Saturday, October 25, 2014

2552 (miles)

Rescheduled three times, it was the little trip that almost wasn't.  First postponed in the spring, because up north they got 18" of snow the day we were to drive;  if we cancelled, they'd charge us $100.  We moved the trip to September not realizing it was the Week Everything Begins.  So, off to October.  This not-realizing was that the park was essentially closed when we'd be there:  no CCC built dining hall for breakfast, no big gift shop, no boat tour of Lake Itasca.  (We made do, easily.)

The girls ran around inside and out despite the chill, and we so enjoyed our few days away exploring this park without the bugs or crowds.  We hiked and wandered and took pictures and didn't get our feet wet crossing the mighty Mississippi as it began its journey south (by going north).  We also slept in (though I got up - not early - to run the other morning, when I came back they were still sleeping) and made pancakes and watched satellite TV and looked at the stars and helped out our neighbors when they locked themselves out at 9:30pm and didn't climb a fire tower (Gret and I did not) and had wine and cheese and crackers whilst making supper.  And saw a Fischer (I did).  And took *more* pictures.  And made videos of sisters doing "magic" in the bedroom while parents ignore, reading in the other room ...  trips don't get much better than this.

"This is my Father's world, and to my listening ears
All nature sings, and round me rings the music of the spheres.
This is my Father's world:  I rest me in the thought
Of rocks and trees, of skies and seas;
His hand the wonders wrought."

M. D. Babcock

Friday, October 17, 2014

WARNING: snakes at the Ren Fest!

So, a blogger I follow once posted that she promised to always *say* when she posts a picture of a snake, so as to not unduly scare her audience.  Now, it would be bold of me to claim an "audience," but, I do know at least one of my audience will be happy for this blogger's suggestion, without which I'd never even think twice about posting a picture of a snake (and a Giant One, at that).  So, without further ado, please join us on our visit to the Renaissance Festival this year, keeping in mind that the last picture is of:  a Very Large Snake, with My Precious Daughters Precariously Close Thereto.

(taken after we pet said snake.  ahem.)  You're welcome, Cary!

(and now, said snake:)

This was near the reptile and amphibian society area, I think he was trying to get somewhere to curl up and rest.  They would move him farther away, and he'd just keep trying to go back to wherever he wanted to go.

We enjoy the Ren Fest, but the location could not be farther away and still be in the "same town" as us, and we've had serious issues with parking/traffic.  (This year was no better with the traffic part, but that was no fault of the Ren Fest this time.)  Because the weekends are so incredibly busy there, we've chosen to go on the only Friday of the fest a few years now, and really enjoy the quieter, more laid back fair.  This year the tickets were even cheaper for all of us Friday, and we enjoyed shows and places we don't usually see with the weekend chaos.

Plus, with the lack of crowds, it's all the more likely you get chosen/ dragged up on stage to "help" with something... apparently this young magician thought the not-in-coustume-this-year (Greta wore my chamise as a dress) mom in the second row behind her kids would be a good foil for his card trick.  He probably wasn't expecting me to actually play along - if I had time to think about it I would have been nervous, but being surprised I'm actually pretty good at ad lib in front of a crowd.  Anyway, I wouldn't chose to do it again, but it was fun.  (And I think I know how he did the trick, too, though I had to think about it a bit.)  I'm not sure why I'm slouching in the picture;  probably I felt uncomfortable being taller than him.

~  my huge chemise costume undershirt = adorable dress for Gret. when cinched at neck and belted
~  do not let Kaatje wear boots even if "she wears them all the time and they'll be fine!"   ...our last hour there she was barefoot (but not complaining, dear girl).
~  don't bother looking picking out food from the online list before Festival Friday, all the good food places aren't open
~  bring a waterbottle to fill at the port-a-potty area sink.  there's a drinking fountain there so we assumed the water was potable (it was) and didn't have to pay $3 a pop for a 16-oz water bottle.
~  note the Grand Canyon of the Renaissance Festival? (pic 1)  poor them, they might be moving in a few years... that will be... odd.