Sunday, August 25, 2013

Renn Fest

To my son Tommy,

Today, we escaped to the year 1520.  We escaped to the world of kings and queens and knights and princesses and pirates and wenches and fools.  We escaped to Revel Grove and attended the Maryland Renaissance Festival in attempt to leave the hectic life of the 21st century far behind.

Your dad is a veteran of this festival.  I know little tricks and ins and outs of the faire.  I know the map and the lay of the land like the back of my hand.  What I realized today though, is most of my knowledge was learned and earned as a bachelor.  When I was younger, knowing every pub and tavern where you can buy a cider was quite useful and allowed me to plan out my course around Revel Grove between show then beer then show then beer then food then beer then show then beer.  Unfortunately as a father of a four year old, my experience is less useful.

I still know a few things that help.  I know that opening weekend is less attended than the following holiday weekend because many think it opens on the holiday weekend.  I know that the 2pm joust is going to be the most crowded because many feel obligated to see a joust before they go and many are ready to go by 2pm.  I know there are a few games that cost a dollar that you will usually win and the prize is a free drink (which evidently recently changed to a free soda instead of any type of drink) which ends up saving you a buck or two on your beverages.  If people can keep up with me and don't dawdle and follow my lead, I become a decent tour guide and they would have a great experience.  But the things that I don't know about the Renn Fest as a father are numerous.

I didn't know how much fun the maze is for you.  I didn't think to make sure to go clockwise around the town so we wouldn't have to back track up the hill after the big slide.  I didn't plan on how much fun you would have in the playground.  I don't know what shows will and will not capture your interest and stuff I like (Shakespeare's Skum for example) might never capture your attention.  And I didn't know which store carried the best kids costume stuff and how hard it was to find a cape or a cloak for you today.  I don't know about you, but I'd be willing to go back a couple more times until we get to the same level as a father-mother-son team that I once had in my bachelor days.

Sincerely with love from your dad,

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