Day 4 of Cindy's Spring Break found me out at the Sherwood Forest Faire with little brother and sis-in-law. This is a 2-year-old Renaissance Festival located between McDade and Paige. It put on an impressive showing in its first season last year and this year it has made some giant leaps toward establishing itself as an important stop on the Renfest circuit. The food is good, the entertainment is good, the merchants are outstanding and the setting is perfect - less than 30 minutes from my front door. This penultimate day of the 2011 season found a large crowd enjoying themselves on a beautiful spring day.
Many times when I attend a Renaissance Festival, I find nothing to tempt me. Today was not one of those days. Everywhere I turned, I found something interesting. And it is my birthday week, which means I am slanted toward indulging myself and so I did.
I brought home a sun hat, with a crocheted crown and a wide brim. It is guaranteed to survive, and even enjoy, a good dunking in the swimming pool.
One vendor offered a rainbow of shimmery skirts and I knew I had to have one. The tough part was deciding what color. I loved the dark blue, the oxblood (deep red), the copper and the saffron, but the winner was a lovely mauve that shifts from a silvery lilac to a reddish purple with every swish. I can't wait for a good excuse to take this one out of the closet.
Smaller purchases along the way included a tiny wind chime hanging from a tiny Kokopelli, an item that will find its way to the porch of my miniature southwestern store, and a large red pottery coffee mug. (Last year my sole purchase was a big blue coffee mug, which I love, and I have decided to make it a Sherwood Forest Faire tradition to acquire a new big coffee mug every year.)
For lunch, David and Karen had falafel and stuffed grape leaves and I indulged in a Shepherd's pie, which was yummy. We had mead (and David had ale) and for dessert I tried the apple empanada with vanilla ice cream.
From the entertainment options we watched a little bit of comedy, heard some music, watched a jousting exhibition and attended the falconry show. Finally, the three of us took a ride on the giant swing and enjoyed flying out over a green gully. I enjoyed closing my eyes and the sensation of gently flying through the trees.
The last and best of my faire indulgences came as a total surprise. One of the vendors crafts tiny porcelain doll fairies and tiny fairy houses in the same approximate scale of my own miniature work. I was enchanted with the little houses hanging from the branches of the tree in front of her booth. I was more enchanted with a particular house that was on display inside. I wavered about that little house, finally deciding against buying it because I could not immediately figure out a way to display it so that it would maintain its pristine condition. I knew I had to have one of the reasonably priced dolls and I finally settled on little "Violet Rose". She will be the focal point of a vignette in the near future.
I am thoroughly delighted with this little lady and I was very happy to hear that the vendor plans to return next year. Her work is beautiful and imaginative and a pleasant surprise find.
About a half hour later I had figured out a way to display the fairy house that had captured my heart, so I headed back to the shop to make the purchase. Alas, in that short period of time, someone else had snatched the opportunity away from me. Shopping at a faire is like buying antiques...when something speaks to you strongly, don't hesitate too long or you may lose out.
But there's always next year. And I'll be back. This is going to be a regular birthday event, if I have anything to say about it.
Tonight my feet are complaining again, but I care not. I love my cup, I love my skirt, I love my hat and I love little Violet Rose. And I love being out in the beautiful weather in the company of my family enjoying good entertainment and good food. I love that Sherwood Forest Faire coincides with my birthday and offers me a unique way to celebrate!