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.
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!