Yesterday's trek to the Texas Renaissance Festival was a good one (with the exception of having to be at the school by 615am...)
After a bus debacle two years ago when Carson's middle school (then Kendall's) teamed up with a neighboring middle school - things torn up, kids making out, etc... - the decision was made that, henceforth, travel shall be solo.
So it was that yesterday we boarded a clean, comfortable charter bus, which was half empty, which made it all good. Everyone had room to spread out with blankets, pillows, DVD players and iPods for the three hour trip.
The trip participants were the Advanced Theater Group from Carson's middle school - good kids all. I know I bang this drum a lot, but with three kids in theater, I cannot urge parents enough - it is one of the best groups to direct your children towards as they hit middle school. Just as with Culley's and Kendall's theater group (in all those Homecoming photos from two weeks back), Carson's group is made up of good kids, smart kids, talented kids, NICE KIDS.
That was a huge factor in my willingness to chaperone this trip. Knowing I would not be limping at day's end from breaking my foot off in someone's ass made the decision easy.
All of the kids were dressed in Renaissance finery - maidens with corsets, wenches, peasants, lords, ladies, and a rat.
Yes, a rat.
My child, the one who suffers from ECS (Excessive Creativity Syndrome), had decided many weeks back when the trip was first set and clothing of yore was deemed mandatory, to take the path far less traveled through the land of costumes.
Carson went as a plague infested rat (Google can find ANYTHING), complete with a hand made sign which read: Plague Ridden Approach At Peril. As the first picture shows, she was among friends.
My group consisted of girls hand picked by the Rat, er, Carson. Meredith, Riannon, Emily, and Nikki - GREAT KIDS.
We enjoyed fun shows like Romeo & Juliet 2.0 (a fun romp), Jousting (loved the horses, colors, costumes), musical performances, and our favorite, The Ded Bob Show. The girls pose with Ded Bob above.
While the girls were given a disposable camera with which to capture some required images for class, I used my camera to capture the really fun stuff, like this impromptu marriage ceremony they held in the "chapel".
No trip to Ren Fest would be complete without the requisite eating of the Turkey Legs. (And, of course, a funnel cake.)
We forgot the Travel Gnome (sue me, it was early), but luckily the girls met a live Garden Gnome.
They learned country dances (I think the rat stepped on Nikki's toe in that picture...)
Attempted to juggle (which consisted of throwing balls into the air and picking them up - A LOT)
Flew through the air
Lost their heads
Spread their "infectious personalities" (Carson was stopped continuously and asked for photo ops by park visitors and employees)
And left for home happy, but pooped.
I saw plentiful, um, male flesh in spandex sausage casings, bodaciously bountiful cleavage (we called one worker "The Shelf"), and heard plenty of questionable accents, but all of it combined to create a world gone by, where all visitors are bygones. Happy people were everywhere. More were costumed than not, eager to suspend reality and take a trip back in time.
Maybe they were smiling because the sun was shining. Perhaps it was just the welcome respite from an election cycle under which we all feel trapped. Maybe the smiles came from prices actually being reasonable ($4 turkey legs, $2 drinks, $1-$6 activities).
Who cares. For eight beautiful hours yesterday, we got to leave gridlock, high gas prices, and mud slinging behind and enjoy gallantry, guffaws, and giant hunks of meat. (Those turkey legs were pretty good, too. Wink, wink...)
I have been emotionally blackmailed by Carson's Advanced Theater class into chaperoning their field trip to the Renaissance Festival today near Houston. We leave at the asscrack of dawn and will not return until the evening.
I apologize for my absence, and will think of you all as I cavort with elephants, maidens, knaves - all done while brandishing a succulent turkey leg in one hand, a funnel cake in the other.
Behave, talk amongst yourselves, and rest assured ... I shall have many tales to tell upon my return.