|My neighbor, Art, a member of the festival|
organization, presented me with a ticket to
the Faire as a most generous birthday gift.
The weather on Sunday was picture perfect, even a little cool, which is preferred when one is wearing several thick layers of wool, brocade and velvet, or heavy coats of armor. My Renaissance costume is neither heavy nor woolen, the bodice having been custom made for me almost 30 years ago out of simple corduroy and cotton (you can read about the outfit’s creation in detail at Faire). But it does comprise several layers which, on a sweltering day, can leave me feeling rather wilted. Sunday’s clime, however, was ideal for Faire-wear.
|Anya slipped out of|
her butterfly costume
as the day grew
Wanting to change up my festival experience a little bit this year, I emailed my cousin, Claudia, in nearby Rockville, Maryland. She had mentioned months ago that it might be fun to visit the Renaissance Festival together. Did she and her husband, Phil, and their two adorable children want to join me for a day at the Faire? The answer was a resounding yes! We coordinated our calendars and picked a date that suited our respective schedules.
|King Henry VIII and Queen|
Katherine of Aragon held
court on a day of revelry
|The acrobatic troupe,|
put on a good show
We stopped to enjoy several of the intermittent stage productions taking place in amphitheaters scattered throughout the grounds. A juggler enthralled his audience with masterful feats of suspended animation, delighting Anya when he showed another five-year-old how to balance spinning plates on a stick. Later, an acrobatic troupe entertained us with gravity-defying feats of balance and strength.
We stopped to have our pictures taken with King Henry VIII, played by Fred Nelson, and his lovely consort, Queen Katherine of Aragon, played by Stephanie Offutt, who were making the rounds of the 15th century village of “Revel Grove” with the rest of their royal court. We dined on roast turkey legs, ripping the meat from the gigantic bones with our teeth like uncivilized savages, and spent time throwing bean bags at a target in an effort to dunk a thinly-clad maiden into a tank of cold water.
|Can you see the "smoke" coming|
from the dragon's nostrils?
|Anya holds her wand as|
if for protection from
these fierce knights
We watched in childlike wonder as a unicorn pooped “rainbows” (you have to see it to believe it) during a frolicking take on Rapunzel’s entrapment in a castle at the Gatehouse theater, and were enthralled by Riehen’s daring and ultimately successful climb up a nearly horizontal Jacob’s ladder, the only child to surmount the challenge and win a medal in all the time we stood watching.
|Riehen made it to the top of the|
rope ladder by balancing himself