Work and weather permitting, J. and I set out for Bristol Renaissance Faire after a stop at Bonjour. This time we ended up on 41 in lieu of the Tri-State, which (1) didn’t slow us down as much as I would have thought, (2) J. found a less tense drive, and (3) didn’t cost anything. Because we were earlier than usual, we went to Apple Holler first, where a sign announced that there were a couple of days until apple picking began. A woman behind us seemed incredulous that picking would start so early, but one of the young women assured her that these are a small, tart variety (presumably for cooking). She seemed to accept that explanation somewhat grudgingly. And they call Missouri the “Show Me” state.
Both of us ate about one third of our lunches, by which time the sun seemed out to stay. At the faire, we scored the last of the front row bench seats for Adam Winrich’s fire whips show. and afterward J. picked up tips from a professional insulter while I explored the Black Pearl. We didn’t plan or do anything in particular, or at least I didn’t. J. bought memberships to Friends of the Faire, and we were given a tour of the garden. Nice group. We were told they have quite the appetites.
I decided Highland Park would be a good stopping point and discovered that it’s the home of Bluegrass (a restaurant), where I’d been been once before earlier this year.
When I opened the car door in the parking lot, I heard what sounded like hissing coming from the car. That’s one of the problems with hearing loss; the angle and distance of a sound changes its character dramatically. Even as I asked J. what the sound was, thinking it was a leaking tire, I got out and realized it was the deafening song (whine) of many, many cicadas, or dogday harvestflies. They sing in the evening here, too, but not in such quantity over such a sustained time. On facebook, Morton Arboretum had asked something like: “Cicadas — sweet sound of summer or really annoying?” Not surprisingly, the answers were divided. My guess is that your response depends on the density and volume of your resident cicada population. Hyde Park: Sweet sound of summer. Highland Park: Really annoying.
Bluegrass can be crowded and noisy, and I adore dining al fresco, so without thinking I’d opted to sit outside to enjoy the cicada chorus in the twilight. Their song wasn’t as intrusive as the din indoors. What I hadn’t considered — I don’t know why — was the army of other six-legged creatures that couldn’t leave us alone, including mosquitoes, gnats, and flies. I retrieved some spray from the car, which staved off some but not all. Poor J.
He went with barbecued bison ribs, while I ordered ribeye (rare) with bleu cheese crust. Mmmm. More leftovers.
At the Flamingo, I watched the Doctor Who episode, “The Waters of Mars.” Afterward, I realized, I needed a drink and a shower. Both made me nervous.
Summer’s heat has dissipated, and now a few more trees have joined my beloved but ill horse chestnut (brown from a fungal infection) in deviating from the deep greens of summer. It’s been a subtle change, but lighter greens, yellows, … Continue reading →
Refreshed after a full day and night at work, J. wanted to head up to Bristol Renaissance Faire on August 22. After a haircut and a stop at Istria Café, we set out a little after two o’clock. The traffic … Continue reading →
At Bristol Renaissance Faire on Saturday, J. and I came upon these two combatants. The objective is to be the first to pop the balloon on the helmet of your opponent. The smaller of this pairing appeared to be two to four inches shorter than the larger, who, we thought, would win in short order (so to speak).
To our surprise, the tiny knight not only was the victor in both duels we watched, but he won them relatively quickly by taking an active, aggressive approach to the bigger but more defensive knight, whose strategy seemed to be to hold his sword up as much as possible to protect the balloon — unsuccessfully, as it turned out.
The match over, they removed their borrowed armor and gear — which is when we realized, to our great surprise and bemusement, the wee winner was a little girl, and the defeated enemy apparently her older brother. Now that I see the photo I notice the girlish white flip flops. Neither the boy nor the girl spoke, but he seemed ready to move on to the next amusement, while the girl couldn’t wipe the ear-to-ear smirk off her face. Truly a Kodak moment I hope she remembers forever.
It’s when you’re in a hurry or late or in some other strait that you take greatest note of life’s conspiracy against you. After we’d decided to go to Bristol Renaissance Faire, I asked J. to pick me up, then we … Continue reading →
“My, what a handsome pillow it is!”