Saturday, February 24, 2007

dancing with the moonlit knight

Okay, so I don't know this song. Apparently it's by "Genesis" and the lyrics seem a tad on the out there side... BUT I liked the title. So... here is the blog from today at the Renaissance Fair in Tampa. I went with some people from church and we had fun. Shane, Ashley and Jorden were pretty fired up to be riding in my backseat. This is right before Jorden made Ashley switch with her to keep Shane and Ashley from fighting with each other the whole way there. Hahaha! Thanks, Jorden!

Okay, so when we arrived the first thing we did was go see the animals. There were lots of fun creatures, including (but not limited to) ducks, geese, pigs, cows, goats, sheep, camels, and an elephant. But the cutest BY FAR is the llama pictured below. Seriously, this was a super funny llama. I think if llamas were cognizant, they would be the awkward, gangly guy from your gym class who keeps cracking you up behind the teacher's back.

Now, if you are thinking that this is a picture of a random guy's butt, you are correct. Hahaha. There were a few (maybe mistakenly) brave guys wandering around the fair in for real tights. The funniest was the HUGE black dude who was very fit but his legs (thighs) were massive so it was a little overwhelming. Hahaha. Like a car wreck... you just couldn't look away!

Alan and Shane were able to take out their manly aggression on each other with a handy sword fight. I thought about photoshopping out the balloons... maybe that will make a nice present for them later. The duel was won by popping your opponent's balloon and the first match was won by Shane, the second by Alan. I think it was very smart that they stopped there. We probably would have never heard the end of it if one of them actually won.

Any of you who know me well will understand my excitement in this next picture. Camels have always held a special place in my heart and I got to ride one today! Woo hoo! Oh, and unfortunately, this is the only picture of me and my peasant costume because my camera battery died later. So anyways, this was it!

Probably the highlight of our day was the 2+ times we came to see the Mud Skippers' Show. It's three guys who do Shakespeare plays in a crazy, funny, quasi-improv comedy way. WITH A MUD PIT. Seriously, watching them beat each other with wiffle ball bats and fall into that mud pit NEVER got old. That and they were seriously funny. Yay!

There was an awesome gypsy band playing. I think they played for the whole time we were there (like 5+ hours) and I was surprised they weren't exhausted. But they were really good. Kinda like mellow Gypsy Kings meets 70's folk. And this guy was just rad. I mean, c'mon... look at him! He reminded me of Johnny Depp in Chocolat. : )

Then we watched a full-combat chess game. It was pretty cool. There was a huge chess board painted on the grass, and the captains/leaders of each team would call moves and whenever a piece was to be captured, they would fight. Like full-on awesome swordplay and WWE wrestling style fight. It was really fun! The pirate was on our team and the Scotsman was on the other team. I think we lost this match... oh well. It was cool either way.

This guy was in the chess game and several other things... He was the coolest looking guy there. He was a pirate and he also had a GREAT accent. Kind of englishy-piratey. A lot of the people at the Ren Fair used accents- many of them poorly- but it still made for some good times.

At the end of the chess game everyone just started brawling... so technically no one won... but it was fun to watch everyone just starting going crazy. Even the women would fight these big dudes and... okay, so most of it was scripted, I'm sure, but it was still enjoyable to watch!

Then we went over to the jousting. Guys on horses. With real armour. And they fought for a while with long swords....

... and then they jumped off their horses and started punching each other in the dirt. It was pretty funny. Then they got back on their horses and started jousting for real.

The theme of this weekend's fair (it goes for 6 weeks or so) was "highland fling" so there were lots of Scots around. And this wee pipe and drum band. Yay for bagpipes.

Okay, so my camera died shortly after taking this picture, but we didn't do a whole lot of things after this, so at least that's good. One thing that was really cool was this glass blowing exhibit. It was totally great. The pieces this artisan made were sooooo cool. I really wanted one, but of course it was pretty expensive. It was beautiful though... all these beautiful shapes and colors... it reminded me of Dale Chihuly. Super neat. Then we went back to watch the mudskippers one last time. Dude, mud doesn't get old. It just doesn't! : ) Then we went home. I was pretty tired and more sunburned than I thought, but we had a lot of fun!
Farewell, fair ladies and fine sirs!

Friday, February 23, 2007

i've got my love to keep me warm

*please note that this post's song title is in reference to the Irving Berlin song... not to be confused with "love to keep you warm" by whitesnake. haha! just so you know (and knowing is half the battle)!

Anyways, I made this the other day for my friend, TLC in photoshop (oh how i love thee!) and I just really like it and thought it deserved a public forum. Backstory: Tara Leigh is completely infatuated with the Chrysler Building in Manhattan. Now, I have never met someone who loves a building before, but I've never met a professional cricket player either, so who's to say it's impossible? And, when I say "love" I am not exaggerating. If it is humanly possible to love a building, TLC loves CB (as I've dubbed him): She gets excited when she glimpses him through the crowded skyline and misses him when she's away. This is a devoted woman. So I though it only fitting that she receive a little reciprocity from her beloved. Hehehe. Enjoy!

