The first time I ever went to any kind of Renaissance festival was the weekend of Liz and Brett‘s wedding, when a bunch of us drove to Casa de Fruta, for the faire there. I loved it, but felt a bit overwhelemed at all the sights and sounds.
Last year, we didn’t make it to any faires because we were moving and packing, and then in a new state, and the faires here tend to be in spring and fall when the weather is mild. Still, when I saw the first ad for Scarborough Faire, I informed Fuzzy that we were going.
The first week of the faire, he was on call. The second, I had something that interfered. And so last weekend, we finally made it there, taking the long way to Waxahachie in an attempt to avoid freeway construction. Everything was green and springy, and the wildflowers were in full bloom, so the long way wasn’t bad – either way it’s only about forty minutes.
Scarborough Faire has a permanent location, with actual flushing toilets – actual CLEAN flushing toilets. I generally detest public restrooms, but I was seriously impressed with how clean these were. (Note: the restrooms near the falconry stage have the least amount of traffic.) They also have a gorgeous creekside setting with lots of bridges that get you back and forth to the various parts of the faire – it’s spread over 35 acres, after all.
The vendors are the usual array of jewelry and pottery artists. Fuzzy bought me a watermelon tourmaline necklace from Lucia, the people who also do the gem designs for Angel Sword, and I found a lovely pair of earrings that look like curls of gold ribbon, and weigh nothing.
We enjoyed the Falconry demonstration, which, aside from showing off a bunch of gorgeous birds, also confirmed for us that the large winged predators we see in the skies around here are, in fact, red-tailed hawks. Zorro, at eight and a half pounds, is about the same size as a wild rabbit, so when we got home, I had a conversation with him about being cautious when he’s outside. (We also have an owl in our neighborhood, and I’ve had friends who’ve lost chihuahuas to such birds.)
The food, of course, was pretty typical – turkey legs, steak on a stake, and my favorite, the tasty (if disturbingly phallic) sausage on a stick. Mmm. Bratwurst with mustard and ice cold cider, eaten at a picnic table in a pecan grove on a warm spring day. Perfection.
Fuzzy introduced me to funnel cake. I could have lived without that. Afterwards, we did some more shopping and browsing, and then I demanded alcohol. The large version of the program had informed me that of the eight pubs and taverns at the faire, only one, the White Horse, had hard cider, so we went to find it. This is the pub where all the “cool kids” hang out. It’s not attached to any of the food places, but tucked away on a cliff over the creek, with a canopy of trees. There’s a stage, where there were musicians, and you can hear the running water under the boisterous conversation. I had my lovely pear cider, and then we wandered toward the joust.
By that time, my feet hurt, and there was no way I was going to stand to watch the tournament, so Fuzzy went off to do that, and I watched the women in one of the clothing stores dress a young woman in period clothing. They caught me watching, and ended up dressing me, as well, and so now, I own a lovely forest green and antique rose ensemble – basic, but comfortable. If Fuzzy isn’t on call this weekend, we’re going back (possibly meeting up with some local folks)on Saturday, so I’ll get to wear it all day, instead of just for a couple of hours.
We didn’t really get to see any of the shows, and they have an improv group and a twisted Shakespeare group, so I want to see those when we go back, rather than shop, though I’ll definitely have them braid my hair again.
I’ve often said that if I were truly rich my biggest luxury would be to have someone wash my hair for me. I’m changing that. I’d have someone braid it for me. Oh, I know it was just french braids, twisted and pinned, but I don’t have the ability to braid my own hair. Never could.
Fuzzy has promised to learn, though. :)