On Saturday, I celebrated the last vestige of my birthday (yes, my birthday was a month ago, your point) by doing something I’ve always wanted to do: I went to a Renaissance Faire. (I’m pretty sure I came out of the womb yelling ‘RENAISSANCE FAIRE’ but it was lost in translation somehow, and after that I got quieter.) The cherry on top? It was a double-birthday celebration as I met up with Rica, a cool gal I know and love, to celebrate her birthday at the same time!
Listen to Mirriam: There is no better place to put two social introverts than a Ren Faire. Just drop us there and leave us and we’ll find a bridge and live under it for the rest of our lives. From the second I walked through the gate, I was completely enchanted.
I have never, in twenty-two years of living, been in a place that felt so specifically designed to make me happy. From the design of the shops to the incredible costumes (from a satyr writing in a journal and a gargoyle giving directions to an amazing elderly couple in full steampunk gear) to the maypole to the music (harps, flutes, drums).
The entertainment varied from a joust (we caught both parts. Sir James of Kent – pious, noble – rode out and Rica claimed him. Then the Khan – Mongolian, epic – rode out and Rica said, ‘Ohhh, I think I know who you’re picking,’ and I said ‘He’s mine.’ Even though the dear Khan ended up siding with the villain. Sigh.) to a fire juggler to singing nuns.
THE HIGHLIGHTS (of the Highlight)
• Gawking (really, gawking) at the incredible costumes
that looked so heavy and hot that I don’t actually know how the wearers stayed conscious.
• Mead. I grew up on Viking movies, so mead was a must – think beer, but actually good. I was delighted to finally know what it tasted like.
• Geese. I’m now completely determined to raise a goose. If you think I’m joking, just ask Rica.
• The executioner was 100% in-character and we had a wonderful conversation where we cleverly (yes, it was clever) compared a cell phone data plan to medieval England. When we saw him again later Rica exclaimed, “Oh, look! It’s your executioner friend by the stocks!” and half a second later she went, “That’s going on Facebook, isn’t it.” The joke’s on you, Rica. It’s going on my blog.
• THIS AMAZING GAL in the best dark elf ensemble I’ve ever seen. I saw her twice and each time had to tell her how much I loved her look, and the third time I gave up and asked for pictures because I have to at least sketch her.
• I gave Rica a Terry Pratchett book, and she gave me a pair of dragon ear cuff/caps that are honestly the most incredible things and just WAY TO OUTSHINE ME ON THE GIFT-GIVING, GIRL. WAY TO DO IT. (For the record, we decided to save up all year until the next faire roll around because we could both HAPPILY blow five hundred well-spent bucks there and not regret a thing.)
• My (non-food) purchase of the day was a tubby wooden dragon made from sawdust and resin. He’s currently hanging from my ceiling fan until I get a hook for the ceiling. His name is Puff.
• “Did that sign say they have a unicorn?” I asked, glancing behind me. “That’d be cool if they did,” said Rica. “Although,” I added philosophically, “if it’s a true unicorn, it’d be hard to pet these days, what with the lack of virgins going around.” “Good point.”
• This musketeer’s clever use of a sword-handle.
TO WRAP IT UP, Saturday was one of the best days of my life (and I’ve had many amazing days). I had an incredibly wonderful time, and I can’t wait to go again next year – hopefully with the fam, because they need it, too. Everyone needs the faire.