Monday, February 19, 2007

for the beauty of the earth

i love that song. it's so great. it also always reminds me of little women which, in turn, reminds me of the best compliment i have ever received to date. or at least my favorite. my sister's roommate (a very intelligent and well-read young lady) once rather excitedly told me that i was "sooo jo" from 'little women'. i consider that a truly complimentary remark. anyways, as for my post; i was out walking the other evening and it was such a beautiful sunset. sadly, i was without my trusty camera, so my cheese-ball camera-phone did its best. enjoy!

Saturday, February 17, 2007

for the longest time

okay, so this post is actually about something that happened a MONTH ago, but oh well. SO, Casie and Lucy and I went to the Annual Brooksville Raid Festival, which commemorates a battle/skirmish/whatever that happened there during the non-civil War. (Read previous post about why the War wasn't technically a Civil War). Fun times! PS- Indian fry bread is AWESOME!

Okay, this is me and Lucy in my car. Don't worry, we were stopped when I took this!

Casie would like everyone to know that our trip was sponsored by Merita sweet sixteen powdered-sugar doughnuts.

So the festival part is full of vendors who make crafts and tasty food like home-made root beer and Indian fry bread. This is guy had a blacksmith exhibit.

The participants in the Raid stay in camps like the soldiers would have back then. Complete with little canvas tents and camp fire cooking. First we toured the Union camp.

And you'll never guess who we ran into there- our old friend Abe Lincoln! haha. Mary Todd looked kinda grumpy. Maybe war's not really her thing... "Abe, why do we always have to go to your things... what about my knitting circle? geesh..."

This guy was resting up before the big battle.

Next we moved it on over to the Confederacy Camp. It was definitely much more populated and festive. The food looked better, they had more stuff, AND the people seemed to be having a big party.
Yep, definitely the South:

I didn't see any wagons at the Union Camp... I'm just sayin is all...

While we were over there, the Confederates had a little "Inspection" of the new troops.

Let the battle begin! It actually is quite a slow process, because all the troops have to move around the battle field and do all this strategic maneuvering. It really makes it evident how much war has changed. Eventually guys on horses start riding around. This is them:

They have cannons. And they were LOUD. And sometimes they would make smoke rings that floated up in the sky for a long time. It was cool. At times fire even shot out!

This picture was taken towards the end of the battle. You can see some of the guys laying down. Sometimes they would "die" and then after a while get back up and keep fighting. Towards the end though, they mostly stayed dead. The confederate party was pretty much over.

All in all, it was a lot of fun! I definitely recommend it, especially on a day as pretty as we had. I mean, its mostly cool for the educational value, since you already know how it ends. But it is neat to see everyone all dressed up in costume and everything. Maybe next year Casie and I will get some big ol' hoop skirts and bonnets and try our luck as Southern Belles. Maybe. : )

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

just the two of us

soo.... yeah, i know that title is totally cheesy, but in the spirit of V-day i wanted to post a picture of me cuddling with someone and its pretty creepy to think of cuddling with a 3-inch turtle. soo... here's me and lucy! hahaha. actually, this is really a picture of me pestering lucy and her wishing i would leave her alone -you can soo tell by her face! haha, oh well!
Happy Valentine's Day!

Saturday, February 10, 2007

we didn't start the fire

hello! first i would like to start with a somewhat late but still funny picture of Ashley and Jorden at the Southside super bowl party. They were very enthusiastic Colts fans for the evening.

okay, so back to the last few days: here's my title picture. while up in Deland for the evening, TLC and i were about to enter Mainstreet grill when we spied a car on fire. ON FIRE, on fire. it must have just caught up suddenly because we didn't hear any explosion. but we got to watch the tires explode and the firemen come and put it out. it was very exciting!

TLC was about to embark on her fun cruise and she wanted to get a pedicure in preparation. Originally i was just going to sit with her for moral support, but darn it if i didn't get suckered into getting one. it was nice and although i'm not really one for painting my toenails... they do look kinda pretty....

So, with all our exciting comings and goings, Tara leigh and I never really took any pictures together (we were too busy with pretty toes and flaming vehicles, I guess). So in the morning when she left we took this one. We are sporting no makeup and our new hats. Sweet!

Thursday, February 8, 2007

all the small things

well, in comparison to my globe-trotting adventures of late, this past week has been small. however, it has been nice and not without its lovely moments. so which do i like better? amazing but drama-filled or somewhat uneventful with occasional lovely moments? hmmm.... hard to decide. maybe its best to save that for another blog.
here are a few last minute pictures- most of these i ganked from other people (who should at least get a shout-out: Maresi! TLC! Enuma!)
BUT, stayed tuned for upcoming better-late-than-never pictures of my trip 3+ weeks ago (pre-Greece) to the Annual Brooksville Raid Civil War Battle Re-enactment! (P.S. did you know that most Southern historians don't really like the term "civil war" being used because they say it was a war between 2 countries since the South had seceded? i didn't know... and i think that's a pretty good point, but if we don't call it that, what then? and DON'T say "the war of northern agression" haha!

