We headed out early and met my in-laws there. Each weekend has a theme and this one revolved around Fairies and belly dancing. Jesse was slightly disappointed by it's non-manly theme, but this was perfect for Riley. It was fun to expose Riley the Renaissance Festival and how different it is from the State Fair.
Riley scored with a few items at the Festival (a ring, a headdress thingy, some gems...), but we did not get a dress which is my one regret. Seems like a good excuse to go next year.
|Oh Renaissance Festival - I wouldn't expect anything less from you.|
Favorite sight of the day for Riley was Mermaid Cove. Nothing too exciting here - three mermaids that didn't talk, but she was in AWE. AWE, I tell you. There was a picture opportunity where she would have to get close to the mermaid below, but she was a little hesitant to do so. However, she could not keep her eyes off the mermaid. The mermaid was also handing out gems which Riley would not let go of for the rest of the day.
|She saw me raise my camera and totally posed.|
|Mom, can we spend all day staring at mermaids?|
|This tank combo has been my summer uniform and now that I see it from this angle I think it looks so trashy. Why did no one tell me? If only that faded tattoo I got when I was 18 was a little bigger it would complete the look. :/|
My body was still beat from walking at the fair (me = old) and the night before I ended up with sore eyes, a migraine, nausea, and rotten gut. I felt like crap. I felt slightly better in the morning, and maybe should have stayed home, but wasn't going to miss this day. In the end I was ok - I didn't feel great, but I had a lot of fun. I was also really grateful when my mother in law offered to go on this rocking horse with Riley as I'm pretty sure this would have made me puke.
|Who knew that Justin Bieber worked at the Renaissance Festival?|
|This made Jesse's day. Also, this turtle is about 20 years old.|
The temperature this day was around 70 degree, but it felt so much hotter. I used to think that I seemingly only picked the hottest days to attend the Renaissance Festival, but I think it's just something about this area and walking around on dirt or something. My dark hair and the sun didn't mix so my scalp felt like it was cooking when standing it the direct sun. I know a pony can probably withstand more than me, but I felt bad for this guy who had no shade. Hope you're ok pony dude.
Oy, and the elephants... I don't really know how they feel about all this so I may just be attaching silly human emotions to them, but in one picture I took of an elephant he/she had such sad eyes that I couldn't bring myself to even post it. And yet, not to sound hypocritical, if I were in India or something I would probably totally ride on a elephant. Maybe. Anyhoo, my kid wanted nothing to do with these animals so I didn't have to make some conflicting decision about whether she should ride this or not. Also, not judging others who let their kids ride the elephant or pony - this is all my issue.
There were a bunch of places that sold fruit smoothies, but it turns out they were just slushies. Jesse and I decided to split one to help cool my burning head and it gave me the biggest frozen throat/chest I've ever had. Painful (but did help cool me down). Perhaps, I should have tried the wine smoothie instead (yes, they had those).
There was an area that was devoted to fairy stuff, although I wasn't entirely impressed as I thought there would be fairies running around. There were a bunch of fairy homes that you could vote on, but the best thing in this area was when a band started playing right next to me and then belly dancers showed up a few moments later. It was a fun show without a big crowd.
|One of many fairy houses. I think a lot of these were made by 14 year olds which makes them even more impressive.|
One of the things I love about the Renaissance Festival are the characters there and the comments they make. There are a lot of innuendos, but I don't think I really heard a lot of those this time - probably because this was the first time I brought a kid with me. Jesse got a Mr. Clean comment and my father in law had multiple comments about his hair. I mean, how could he not? Check out that hair.
About 12:30 Riley announced she wanted to go home. We decided to skip the Irish Cottage which we heard was totally worth checking out (next year!) and headed back to our car.
There aren't the best markers to remember where you parked your car. Actually, there are no markers and we didn't really do a great job of paying attention. Funny enough, the couple that parked next to use were leaving at the same time so we tried to find our cars together. For reference, we were parked less than halfway back in that picture and we arrived at 9 am. This lot was completely full, the long driveway was packed and there was a very long double lane down the highway when we left. My recommendation is go early.
Apparently, the Renaissance Festival may be moving in a couple years since there is silica sand and gravel mining pushing it out. Not sure if or where it will relocate, but since it's the second largest Renaissance in the US I would hope that it will stick around. All I know is we have to go back next year to get that special princess dress for Riley.