Hello Friends and Family,

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Back to the Renaissance

Hair Pieces Resuming our visit to the Renaissance Festival, there were lots of ways to part with your money. Some offerings were designed to get you into the swing of things — here were garlands and ribbons to adorn a lady's head. Also available for purchase or for rent were period costumes — and there were certainly many people dressed for the period but more on that later.

I also saw jewelry; wooden mugs and goblets for ye beer and wine; handmade books bound in leather with blank pages for your diary; weapons to protect yourself (mostly wood or plastic for the kids); and on and on.

Rope Ladder There were also games and activities, mostly aimed at the kids. Here is a rope ladder that swivels. The goal is to climb to the top without losing your balance. This is harder than it looks — and it looks hard. Fortunately, they had loose hay and bales of hay beneath the ladder to protect the unsuccessful climber. There was a prize for climbing to the top but I doubt that they had to give many of those away.

I also saw an attraction where two kids would each straddle a log and wail on each other with pillows, attempting to knock the other off the log. More often than not, both kids would go flying.

Giant Rocking Horse One of the most interesting attractions was this giant rocking horse. The kids would climb up to the "cage" and get strapped in — then the attendants would manually rock the horse back and forth. Most of the kids loved it but there were a couple who looked scared out of their minds.

Llama What next? A llama? Watch out, they're spitters! The festival had a number of animals — on display, in the petting zoo, giving rides (I mean selling rides) and performing.

Elephant And who doesn't love an elephant? This one was giving rides to the kids and their parents — as were a couple of camels. It wasn't a very long ride but how many such opportunities do we have these days. This elephant did not look like it was enjoying the experience — but then how do we know what an animal is thinking? A magnificent animal regardless of what it is thinking.

Falcon I mentioned animals performing — this a falcon — the star of "The Ancient Art of Falconry" show. This individual is a close relative of the Peregrine Falcon, however I have forgotten the exact variety. The handler worked with this bird to show its hunting speed and skill by swinging a target on a cord — while the falcon dove and hit it with its talons, on the very first try. Very impressive.

Interestingly, they also had a vulture and it performed as well — demonstrating how it feeds and defends its food from any other bird who might try and join in the feast.

Owl Also performing were several owls — hitting targets and landing on the handler's gloved hand. All these birds were magnificent as were the handlers — aside from their hokey English accents (which were supposed to be in the Renaissance theme).

Jester Of course, what period celebration would be complete without a jester? Although I think this guy was more of a drinker than a jester.

Pirates This pair of pirates seemed to be right in the spirit of things. Perhaps very full of the spirits, shall we say. I was amazed at how many people were dressed in costume. I overheard some of them talking and it was like a hobby for them. And they attend the Festival multiple times during its annual two-month run.

Best Costume But perhaps my favorite costume was this fellow and his friend. In fact, his costume was so authentic, my camera switched to black and white to capture his image.

Renaissance Pizza Renaissance PhotographyAs a closing note, I have to admit that I was very much amused by the anachronisms. Of course there were a few costumed individuals with watches or sunglasses. But Renaissance Pizza? And you could have knocked me over with a feather when I saw Renaissance Photography.

Regardless, it was fun and a President's Day well spent.

 Life is good.

 B. David