Saturday, September 03, 2005

Renaissance Man...

I spent all day in the 16th century..ok a little in the 15th and 17th too. But today Mrs. Pratt and I deciding to go to the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire.

Now despite the trepidation I had about how cheesy and irksome the whole thing may be, due to a previous bad Ren Faire experience on Long Island, I decided to give it a go. Maybe the other experience was like eating a bowl of bad gruel.

Mrs. Pratt REALLY didn't want to go. She has never seen a Lord of the Rings movie, and frankly too much of the "Good Morrow to you milady" talk makes her want to bludgeon people.

I discovered that the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire, now in it's 25th year of existence, is on the grounds of a winery. Mrs. Pratt's eyes lit up at that..and the chance of getting lit up. So hither and yon we rode in our carriage.Zounds!
Ok I'll stop talking like that...really I will.

We arrived at the grounds of the Faire and did find it quite charming- it's a huge area,that has streets and shops and different theater spaces, and a field for jousts and other tournaments.

First we wandered over to their Globe Theater and caught the end of Romeo and Juliet.

Show's over Shakespeare! We enjoyed a little Romeo and Juliet.

After the play was a performance by Rick and Jan Stratton. We had met these amazing performers when they did their act at Mallory Square in Key West last May. Rick and Jan do comedy, and juggle with knives and torches. They had mentioned they would be up in Pennsylvania this Fall, so we got to experience their juggling expertise, and the adorable tricks done by their dogs: Daisy Mae and Rocket.

The Rick and Jan Show. Juggling and tossing knives to each other while balancing on a board- and playing the harmonica. They are fantastic and the crowd at the Ren Faire loved them.

Daisy Mae: Rick and Jan's talented co-star.

One of the greatest dogs in show business: Rocket the Basset Hound.

Ok after that entertainment, we really decided to delve into the Renaissance Faire experience.And you know what? it wasn't that bad. So I guess my Long Island experience was a fluke. All the people we met today were fun and friendly.I truly enjoyed myself. You'll see what I mean...

Hey Look! it's a GNOME! I guess Expedia gave him the day off. We kept running into him all day.

Now it wasn't strictly a Renaissance Faire where it was 100% Elizabethan. Popular culture has influenced it enough that the many characters we met included a healthy number of Capt. Jack Sparrow type pirates,vikings,and many a man in kilts in the Braveheart style.

Not to say there wasn't any cheese to the this restaurant offering...


We did remember that the place was also a winery,which we had never been to before. So we did a wine tasting and got a few bottles reserved for us before we left. Serving us during the wine tasting was a sea pirate who Mrs. Pratt liked.

Mrs. Pratt met a charming pirate.

And as we were doing the wine tasting...

Hey it's that GNOME again!

We walked around for a bit- and Mrs. Pratt wanted to find a new ring. There were plenty of Jewelry vendors there. So I wandered around until I found the Dungeon. It was like a little museum of all the things used to torture people- The Rack,The Stocks, The Iron Maiden, the Clay Aiken...

Stopping by the Dungeon.

Visitors to the Faire, people who didn't even work there, were walking around in elaborate period costumes.
The costumes and attention to detail by the Renaissance Faire staff and actors was amazing. One of my favorites were the Court Jesters.

Mrs. Pratt was quite popular today. A huge viking guy took a liking to her. He kissed her hand. I was afraid he was going to get the barbecue sauce out next.

Leif the Viking likes the look of Mrs. Pratt. He has his Grog Goggles on.

Partying wenches. Gotta love partying wenches.

Another partying wench.

As we were enjoying some Swashbuckling Amber Ale, we saw the most fearsome looking guy at the whole Renaissance Faire...

This guy was drinking Ale from his powderhorn at the outdoor tavern.I took a thorn out of his paw to become his friend.

Another outstanding entertainment act we enjoyed were called The Tartan Terrors. They hail from Toronto and did a wonderful set of comedy and Scottish music.

Mrs. Pratt meets the Tartan Terrors. She wanted to do kilt inspections.

On our way over to the big Jousting tournament, we came across Queen Elizabeth I bestowing knighthoods! I had to have one! Despite having all the court skills of Edmund Blackadder I was dubbed a knight and told to Huzzah for the people.

Huzzah! I meet Queen Elizabeth and was bestowed a knighthood. Arise! Sir Loin of Beef.

We passed by more pirates on the way to the joust and well, I guess some do keep up with the times...

Long John Silver needs some help getting around these days.

The day ended with the jousting contest. There was a bit of a backstory with the winner deciding the fate of a pirate queen's daughter. But it was Ireland vs. England in a spirited contest. All the cast descended into the royal stands to watch.

We liked how decked out the horse was. This knight was jousting for Ireland.

I can't decide whether this is Prince Valiant or Billy Ray Cyrus. He was jousting for England.

The Joust itself was exciting. 4 passes at each other, then England lost his mount. The knights were soon were soon in hand to hand combat, and then suddenly more pirates rushed out to rescue the pirate queen's daughter. Cannons boomed. About 30 people were sword fighting, and eventually Queen Elizabeth ordered it all to stop.

Drama at the Joust.The Queen sets thing right.Huzzah.

Eventually there was a happy ending and all participants returned to the Globe Theater for a finale and songs.It was a day of rousing fun all around...

There's that GNOME Again!

Huzzah And Good Knight!

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