Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Calling All Lords and Ladies . . .

Yesterday we took a field trip back in time to the Renaissance Festival.  I had been once before as a child, but the only memories I have of that trip are (1) the lyrics to a very vulgar song, (2) rain, rain, and more rain, (3) a nosebleed, and (4) begging my parents to buy a floral wreath to wear on my head.  They didn't cave, but my dad's friend got tired of listening to me whine had mercy on me and bought me one.  :) 

Based on those memories, I went as prepared as possible.  My friend Yvette made all of the girls floral wreaths the day before (because, you know, it can be done ahead of time for $1.25 or you can pay $15 once you get there!), and we went during School Days for a much more toned-down, child-friendly experience! ;)

There was definitely a lot more there than I ever expected to see!

We started the day off with a joust . . .

The royalty took their seats on the far side of the arena, away from all of us peasants!

This knight was fighting for England, and pretty much everyone was cheering for him.

And they're off! 

France knocked England off of his horse, and the two ended up in a fierce sword fight.

Finally England was victorious!  (This was also the moment when Millie leaned over and said, "Mom, did he really die?")
We learned how the village blacksmith made nails . . .

Straight out of the fire.

Every couple of minutes, he would pump this handle up and down to fan the fire and make it hotter.

Meanwhile, here's what the women would do . . .

These women are spinning thread.  They had to constantly push foot pedals to make the wheel spin.  I can't even imagine how tired their feet would be after a full day's work!

This woman is taking the thread that was just spun and weaving it into fabric.

Hannah and Camille were intrigued by it!
 Hannah had a chance to get really up close and personal with a Gutenberg Press . . .

The first step was to place the letters or pictures to create your design.

Then you took your piece of paper . . . 

. . . and carefully placed it exactly where it needed to go.

The lid had to be folded down and the entire platen had to be moved to the other side of the machine.

Then this lever had to be pulled, which proved to be a two-man job for Hannah! ;)

Voila!  The finished product!  (What's this?!  A free souvenir from the Renaissance Festival?!)
We saw a spectacular Flame Whip show . . .

This guy was truly phenomenal!
We had our picture taken with the King . . .

And we did an awful lot of playing . . .

Millie's favorite part of the day was the authentic carousel ride.  :)

Hannah and her friend played King of the Log.

Millie climbed her way through a multi-level maze and finally found her way out.

And Hannah climbed the castle walls and rang the bell at the top, only to discover that you only win $20 if you make it all the way up on the Challenge Level.

But the highlight for me was this . . .

He was perfectly adorable in an elephant kind of a way.  When I reached my hand out, he faced me and put his trunk in my hand.  I guarantee if I had enough money and if he would have fit in Carrie's van, he would so be at my house right now!

This is the picture you get when the $5 elephant ride is about 30 seconds long and Mama doesn't have her camera quite ready!  But if you strain your eyes very hard and use your imagination, you can see Hannah riding in the back.
By the end of the day, I had developed a killer headache, probably due to the four hours of sleep I got the night before, my severe caffeine deficit, the four hours of sleep I got the night before, the loud cannon explosion, and the four hours of sleep I got the night before.  I was delighted when, two and a half hours and one Redbox rental later, we were back to home sweet home.  Still, all in all, it was a fun day!

(If you want to see some excellent pictures of our day together, check out Carrie's blog!)


Carrie said...

We had a good time with you guys! Your summary of our day is great!! :)

Kimberly said...

That looks so fun! You sure do some great field trips.