Felagund Family at the Faire
Bobby's family had obligations already, but mine was game. We took my parents to the Ren Fest for the first time, I think, three years ago. We figured my mom would like it--she's an older version of me: dorky, crafty, imaginative--but didn't think my dad would like it much. We were very wrong. Not only did he have a great time, but he got into his mind that he wanted something special to wear to it. More specifically, a kilt.
Bobby--not surprisingly given his academic interests--has always wanted a kilt as well. So, a few months ago, the two of them put their heads together and ordered a complete get-up. Dad ordered a Stuart tartan (my mom's side of the family are Stuarts), and Bobby ordered a Tara tartan (Bobby identifies most strongly with his Irish heritage, and there is the whole wanting-a-PhD-in-Celtic-military-history thing). There was great excitement in the House of Felagund when the kilts arrived at my parents' house! (I felt a bit bad for the fellow they ordered them from, as there was apparently a misunderstanding where Dad thought he'd be getting the kilt earlier than he did and was eagerly calling to check the status.) Yesterday was the first day that they wore their kilts out in public. (They've been on several times at home.)
Yesterday was "Clash of the Titans" on SWG, so I was up early to get as much of it done as I could before we left. We also had farmer's market, so that took some time as well. Shockingly, my Ren Faire garb is always Elvish. I have two different dresses that I wear--the blue one my mom and I made together--but the ears are a given.
So as soon as morning chores were done (farmer's market, eyedrops for the chickens, breakfast), I put on my gown and my ears and ... went to work on the SWG site until it was time to leave. So, yes, I was 1) working on a website-- 2) a J.R.R. Tolkien website--while 3) dressed like an Elf. Rarely do I feel as dorky as I did then, which is saying something.
Yes, you can also see how messy my desk is.
We met my parents at the Park and Ride and headed north to PA. Well, first, there was a bit of a mishap with my dad's kilt. He couldn't figure out why he had a belt but no belt loops. "You don't have it on inside out, do you?" I asked.
Well, he did. So I had to use my full skirt on one side and kilted Bobby on the other to give my dad a privacy screen so that he could take off his kilt and flip it around. Thankfully, he did not go commando.
Now we're heading north. Here are two handsome kilted men, walking up to the entrance. I thought that Dad's canvas tote was a particularly nice touch to his ensemble.
Bobby and I had a small triumph in that we snaked purchasing my parents' tickets for them. My parents always end up paying for stuff wherever we go. We always try but either get shut down or a very mean look from Dad. So, when the opportunity presents itself to return the favor, we try to. We ordered the tickets online the night before, and they had no clue. Hee.
Now I will wax all sentimental and Elf-like about how things change. Bobby and I did not make it to the PA Faire last year because just about every weekend rained straight through. We had purchased tickets early and everything, so it wasn't even our poverty that kept us away. So much has changed! Most of the acts that we knew are gone or different. Much of the cast has changed. Acts are on different stages now than they were. It was weird.
We had lunch first, then saw the Tribal Circus acrobats who replaced the Barely Balanced acrobats we knew and loved. Tribal Circus was good as well, but it was clearly the first weekend--so many shows were rough around the edges! Having once upon a time performed myself, the first show is always the worst. I used to tell people not to come to the first show. (Bobby went because he went to all of my shows. Awww.)
We browsed some shops and saw a glassblowing demonstration, then went to see the adult-rated Sultry Sirens of Sin. Three of the four Sirens were different from two years ago! This must have been how Galadriel felt as she watched time exert its effects on Lothlorien ...
We ended the day with the Final Joust. Unlike Maryland, PA's jousting is staged, and it is very melodramatic. We always go because it is kind of fun, if hammy. It always involves someone making some great threat against Elizabeth, her being hustled off the stage, then a massive down-in-the-dust battle in which someone inevitably falls through the breakaway railing on the castle and there is a burst of fire seemingly from nowhere. They added cannons this year and some pyrotechnics, which was surprising. Probably how Celeborn felt upon finding invasive weeds from Rivendell amid the niphredil.
Here are Bobby and Dad after the joust:
People really liked Dad's T-shirt, which came free with the kilt. They kept stopping him to read it, and one guy even took a picture of Dad in it. It's kind of weird to think that my dad ended up in some stranger's photo album, perhaps being posted on LiveJournal as we speak ...
And me and Bobby after the joust:
No, I was not wrestling with Gollum on the verge of Orodruin. I'm not sure what happened to my finger.
Ren Faire days are always over too quickly. Mom got a milkshake on the way out (ice keem), and we stopped in the wine shop, then it was time to head back south and stop for supper in Cracker Barrel. Two men in kilts and an Elf and a normal-looking-but-not woman got some odd looks from some of the other patrons, but having been out to eat many times after Ren Faires and SCA events, it's become par for the course by now. The staff, working in a restaurant on the interstate, didn't even blink. I'm sure they see much weirder than us on a pretty much daily basis.