Day 3: Look out for the fairies

I had warned the kids that we would be getting up early today.  When 8:00 AM rolled around, I started rousting people from their beds.  We needed to get up and get some sort of breakfast before we prepared for the day ahead of us.  Today…..we go to Ren Faire!

Bel was the last one up.  Luckily, Sophia and Cael climbed out of bed before the warning bell went off.  Rick was up early, of course.  Gotta say, Bel didn’t put up much of a fuss though.

After breakfast, we began to prepare to get dressed.  I had gotten fairy costumes for the girls and planned to use an older outfit for Cael.  When it came right down to it though, Bel was the only one willing to get dressed up.  She was cute.  Sophia and Cael opted to go as normal folk.  That’s fine.  We packed up the car and headed out.

Rick had invited his friend, Carrie, to join us.  They drove over separately and we met up with them off and on throughout the day.

We got into the gate and it was still relatively open.  The crowds weren’t out en mass yet.  The first place to head was facepainting.  I knew which painter I liked already.  She has been in this same spot since Rick was small.  We just had to get there before the rest of the kids did.  Cael was first.  He picked a flaming skull.  You know guys and that counts for the little ones.  Sophia got the Fancy Butterfly while Bel went for the Pegascorn.

Now we were ready to walk the town and see the sights.  Along the way, the kids caught sight of a fairy or two hanging around.  At the Town Pump, the a capella ladies on the balacony where waving to the kids., who were a little shy.  Since Bel dressed as a fairy princess, she got a lot of attention from people working the faire telling her, “Good day, Princess.”

Our next stop was through the woods and to the area where the fairies are known to hang out.  Here, a wood fairy weaves a spider web between the trees and includes all kinds of things in the weaving.  The web turns into the walls for an almost outdoor room where benches are set up and you can rest among the fairies.

Even Cael was entranced to watch the different types of fairies and magical creatures.  We saw a yellow fairy stacking rocks and getting a lot of help from the younger kids.  The green fairy was playing in leaves.  There was a blue fairy who was just running from one place to another and dancing around in between.  The wood fairy who spins the web was sitting by a tree.  I encouraged the kids to go over and say hi.  She wanted to tell the kids hello by touching palms, but their shyness prevented them.  So she pulled out her bobbin of thread and made a string bracelet for each one of them.  She tied the string on with such care.  Needless to say, the kids were thrilled.

I thought Rich was sitting in the shade, but I find him wondering around.  Why wasn’t he sitting down and relaxing?  He said he was, but one of those fairies was bothering him.  I think it kind of freaked him a bit and he preferred not to have them sneaking up behind him to provide entertainment for others.

Next, we moved on to the fencing school.  This is an arena set up to put two combatants in a ring with modified swords.  Don’t worry, the kids wear padding and helmets.  They are just trying to pop a balloon on the top of the other guy’s head.  You usually get brother against brother, sister against sister, or even sister against brother.  If the older kid is too tall, they might have to fight on their knees.  It’s actually pretty fun to watch.  The first contestants were a 9 year old sister against a 6 year old brother.  She had height, but he had heart.

We walked on around to the Queen’s Meadow, but she wasn’t out yet.  Apparently, there is a unicorn in the area and one of the showman was working really hard for us to go in and see it.  Since the kids weren’t super thrilled, I didn’t opt to pay the price for that attraction.  We moved on to the Dirk and Guido Swordmen’s Show.

Dirk and Guido are celebrating 25 years at the Ren Faire.  We’ve probably seen most of their shows then.  The show is part comedy and part swordmen.  All of the jokes go over the kid’s heads, but they like to watch the fancy work with the swords.  Cael was especially interested in the swords.

We headed out to take care of the bathroom break and clean up for a little lunch.  Rich took Bel off to find food.  They came back with BBQ and a turkey leg.  I think they like the same things.  I got a chicken basket and fish and chips.  We ate pretty well.  All around, people were coming and going.  You just never knew what you would see.

