-Poo&feature=related
Before long, Sarah, Emmi, and I got in on the act, too. It was a lot of fun! In the end, Jacob bought himself a set of stix and I bought a set for Dylan. I told them both they'd better get good at using the stix so they can entertain at parties and get paid for it!
After attending the final joust, we decided to get a dessert from the chocolate shoppe. We had been pretty good all day about our food choices, since it was our first day to eat regular food after completing our second cycle of the hCG diet. For dinner Sarah had a taco salad while the boys and I had giant, smoked turkey legs (the kind large Kings are so fond of chowing on). They were very meaty and tasty.
For dessert we intended to get chocolate-dipped strawberries or bananas. That didn't seem like too bad of a cheat. And then we saw these frozen, chocolate-dipped slices of cheesecake... I'd never heard of such a thing, and I just couldn't resist. In fact, all 5 of us bought one. I have to say, it was the most decadently delicious thing I've ever tasted!
The Juliet-style headdress was one of my souvenirs. I've wanted one since I was a little girl. Better late than never? I also bought myself a coin-scarf, the kind bellydancers wear around their waists that jingle loudly while they dance. Most people don't know this about me, but I used to be a pretty good bellydancer back in my teens and twenties. It's great exercise. Maybe with the coin-scarf I'll be inspired to give my newly-shrunken belly a good workout!
As we headed out at the end of the day, we passed a booth where they did French braids. I debated whether to spend more money, but the kids encouraged me to do it. I thought it came out great! It's supposed to last up to 4 days. It's been 2 days now and the braids are still going strong!
We all had a fantastic time. Even my easily-bored, I'm-too-cool-for-this-stuff 12-year-old is telling all his friends what a cool place the Renaissance Festival is, and trying to convince me we should return next year. You know what? Maybe we will!