Sunday, August 26, 2012

Day 1592 - Ren Fest

Yesterday, Melissa, my father, and I took Ruth to the Maryland Renaissance Festival.  Ruth is very excited about stories of princesses and knights and dragons and such, so we thought she'd have a good time.

And she did!  Sorry, didn't mean to leave you in suspense.

Melissa had the good idea, since we knew she'd be interested in the costumes, of helping Ruth make one for herself to bring.  So, you can see her outfitted in her knight's breastplate.  Melissa spraypainted it silver, and painted the phoenix on the front as a device (at Ruth's request).  In the next photo, you can see Ruth striking a "knight pose" and showing the rose she painted on the back.

Despite my insistence that there were some famous female knights and warriors, like Joan of Arc and Wonder Woman, she insisted that she was going to tell everyone her dress was a tunic because she was in disguise as a boy, since "most fighters are boys."

After a somewhat confusing scene at the entrance (that you're not interested in, I'm sure) about whether or not we needed tickets in addition to our internet "vouchers," we went in and let Ruth lead the way around.

Oh, by the by, Ren Fests are always an eye-opener.  Who would have thought that belly dancing and tattoos were so popular in the Rennaissance? <\ obligatory joke about Ren Faires being more D&D than history>

We started out by catching a performance of A Fool Called O and La La's show right after we got in.  I thought some of the physical comedy was funny, but it left Ruth underwhelmed aside from the whoopee cushion bits.  Oh well.  Then we found a face-painting booth; face-painting is Ruth's new obsession.  So she quickly ended up being a rainbow-princess-knight.  A hungry-for-meat-rainbow-princess-knight.

Bellies full of teriyaki (AUTHENTIC RENASSAINCE FOOD) jerky (and mine of coffee), we saw a ping-pong crossbow game that Ruth wanted to try out.  I helped her steady and aim the crossbow; she didn't hit anything (unsurprisingly), but seemed to think it was neat to pull the trigger.

The other big thing that Ruth decided she wanted to try was climbing the rock wall.  I was about to tell her she was still a little bit too small, but the attendant said that, nope, they'd had smaller kids try, so I figured I'd let her give it a go.
Ruth getting snugged into the harness

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Miss Paige talking to Ruth about how to climb the wall.


Unfortunately, right after I took that last picture, I came around to the side to get a snap of Ruth from a different angle (she'd made it up to having her foot on that yellow rock) and she started to get scared.  So they let her down, and tried to give me my money back, which was nice.

Let's see, I'm going to get the order wrong, I'm sure, but for most of the rest of the day we:

  • At Ruth's insistence that she "knows it's fake" and "won't be scared," tried - and failed - to take a walk through the Museum of the Unnatural.
  • Watched part of the singing pirates, which Ruth seemed to enjoy, but then asked to leave because she had "stage fright."  We tried to explain that you can only really have stage fright when you're on stage, but that was her story and she was sticking to it.
  • Rode ponies, for free!  The pony-leaders did not seem that thrilled with their jobs.  Ruth's pony was named Misty.  Surprisingly, later in the day she turned down my offer to buy an elephant ride for her.
  • Ruth wanted to watch me throw axes, and to be fair I didn't take too much prodding.  I could consistently hit the target, but not get the rotation right - I kept bonking it with the handle.
  • Ate bratwurst.  My dad tried a smoked turkey leg, which was, as I remembered them to be, really hard to eat.
  • We went to the children's knighting ceremony, but Ruth was getting pretty wiggly, and has stage fright (see above) so didn't want to go up to get her picture taken with the king and queen.
We figured we'd end the day with the Joust, and we did go.  It was cool, Ruth enjoyed it, and the dude who got unhorsed made it look like hitting the ground in full armor is really, really, really not fun.  Ruth was acting very tired by this point (despite an emergency ration of candied nuts), so we skipped the siege engines that I'd wanted to see to head out, but then Ruth got sucked into the Renaissance Man's Romeo and Juliet show.  

If Ruth tells you that Romeo and Juliet made "poor life choices," as she did to us several times on the car ride, home, that's from me trying to explain why everyone dies at the end.

She also turned out to be fascinated watching one of the small glass-blowers after being utterly uninterested in watching the larger glass-blowing show (that Melissa took in).  She watched him make a small dragon hatching from an egg in rapt fascination, along with a ten-or-so-year-old boy who was really digging it.

Then home again home again, and to complete our tour de force of historical accuracy by watching Jason and the Argonauts.

MELISSA: Oh, so that's why the restaurant is called "Harryhausen's" in Monsters, Inc