Next, we headed to the front of the town to look at the pirate ship and walk across the long bridge over the pond.  First, we got stopped by the Queen’s parade.  The kids learned a new word, huzzah.  This is the cry you make to exclaim something, like when you cheer for one of the groups or for the Queen herself.  It was cute when the Queen’s champion said good day to Bel.

The bridge is always a busy place.  Everyone wants to stop to see the fish and the turtles.  There are lots of them to see.  Luckily, it was pretty clear going in our direction.  The other side was pretty packed.  I think the kids got to see quite a few turtles on our way across.  That took us into the marketplace by the lake.  We stopped in at the tannery to feel the pelts and check out the skins.  Now they can say they have touched the pelt from a silver, gray, red, and other types of foxes.  There were bison skins, sheep, and several other pelts lying around as we walked through.

The pirate ship didn’t have a lot to do.  For $5, you could swab decks, raise the flag and other things.  No one seemed to have interest in doing these.  Before we left, I saw a mermaid being pushed around in a wheelbarrow.  Hope she was staying wet though.

We worked our way back around and went over to the petting zoo.  No kid’s day is complete without petting an animal of some sort.  There were goats, sheep, cows, donkeys, a llama, a land turtle, and even pygmy goats.  We had feed and walked around the animals.  There was a porcupine on a shelf, but he wasn’t something you could pet.

Time to go check out the Kids Kingdom.  This is an area strictly for kids.  There was a magic show happening on the stage when we arrived.  The kids weren’t interested though.  I took them through the town façade and the pirate ship.  They just weren’t feeling it.  We hung around a bit in the area as Rich and Bel were enjoying some garlic mushrooms.  Cael and Sophia did find a bridge and old tree trunk that had some promise for climbing.

When asked what they want to do next, those kids want to look for more fairies!  I explain that those are the only fairies in the place.  They want to go and look at them one more time.  So off we head for the spider web.  Rich finds a seat in the shade.  He said he would take his chances with the pesky fairies.  Cael prefers to stay with Uncle Rich and play around the nearby tree.  The girls and I go off to look at the fairies for one last time.  Really, one last time.

In the meantime, I called Rick, who is coming from the Mud Show to meet us.  We have to plan out dinner.  My plan is for him to stop and pick up the food on his way in.  I hand over the money required to buy the feast and bounty.  He and Carrie are planning to hang out a bit more before heading out.

With a heavy sigh, the kids finally give in and we head toward the gate.  Rich leads us through the crowd.  We are like a line of ducks as we follow him out.  The kids keep up the pace and manage to weave in and out of the elbows and knees in their way.  Me, I just trudge on and push my way through where needed.  I can’t believe how crowded it is.  When did that happen?

The drive home is quiet.  I think everyone is tired from walking around all day.  At home, we change into comfortable clothes and get out of the costumes.  The kids want to go outside and play in the yard.  I have to feed Sascha first and she isn’t taking no for an answer.  This means more dancing as she sees food in the bowl.

The kids bring their chalk outside and draw on the new blacktop.  I see a sun, moon, butterfly and other shapes taking form in bright colors.  It’s not long before they are done.  It’s back inside for their nets to chance bugs down.  At one point, Bel decides to brush Sascha down to try and remove the loose hair.  I tell her good luck.  She soon finds that’s a never ending task.  It just brings up more hair.  Sascha doesn’t mind though.  She loves to be brushed.

The kids want a snack.  Since I’m weeding the patio, I send them inside to ask Uncle Rich.  It’s time for a Zurek standard.  They get peanut butter and honey sandwiches.  Then it’s back outside to run around the yard a bit more.  Rich comes out to do hot tub maintenance.  With a million and one questions, they help out.  Mostly, they stand around with their hands in the water.  Then came the inevitable question:  Can we hot tub?  Sure, but later on tonight.  Unfortunately, the heater is on the fritz again so the water is only lukewarm.

