Monday, February 23, 2015

A Renaissance Fair Birthday

Sunday was my birthday and highland games weekend at the Renaissance Fair in Tampa. We went four years ago with Zane's parents, and this year we thought it'd be fun to do it again. I thought it was much more fun with kids! 

We had a GRAND welcome to the festival. First there were a bunch of fairies, so we encouraged Daisy to say hi. Daisy was kind of overwhelmed by all of it, but it didn't take too long for her to adjust and start interacting with the actors.

Next up, we saw the queen. One of her ladies in waiting brought Daisy over and introduced her to the queen. The queen knelt down, spoke to Daisy, and gave her a little ring. Then she called over "the Merry's" who were a group of girls dressed in different colors.

The girls asked if Daisy knew a song, so I suggested that Daisy sing "BaBa Black Sheep." Daisy sang it very quietly, so the queen sang it with her. They girls clapped and praised her afterwards. Each of them were named whatever flower was on their heads: Rose, Morning Glory, Sunflower, etc. Daisy kind of fit right in. They had Daisy sing her song to the sheep herder later.

Apparently every hour on the hour, the girls do a maypole dance, but we didn't get to participate this year. Maybe next time.

Somewhere between the ring-giving and the song-singing, the queen met Amy, who was riding in the Ergo baby enjoying the sights. The queen asked if she could give a special blessing to Amy, so I said yes. She said the sweetest blessing while holding Amy's head, and it seriously almost started crying. It was really sweet, but I can't remember everything she said. Something like, "I pray you have a long life. I pray you have a healthy life....(more of this)...but most of all I pray you have a happy life." 

That was the closest I came to getting lost in the magic of it all. Usually as an adult, I just see people in costumes, but when the queen was blessing Amy, I was so honored by her words that I didn't wonder whether or not her blessing was part of her queen act or if she was speaking from her heart. It doesn't really matter, because it was very sweet. 

I brought these flower crowns for Daisy and her cousin that I had made years ago, but never sold on Etsy. They were perfect. Actually, this festival would be a great venue for selling floral headbands. I didn't see any vendors with crowns like mine, but there are vendors for just about everything medieval and/or mythological that you would want. It's possible we didn't walk past the floral crown booth if there was one. 

They also have man-powered rides for kiddies. The girls wanted to ride this seahorse swing, so I went with them. You can kind of see the guy pushing us. He reminded me of Rollo from Vikings. The ride went on for a long time, much longer than any Disney ride. I'd say we got our money's worth. 

I did have a "bad parent" moment and let Daisy ride when she was already wiggling from having to go potty. By the time the ride was over, it was too late for a successful potty trip. Potty first next time. No renaissance fair trip with kids is complete without a potty fiasco, right? 

Possibly my favorite part was the elephant ride. I think I might have ridden an elephant in childhood, but I don't remember it at all (I just have a vague memory of seeing a photo), so as far as I'm concerned, this was a first for me! It was a really short lap, but it was fun, especially with Daisy. 

My parents were laughing about the lack of historical continuity of a man in a kilt leading an elephant at a medieval times festival. The other girl helping with the elephant rides was dressed like a gypsy. I say just go with it. 

You can kind of see from that picture that I'm wearing my little crown that we got last time we were here. 

As usual, Amy was the best behaved baby ever. She ate right before we got there, so was happy and sleepy the entire time. 

This is princess Cinderella fawning over Amy. Amy even giggled at her, which she has only done about three times in her life. 

We had a great day. It would be fun to dress up a little more in the future, but it's so hot and dusty, that I'd have to really think through my costume. Light and airy is the way to go, even in February! Saturday was a nice, cool day, but Sunday was already hot again. Oh, Florida. 

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