Last day of freedom. (School starts tomorrow.)
What to do?
Escape reality and flee back into the past at the NORTHERN CALIFORNIA RENAISSANCE FAIRE!!!
I woke up pretty bloody early in the morning so that Seanie and I could be at Terry's house by seven. Amazingly, the frantic scrambling and frustration of Seanie's desire for more sleep paid off, and we actually arrived on time. Of course, Terry and Rhi weren't quite ready, but these things happen.
After waiting for a bit (browsing the bookshelves to amuse myself) the four of us headed over to IHOP for breakfast. Nothin' like sweet, sweet french toast to start off the day! I have to admit, though, it's totally a buzzkill to read the new menus. IHOP recently started printing the calorie count for each entree right next to the description, so you'll happily read "French Toast: Delicious strawberries in sweet sticky syrup layered over fluffy, thick slices of french toast awash in buttery goodness and powdered sugar" and then at the end of the mouth-watering description it reminds you "2990 CALORIES!!!" *sigh* I mean, we were going to the Renn Faire and that meant tons of high-calorie food, plus alcohol, so a huge breakfast on top of it was just a heart attack waiting to happen. k
But so what? I still got french toast.
After breakfast we went back to Terry's to pack up costumes and get Sarah, one of Rhi's friends. (I'd met her briefly at a party or two.) Then off we went to Gilroy, where Kathleen lives. Kathleen is Rhi's mom, and she officially owns the Cutest House in the World. Seriously. They have a wonderful front porch to sit and relax in a summer breeze. They have a beautiful Victorian parlor as you walk in. The guest bedroom is exquisite, with wicker baskets and antique furniture. There are cute little china teapot sets EVERYWHERE. There's a library that I could peruse for days; I saw soooo many books from my various wish lists on the shelves. Really awesome. She and Eric also have a huge selection of costumes and we spent hours picking out what to wear from her collection. In fact, we spent so long that we didn't get to the Faire until past noon, which was a pity, because we missed the first jousting tournament.
But we were there! At the Faire!
Right after we walked in, one of the vendors started heckling Terry because he wasn't in period costume. (He was the only one in our group who hadn't dressed up. Even Seanie had pulled on a hooded priest's shirt over his jeans.) Before Terry was going to even consider clothing with codpieces, he needed alcohol, so we set off to find one of the many beverage establishments and loaded up on beer, cider and mead.
(PS: Raspberry mead? Really not as delightful as I thought it would be. Sweet mead is awesome, though.)
Then we began wandering the little shops. The Renaissance Faire is like a bazaar of handmade goods, all of which are at least vaguely related to the theme. Leather bags, books on period costume, pewter cups, jewelry...you name it, you can find it there. Since there is a $25 entrance fee, it sometimes irritates me that you have to pay money to spend money. But they have several stages with varying entertainments, like pageants with the Queen, singing, and magicians.
The other thing about the shops is that most of them have very vocal owners, or people standing in the lanes heckling passersby to examine their goods or play their games. Seanie and Terry were caught up by the men running a javelin-throwing booth, and soon both guys were hurling wooden sticks at targets.
Neither guy actually struck a target, but Seanie assures me it is much harder than it looks.
This being Elizabethan England (in sunny California...sweltering, sweaty California) every other sentence to come out of someone's mouth was an innuendo. You have to be quick-witted if you want to make a reply to these guys. Most of them the time I was cracking up too much to respond, but even if I wasn't laughing I doubt I'd have been able to come up with an appropriate response.
Sarah holding all the drinks while the guys were playing with their wood. (Y'see? I'm no good at the innuendo.)
Or, as one of the vendors commented, Sarah was a lady of "great bounty." I'm pretty sure he was talking about the cups.
Being on a bit of a budget, I was trying not to get *too* interested in anything for sale, because I'd be sure to spend money that way. But, alas, someone was selling books, and I was sucked right in. Literally. I didn't want to stop, but everyone was like "No, go for it, you love books!" and they ended up standing around for fifteen minutes while I talked about Elizabethan pattern-making and clothing reproduction with the owner of the stall. In fact, it's a very good thing they were with me, or I probably would have talked myself hoarse and bought one of every book. (In fact, I fully intend to order one or two of the books through the vendor's website after my next pay check arrives.)