Rick finally arrives with dinner!  We go inside and wash up.  We are having chicken from Popeye’s with mac-n-cheese, potatoes and gravy, and dirty rice.  We manage to find something we all like and eat up.  It’s been one of those days.  The kids scrape their plates and stack them on the counter for the dishwasher.  Time to jet off and play some more.  Rich and Rick take Bel downstairs to teach her somethings about guitars.  She has her own electric guitar and they want her to start learning her finger exercises.  I hear lots of guitar playing until the phone rings.

It’s Vanessa and Chris checking in.  I remember the days when I missed my son during vacations away.  You think you’ll enjoy the quiet, but it can be a little too much.   The kids have been so busy they haven’t even asked about going home until this evening.  They just wanted to know how many more days they had to do things!

After the phone call, I put them in for baths.  They have to get somewhat cleaned up to go into the hot tub later.  Sophia asked to watch TV and Frozen is on.  It’s surprising that everyone knows the words to all the songs.  After baths are done and the movie is complete, they change into bathing suits and I grab them some towels.  Time to check out the hot tub.  I guess it is like a small swimming pool.  They paddle around a bit and get pretty well wet.  I pull them out when I can take the mosquitoes anymore.

Now, it’s back into jammies and ready for bed.  Strangely, it’s quiet in the bedroom tonight.  There isn’t much chit chat or noise.  I see some blinking eyes, but they are slowly sinking into sleep.  A long day is done.  Shhhhh!

Skulls and flames for Cael's facepaint.
Skulls and flames for Cael’s facepaint.
Sophia got a fancy butterfly for her face.
Sophia got a fancy butterfly for her face.
Bel got a Pegasus unicorn for her face.
Bel got a Pegasus unicorn for her face.
Kids in front of the spider web.
Kids in front of the spider web.
Close up of the blue green fairy.
Close up of the blue green fairy.
First sighting of the blue green fairy.
First sighting of the blue green fairy.
Blue green fairy fascinated by someone else at the faire.
Blue green fairy fascinated by someone else at the faire.
Young faire-goer dancing with the blue green fairy.
Young faire-goer dancing with the blue green fairy.
Girls with one of the woodland fairies.
Girls with one of the woodland fairies.
Watching yellow green fairy stacking rocks.
Watching yellow green fairy stacking rocks.
Bel getting her bracelet from the woodlawn fairy who does the spider web.
Bel getting her bracelet from the woodlawn fairy who does the spider web.
Sophia getting her bracelet from the woodland fairy.
Sophia getting her bracelet from the woodland fairy.
Bel waiting for lunch.
Bel waiting for lunch.
Cael and Sophia waiting for lunch.
Cael and Sophia waiting for lunch.
Queen Elizabeth in the parade.
Queen Elizabeth in the parade.
Butterfly puppet from the Queen's parade.
Butterfly puppet from the Queen’s parade.
Bel having a standoff with a goat.
Bel having a standoff with a goat.
Pygmy goat trying to take Sophia's water bottle.
Pygmy goat trying to take Sophia’s water bottle.
Parrot at the petting zoo.
Parrot at the petting zoo.
Making friends with the llama.
Making friends with the llama.
Llama and goat in the zoo.
Llama and goat in the zoo.
Following the turtle around the zoo.
Following the turtle around the zoo.
Taking a minute for a photo op.
Taking a minute for a photo op.
Kids on deck of the pirate ship.
Kids on deck of the pirate ship.
Cael found a cool log to climb all over.
Cael found a cool log to climb all over.
Rich and Bel sharing garlic mushrooms.
Rich and Bel sharing garlic mushrooms.
Rick and Carrie at the faire.
Rick and Carrie at the faire.
Dinner after the faire.
Dinner after the faire.
Bel brushing Sascha in the yard.
Bel brushing Sascha in the yard.
Sophia and Cael taking a break.
Sophia and Cael taking a break.
Another type of parade around Sascha.
Another type of parade around Sascha.
Just a little lap time from Dad.
Just a little lap time from Dad.
Helping Uncle Rich with hot tub maintenance.
Helping Uncle Rich with hot tub maintenance.