Saturday, November 6, 2010

Day 257/365 We Decide to Literally Welcome in the Dark Ages

This may not look like a time portal.

But it is.

As long as my fellow Virginians (and fellow Americans) decided to take a hysterical step into the past with this last week s election, I decided to dive headfirst there myself, back to my natural spot in time, medieval Europe, home of turkey drumsticks, lusty wenches and incredibly handsome long-haired men in kilts and tights.

Ya'll have your version of progress and I have mine.

Our normal time portal, the Minnesota Renaissance Festival actually celebrated its 40th anniversary this past summer. We missed it, being stuck on the East Coast for the time being.

Therefore, welcome to the Carolina Renaissance Festival, part of the RoyalFaires renaissance circuit. Just north of Charlotte North Carolina, it's smaller than our beloved Minnesota faire, coming at just about 22 acres. Nevertheless, it's loaded with jousting, swords, juggling, fairies, wizards, and the occasional knight.

The buildings are permanent, and somewhat realistic in a medieval fantasy sort of way.

There are hundreds of costumed employees, and even more visitors that come in character. I'm not sure "in character" is the appropriate term -maybe more "in imagination". This is the one place where adults can dress up and turn themselves into what they really want to be. Today we went plainclothes, but at our home fair, we had occasion to go in costume, and it really adds to the experience.

Look closely at that elegant young lady wrapped up in the blanket.

Our favorite fairy, with the iridescent wings....

The perfect place to put a dragon on your wrist...

The giant rocking horse, all human powered.

Lots of places to shop, mostly from the artists themselves offering one-of-a-kind items.

Not to be missed: the mushroomhead man. Don't ask.

Pirate's Revenge offers a little somethin somethin for everyone...

If your family is minus that knight's pedigree, you can pick one up here.

Main Street, just past the dungeon.

Dreamweavers and Kaleidoscopes .... two words made for each other.

I have fond memories of being able to wear things like this...

What would the Dark Ages be without a mime?

Or dragon fountains....

Feathers For Pleasure...

That's a lot of pleasure....

There was even a real fairy, sketching and signing fantasy artwork.

And the belly dancers! I love belly dancers. They remind me of human snakes. In colorful skirts. With bells on.

And we drove three hours, only to find my favorite vendor with her custommade soaps and herbal blends, and then discover she lives the next county over from us back at home.

She also took pity on her customers and loaned them her magical handwarmer (it was almost as cold as the Ice Age today).

Lotions, teas, herb blends, soap.....gave me all sorts of ideas.

The traditional renaissance roasted turkey drumstick, followed with hot cider, and hot cinnamon almonds.

Catch a look at this guy...not your traditional Scotsman...

He was with his wife, obviously visitors themselves from yet another time.

Celtic Green Man was everywhere, including my daughters shirt.

This particular wiccan shop gives you an idea of the detail inside the buildings -the cathedral ceiling resembles an old 17th century ship's interior. An Ye Harm None, Do What Ye Will ...seen on a plaque here....

Four hours later, and with a considerably lighter purse, we resigned ourselves to returning to the 21st century.

Once we find the car.

1 comment:

  1. i have a great idea for a romance -- a girl who hates Renaissance fairs but goes along to cheer up her grieving relative and ...

    should have gone. no end of material. and I like cider. ariel says sherwood forest is now a tourist trap. maybe it moved to north carolina.

    go ken follet!