That book was so cool! 'Tudor Tailors' I believe it was called.
As we wandered, Queen Elizabeth's procession came by so we all bowed and watched her pass.
The Virgin Queen.
Her ladies-in-waiting must have been most uncomfortable in the heat.
Unfortunate shadows made me look like one of my front teeth had been knocked out!
Rhi had declared that she would buy Sarah and I each a flower garland for our hair so that we would be 'properly' dressed from head to toe, and so after we had completed a circuit of the Faire we stopped at one of the vendors to do just that.
Sarah getting fitted with flowers.
The long herb/grasses in this wreath made me think of the Statue of Liberty, a little bit. But I ended up getting this one anyway.
We were so busy checking everything out that we missed the second joust, too. Dang it! Seanie and I caught the very tail end of it, but all that meant was we saw the knights do a final circuit around the ring after the fighting had ended. What a pity.
Well, I guess if I'd made it for the joust I wouldn't have had a good enough place to get nice photos.
A hypnotist approached us while we were eating lunch and asked if we'd like to be hypnotized in his show. Rhi volunteered, and I volunteered Seanie to do it, so Mezmeron 'prepped' Rhi before the show with pre-performance hypnosis.
You are getting very, very sleepy...
...FWOOMP! Down she goes!
Rhi up on stage.
See the pretty red-head girl up on the stage? At one point, Mezmeron told her she had lost her butt and she went walking through the audience, asking if anyone had seen her bottom. Poor girl. He also told them they couldn't remove their hands from their head unless they touched their nose, and they couldn't remove their finger from their nose unless their hand was on top of their head.
The lesser of two evils is...?
Mezmeron telling this hypnotized guy that he is, in fact, Sandra Bullock, filming a period piece, and he needs help adjusting his boobs. I don't make this stuff up.
A parade of skulls and goths came through during the show. I remember seeing them every year when I was a kid: the Macabre. When I was really little, I thought they were scary when they came by playing their sorrowful, weird music. Now I think they're cool, and if I knew how to get involved with that sort of thing I'd probably try to join up.
Dance, Macabre, dance!
While we were watching the hypnotist, we had noticed behind us a huge swing. It was a wooden seat large enough for five-six people, and it was pushed by one or two young men. It just looked like so much fun. After the show ended, we went over and got into one of the swings.
Terry, the one who REFUSED to dress up.
It was so much fun to go flying through the air! Early on in the ride, Rhi accidentally kicked one of our swing-pushers in the face when he ran beneath our swing. OOPS! That was awkward, but also really, really funny. We could not stop laughing, especially since he took it more or less in stride. Indeed, he claimed he didn't even realize he was bleeding from where her foot had connected with his lip. I hope he wasn't hurt too badly, but he continued pushing us and jumping up on the swings' ropes like a monkey so I think he was OK. When the ride was over Terry offered to buy him a beer, but the carney declined.
Seanie and I soaring through the air.
By this time it was late afternoon and we needed to head back up to San Jose, because I had a store meeting at Lush. As we were walking back, we ran into Mr. Mezmeron again and he messed around with Rhi a little more. Seanie actually managed to make a video of it:
Y'know, the one trouble with the Renaissance Faire is that every woman's got her boobies hanging out of her top. I mean, you see some pretty saggy tits out there, since most of these women are also bra-free. Why am I not showing off my cleavage as well? Just look at this lovely photo (ignore the face, which is not so lovely) and illustrates why quite clearly: I am flat as a board. There just ain't no boobs there.
Folks, this expanse of nothing is WITH a padded bra. So sad.
Sarah, myself and Rhi in full costume!
It's funny, it took hours to get dressed and only about two minutes to get everything off again. I made it to my meeting on time; hopefully everyone else made their destinations as well.