Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Ren Fest 2009

This past weekend we braved the crowds and headed to Tampa for the Bay Area's Rennaissance Festival. While I love the festival, I think some of these people take geekery to a whole new level. I equate it with going to Disney, you may love Mickey Mouse but you don't dress like him to attend.

Ticket prices aren't too bad at $16.95 but when you multiply that by seven, ouch. You can purchase tickets online, at Walgreen's or Sweetbay for a $3 discount. And be prepared to pay $2 for a bottle of water, $3.50 for a soda and $4 for a beer. There were more beer and wine tents than soda tents but you can also bring in your own drinks.

Before we get started here let me set the tone of as a Mom, I was right yet again. Are you seeing a theme in my posts of my need to be proven right time and time again? I think I might have issues...but now that I think about it... no I don't. Simba proceed to laugh and 'mock' me for wearing tenny boppers with my outfit to Ren Fest which apparently is the height of fashion necessity. Now I have been to Ren Fest a few times and I know what to expect. Simba not so much as she has only been bussed in by the school to sing a few songs and leave. Once again, I have experience on my side. As you can see by the below picture, I am so sorry I didn't wear flip-flops as she suggested several times and then laughed at my tennis shoes when I refused. If only I would have listened to her...

There are tons of things to do at Ren Fest including shop, eat, be entertained and play games. The shops at the festival are amazing. They have everything you could ever imagine in the Renny Realm from leather shops, ren apparel, to knick knacks etc. If you are looking for skull staffs, and who isn't these days, this is the place to shop. Frodo even purchased a staff or walking stick, I am not sure exactly how it was marketed. It was a 6 foot dowel rod that he paid $25 for. He claims it is wax wood, but I swear I saw the same things at Lowe's last time we were there. I'm sure it will get left in his room and forgotten and then next time I need to hang a curtain...but I am digressing.

Tobey and I didn't eat at the festival and I am not sure if or what the kids consummed. Chewie is big into the turkey legs, so I am sure he had at least one. We did have to purchase our favorite kettle korn for $5 a medium size bag, but when it comes to kettle korn, price is not an option. I am even munching the left overs as I write this. Yummy.

The entertainment is a little hit or miss. There are really great acts, a nod to Johnny Phoenix and some not so great. If you are interested you can catch Johnny's act on YouTube, just search for his name. We watched a few singers and a fire juggler but Johnny was the best, as he was the last time we went to the festival. We sat in on Cristophe the Insultor's pre-show spiel. But we left when he said his insults begin at $10 and go up from there. Why would I pay anyone to insult someone when I can so readily do it myself...for free. Hehe

Next up is the carnival ren fest barkers hawking their games. You can shoot arrows into wooden animals, joust, throw axes and sword battle each other or some costumed dude. Here is Frodo and Chewie participating in the "Knockout Knights". The concept is easy enough, each "Knight" pays $2 to sit upon a piece of wood horse. They then attempt to knock their opponent off their horse while hitting them with a burlap sack full of hay. I won't mention that there was a dog peeing in the hay...but hey anyways. It looked like fun and best of three jousts wins. For Frodo and Chewie, Frodo won but Chewie scored a nice hit in the last round that sent Frodo to the ground and the commoners went wild with glee.

You can tell by the looks on everyone's face, we all had a good time. It was a gloriously beautiful day and I won't mention the fire behind MOSI that threatened to ruin the day. So if you go, bring plenty of cash and sunscreen, as Buttercup got sunburned, wear tennis shoes and save the dowel-rod buying for your local Lowe's.



Love the "Jesus Feet" photo....looks like me after camping all weekend....

The Rob

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