Last weekend we attended the Sterling Renaissance Festival for the first time since 1999! Huzzah!!!
Obviously the Festival didn’t happen in 2020, and I’m honestly not sure if it tried to happen last year, but in any event we did not attend if it did. This year, though, we finally returned. Sadly, The Wife has to wait until next year to go back! She was unable to go this year due to recent foot surgery (everything’s fine, just a tendonitis issue that needed fixing). The Renfest does the best it can, but the nature of its location–it’s literally built onto a hillside–makes it very difficult for folks with mobility issues. We just didn’t want to go through all that struggle, unfortunately.
So this year it was just The Daughter and I. Still, we had a great time. There were occasional moments when The Wife’s absence was felt, none moreso than, of all things, the roaming pickle vendor. He’s a fellow who roams around with a wagon loaded with giant, juicy pickles, which are one of The Wife’s favorite treats. Usually at some point we see the Pickle Guy and The Wife says, “You should go buy me a pickle.” And I do. Alas, ’twas not to be this time!
(In an amusing moment, at the late-afternoon joust, the pickle vendor finally sold out, so he shouted “FREE PICKLE…JUICE!” And a couple of people actually took empty water bottles to take him up on the offer. I do not always understand my fellow humans.)
This year, I finally was able to partly dress for attendance at the Faire!
Yes, I know that this outfit is anachronistic to a Faire set in a faux-Elizabethan village. The shirt is a Renfest-style shirt, though, so I was only half a walking anachronism.
(I dressed like this as an experiment, too, regarding how to dress in high heat. I’ll save those thoughts for another post. Yes, I was hot…but I don’t think shorts-and-a-tee-shirt would have made me feel any cooler.)
The drive from home to the Faire is a long one, roughly two-and-a-half hours. The first two-thirds of the drive is a boring hundred miles down the New York State Thruway, but after that, it’s a lovely drive through the hill country north of the Finger Lakes and into the Lake Ontario watershed.
In terms of food, we really didn’t eat much at the Faire! Our tradition is the big roasted turkey legs that are dripping in barbecue sauce. And when I say ‘dripping’, I mean, DRIPPING. I was almost successful at getting through it without getting sauce and turkey grease on my white shirt, but…yeah. Almost.
I’ve already got it washed out, thankfully! I know what to do in such events.
Later on, I enjoyed a wine slushie. This was my only alcohol at the Faire. That shit’s expensive, yo!
(On the way home we stopped for dinner, at a fried chicken joint we love in Webster, NY. We had chicken and waffles, which is a killer combo.)
Some candids I snapped:
At day’s end, we were tired and fulfilled and happy…but also sad because the Faire was over for another year. (I mean, we could go back, there are a few weekends left, but we have other happy events coming up as well….) I did my best to look reflective and melancholy at the prospect of returning to real life after a day in an Elizabethan England that wasn’t also a rather violent realm of short lives and many poxes….
There was still some beauty to be had, though. One of my quirks regarding road trips–and there’s a very good chance that I inherited this from my father–is that on any out-and-back-again trip, I don’t like coming home the same way I went out. In this case, that means that instead of driving south from the Faire to the Thruway, I take Route 104 along the Lake Ontario shore back to Rochester, and then I-490 back to the Thruway for the last 35 miles or so. This is a lovely road that goes over Irondequoit Bay…
…and through downtown Rochester.
Alas, there comes a time when our revelries are now ended. So, we shall see you again next year, people of Warwickshire!
Oh, and the title of this post comes from, naturally enough, Camelot: