Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Lovely Weekend (Part 1 of 2)

T'was such a lovely weekend spent with my dear, dear friend Perches. Not even three hours of traffic and single lane, winding back roads could damper the excitement of visiting with friends (though my nerves were a bit frazzled and poor Sean had to deal with me).

It is a beautiful area of Virginia with rural countryside and yet access to more urban amenities just outside of Fredericksburg. Seamus particularly liked the large expanse of grass in Perches' community, though the chirping of birds in the morning put him on high alert during our walk.

We went to the Virginia Renaissance Festival on Saturday mid-morning, after sleeping in a bit and getting some breakfast. It is a newer festival, compared to the Maryland Renaissance Festival that is celebrating its 30th year. There is less land to work with so it is on the small side (no map needed except to tell you which stage is which). Nonetheless, it is a charming festival with both tents and activities on the field and in the woods. The cast was in great humor and in great costumes, the vendors had good wares to sell, and the storyline of Queen Elizabeth and pirates was thoroughly entertaining. I thought the VA festival had many more hands on educational opportunities than MD, which was nice. You could learn about gunpowder, the history of beer, how the Queen would have feasted in her court, etc. There were also more activities for the kids, such as crafts and learning about various trades. But what the VA festival lacked most was entertainment. The musical acts were okay but not great, and the other types of shows, like the magician/storyteller, were only mildly entertaining. Compared to Maryland's festival, it was no competition. I'm not saying this as a detriment to the festival - it is still a new festival and will improve as it grows. I'm just being honest so that if you have gone to the Maryland festival, you know how this one differs.

I did get some good photos of the day to share.

The field 1 The field 2 Queen's Procession 1 Queen's Procession 2 In the woods Archery Trees! Stage Show Alpacas Rose Sprout in the Woods

Sean and I stayed for about three hours total when the heat and humidity were just too much to handle. We headed home for cold showers and a change of clothes then went back to pick up Perches. How she survived the day in all those layers of costume, I don't know. We went to dinner in historic Fredericksburg which is full of Civil War era buildings that have been transformed into restaurants, offices, and boutique type shops. It is also a very dog friendly town. We're looking forward to a future trip to explore more of downtown and the surrounding area.

Our visit was over before we knew it and we left quite early Sunday morning. It was already 75 degrees at 7:00 am with close to 100% humidity. Ick!! We said our thanks and goodbyes and hit the road. We made it home in just 90 minutes - half the time it took us to get there on Friday.

My weekend of lovely things was not over yet...stay tuned for Part 2.

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