This sign says it all. just. too. perfect. (let's just say kavala was much nicer...)

pretty picture of the Temple of Apollo at Corinth and the great, but still unidentified tree.

cutest. thing. ever. and total. period. over-use. (but this is Zach, one of the cute Whitler boys in our group. AND this picture was taken in the shop of our new friend, Stratos. (It's in Plaka market and called "byzantium" for anyone going to Athens...)

What a nerd! But on the up side, Tara Leigh/ is here/ to visit me! We shall see/ how merry/ we can be! (Sorry, once I start rhyming...sheesh!) But this was taken in downtown Lakeland. TLC liked this butterfly (there are many) because it had real shoes on! And she likes me even though I usually don't have shoes on! : )

Friday, February 2, 2007

There's no place like home

Okay, friends. Sorry for the delay, things have been a little hectic and all the stress and exhaustion of travelling finally caught up with me! It shocks me to admit it, but I think I have finally learned the joys of not being a hobo. I will probably always love to travel, but now I see just how much I miss things when I am away... like my bed... and my room... and my big closet... Anyways, here are some more fun pictures from Greece. They are not necessarily in the right order or representative of all that we did (we did a LOT!) but they are ones that I like and hope you will too. Opa!

Greek dancers (no kidding!) from the Taverna we ate at in Athens. They were so fun. Sadly, they did not break plates ("its too expensive") and I think Devon was the only person saying "Opa!"

After leaving Athens and Corinth we did a lot of driving to see Thessaloniki, Philippi, etc. I really don't remember where along the way this was, but it is fairly representative of the overall beauty of Greece. P.S- the trees in the foreground are olive trees!

This was taken from my bus window in Thessaloniki when we rolled into town. It was a rainy afternoon and this little Greek man was just so iconic walking along the sea with his hat and overcoat and cane...

This is a beautiful new chapel that was built next to the site where Lydia, the first Christian convert in Europe was baptized. Okay, so I amped up the color a bit with my best friend photoshop, but I just wanted to give you small taste of what a beautiful day it was.

See if you can click on this picture and see it bigger- it is definitely worth it. This was also taken from the bus as we drove along miles and miles of the most beautiful coastline I have ever seen. I think there should be a special color of blue called "Aegean" just to try to do it justice.

Our last night in Greece (spent back in Athens) we went shopping at the Plaka market and then spent a beautiful evening at a taverna next to the Acropolis. As we walked back to catch the metro through the mostly deserted cobblestone streets it all seemed so romantic... well romantic without the man... so just ro-tic, really. But anyways, i think this shot is very "cafe terrace at night".

I actually took this picture on the way to the taverna when no one could remember how to get there. We were wandering around and turned a corner and voila! right in our faces was more ruins, more history, more past. Its funny how it is all jumbled together. I have no idea where this was, but it was beautiful and fitting for the modern Ancient city. It really puts it in perspective how young America is as a country. Anyways, if you want to see the complete pictures, hopefully I will have them on photobucket eventually. As for now, Kalinikta! (Goodnight!)

Thursday, February 1, 2007

head over feet

Soooo... if you go back a post or two you will see a very excited blurb about my feet in comparison to the feet of statues I saw throughout Greece. Don't worry, its about to get exponentially more exciting!!! So, at the encouragement of a friend (thanks, TLC!) I decided to look into the history of my unusually shaped feet (see picture below for evidence). Now, I happen to know that this condition is called "Morton's Toe" after the physician who researched and diagnosed "Morton's Neuroma" (a meditarsal nerve disorder I also have). So, naturally I went to my favorite online resource, Wikipedia, and LOOK what I FOUND!!!!

"...This shape has also been called Greek foot (as opposed to the Egyptian foot, where the great toe is longer). It was an idealised form in Greek sculpture, and this persisted as an aesthetic standard through Roman and Renaissance periods and later (the Statue of Liberty has toes of this proportion). The French call it pied ancestral or pied de NĂ©anderthal, believing it to be a sign of intelligence. Cleopatra was known to have this, and many consider this trait to be a sign of beauty."

WHAHAHAHAHA! Yes! This made my day. For all you people who have ever made fun of my long, skinny, strange feet: take that! (P.S. Jamie, I especially thought you would appreciate this knowledge, being the foot-genius that you are!)

Okay, so more Greece pictures are coming... thank you for your patience during my little diversion.

Another beautiful example of Greek Feet (seriously, my feet look JUST like that) from the museum at Ancient Corinth! Enjoy!