Monday, September 03, 2007

Ren Fest, Races, and Rides

Last weekend, as in just over a week ago, I took my three darling children to the Maryland Renaissance Festival. Huzzah! It happened to be the hottest day in August, but we went anyway, and I think we had fun. Sometimes, when it's very hot and humid, and I can feel sweat sliding down the valleys of my body, it's hard to feel anything other than hot and perhaps a little irritable. I made some cloaks for the kids to wear, but guess what? I forgot to bring a camera, so a whole day of photo ops was lost. I tried to make a conscious effort to store up some vivid memories, though. Let's see, we started out by spending nine bucks for three snow balls, and then walked over to the playground area. On our way over there, I noticed a sign a for free pony rides, and L wanted one, so she got to ride around the ring once on a little brown pony. She wanted the white pony, but didn't make a fuss. (That's my girl.) Our quest for the day was to enjoy as much shade as possible, and the playground was mostly shady, but unfortunately the jousting was not. We stood off to the side in a small patch of shadow cast by a small spindly tree and saw two jousts. The boys wanted to know why no one was knocked off his horse. We watched two plays. The first was Robin Hood, the children's theater version where volunteers from the audience act out the story. We sat still and watched. The shade shifted and we got a little baked in the sun. Then we walked around a bit, bought some wooden swords and then watched most of the Hack and Slash show, we were late and the best shady seats we could find were behind some posts and trees so we had to lean to get a good view. Oddly enough, even though it was so hot, and we were sweating quite a bit, I guess the kids were well hydrated because it seemed like each time we visited the "privies", five minutes later someone else had to "go" again. I was losing most all my water through my skin... After about 4 hours of wandering around peering in shops, and spending too much money on beverages and food, we all agreed it was time to leave. It would have been much more enjoyable on a cooler weekend, but this was the one when kids were free!

Friday "Grandma" took all of us to the Maryland State Fair. I usually don't like the fair. You see, I have lived for 30 years only about a half mile away from the fair, and it gets old. I also get annoyed with all the increased traffic and lack of parking at the shops, but actually this year it wasn't so bad. Maybe I just stayed home more this past week. Anyway, we went to the fair on Friday and had a really fun time. We saw lots of cows, horses- part of a pony show, pigs- with 4 day old piglets, chickens-and just hatched chicks, and other farm animals, prized vegetables and local honeybees, but L was disappointed that the cows babies weren't being born as scheduled. Grandma also bought us tickets for rides. I took the boys on a little caterpillar roller coaster, L on a merry-go-round (and tried not to get sick), and we all went through a mirror maze fun house. We got to look through a telescope and see the sun. It just looked like a bright yellow circle, no spots or flares, probably because it was a little overcast. D won a stuffed animal for popping three balloons (for $5) by throwing darts at them, and then the man gave L a little blue bear just for smiling at him with her big blue eyes. Then, since I have never once been to the races here in town, we watched two horse races as well. Grandma placed a two dollar bet on number 6, her first bet ever, but he came in 4th place. Oh well, at least the parking was free. It turned out to be a much more educational "field trip" than I had expected too. We learned a good bit about erosion and global warming and how it would effect our wildlife and streams in the Chesapeake Bay watershed area. Overall a rollicking good time. Experienced through the eyes of my children, it was like being a kid again myself. Thanks again Grandma M!