2013-09-14, 2:01 p.m.
You would think that I go to Ren Faires a lot more than I actually do, what with all the jokes I make about this sort of thing IRL. In reality I've only been to them twice before. Once as a kid with my parents and my dad's coworker (later my insurance agent, har) and his family, and once in 2002 when I got handfasted at one. But something or other happened to the one held closer to my neck of the woods (irritatingly, I am not finding exactly when it ended online so much), so there hasn't really been a good opportunity to go to one...at least, not without a cooperative ride, if you're me.
This year, I finally found someone willing to go with me--Dawn was, huzzah! Last year I had zero free weekends during the entire time it was open, but this year we got in on opening day (plus 2-for-1 deal). Huzzah! It was lovely. The photo album is here, should you be interested.
Upon walking in, I immediately was asked by a guy with a giant...who knows what...if I wanted an enema. "No thanks! Had one last night!"
Many years ago I took a Renaissance costume class at the CC, so I have a fairly good rundown in my brain as to what is historically accurate or not.. I have long since lost the blouse I made and grown out of the corset when I had a third puberty or something, but I still have the giant voluminous layered skirts, one with a giant pocket inside it. Very useful, past me! I have a bodice I got from Anna a few years back, but I couldn't find a suitably styled top in my wardrobe...except a tie-dyed one. I eventually gave up on trying to be historically accurate at that point and just went with it. I'm glad I dressed up--as it turns out, nobody is super nitpicking how historically accurate the fairgoers are, whew. Hell, it was pretty much "just dress up in any kind of cosplay you want," really. Costumes I spotted there were Peter Pan, a kid that either qualified as a Lost Boy or Lord of the Flies (we couldn't decide which), the Tenth Doctor, a TARDIS (dress), the Dread Pirate Roberts (completely appropriate), Wonder woman, and a guy wearing a bedsheet with Budweiser advertising and matching crown. Oh, geeks. MY PEOPLE. I also got a lot of compliments on the blouse, so maybe I won't worry about historical accuracy so much.
They had turtle racing. Dawn paid to have turtles race. Hers won, but she gave the token she got for it to the second place kids. The turtles went surprisingly fast, go figure. We also saw a few medieval ride-type things, though we didn't go on them due to well, vomit issues.
We saw several awesome shows while we were there. There are TONS AND TONS of shows, so it was hard to pick. We narrowed it down to:
We wanted to see the uncensored versions of the Magnificent Humble Boys and the improv show, No Parchment Needed....but alas, those shows were being held in the 21-and-over area...with no microphones...and we couldn't hear the performers very well and gave up on that. Darn it. Oh well.
It was a good thing that we went to so many shows, as Dawn has an injured foot and forgot to bring her boot that day. But apparently we sat down enough that her foot didn't act up at all, huzzah!
You will be horrified to hear, as was I, that I did not buy a single souvenir of the trip. Not one! It was horrifying! But seriously, I was really only in love with one clothing booth. I have been pondering buying another corset/bodice and/or blouse for years on end, and I found a booth I loved...BUT. They did not put prices ON ANYTHING. Which I hate, hate, hate. Craft fair vendors, take note: If you do not list your prices, I DO NOT BUY THINGS FROM YOU. Anyone who doesn't list prices is usually sending the message of "You can't afford this," and I will take the hint and go away. I know that this is their sneaky way of trying to get you to fall in love with their product so that you won't care how much it costs once you find that out (plus when you have to ask an employee for the cost, it kind of adds to your social obligation to buy it in some way), kind of in the same way when I get e-mails pushing some super amazing awesome class that will change my life forever and they go on and on about the benefits and instructors and how much it's worth and blah de blah... and it takes me a very long time to find out that it only costs $397. Even worse: I asked an employee for pricing and it turned out to literally be her first day ever on the job, and she didn't know. "Uh....the corsets start at $79, but it depends on what fabric they used...." Oh jeebus. I liked a lot of their corsets, and blouses, and dresses, but....(a) if I have to ask someone individually for every fucking price of every single garment I like, forget it, and (b) I was not madly in love with any one thing enough to pay ANY price they asked. So I gave up. Sigh. There was lovely shopping otherwise, just nothing I was in love with.
I also ran into some of my old friends from years ago who moved to the Yosemite area. I was in one food line and they were in the food line next to mine. I was staring at them thinking, "That looks like them...and this is pretty close to where they live...it's probably them..." but when I waved, I got no response. Then I felt kind of embarrassed. Then I thought, "Well, I am wearing sunglasses and a hat and my hair is up" (braided) "under the hat...maybe they don't recognize me...oh, who am I kidding, I'm freaking wearing tie-dye and they've probably seen this blouse before...." A few minutes later, they called out to me. So, hah!
At one point, we saw a gopher poking out of a hole. Those who spotted it stood around and watched him poke his little head in and out. One girl watching said it was the best thing she'd seen all day(!!!).
The final show was the band Tempest, who did an excellent job to close out the evening. There was a whopping amount of dancing, which would have made L happy had she been there to see it since she's been reasonably convinced that Californians don't know that they're supposed to dance at shows. (And indeed, very little of that goes on at Scottish Games.) I didn't dance since Dawn couldn't--well, that and they were having the concert in the horse jousting area and god only knows what you might step in and it was quite dirty. But they had a lot of dancers doing circles and having a good time. I was also delighted by the encore, in which the show organizer dude had us ask, "Prithee" rather than just having people scream for 5 minutes to bring on an encore. Hah, liked that.
On the way home, we eventually stopped in the Panda Express in Santa Nella, as did other faire attendees. I actually ran into the Tenth Doctor guy, who spotted my outfit and was all, "You just came from Faire too? I had to take my outfit off, it was way too hot now." Amusingly enough, his friend wearing all black traditional Renaissance garb seemed completely okay.... but I don't think that guy was getting his dance on in the same way that Ten was, somehow.
It was awesome. Dawn said it was the best day she'd had in over a year. I was all, "Why can't every day be awesome like this?" Seriously, both of us had had shit weeks--Dawn has been having health problems with her foot and other relatives to deal with, and I was having Work Drama out the wazoo that L deemed "even more insane than usual"--and I just want to know why I have to spend most of my life enduring boring shit so I can have enough money to eat and live, instead of being able to figure out a life where I actually enjoy most of my days in the world.