I've said it before and I'll say it again: I'm not really a Ren Fair person. I'm a classic introvert, and all the boisterous performers, vendors, and barkers are my own personal boogeymen. I live in fear of one of them noticing me, pulling me from the audience to be forced up on stage, or singling me out in the crowd for an embarrassing Q&A about my pickle-buying-habits. (Don't laugh: it happens.)
But despite these fears I keep coming back year after year, because dangit, THESE ARE MY PEOPLE.
Marty McFly wins.
Plus when you get down to it, most of the Ren Fair crowd is really just a boozier and more interactive convention crowd. They're ridiculously nice, open to everyone, and frankly have way better age-diversity than most other geek events.
I helped this lovely lady tie up her corset in the parking lot. Because, really, how often do you get asked to tie up someone's corset in a parking lot?
Where even the dogs wear armor!
Most of my photos this year were of my friend Christie, but I'm going to show you those in another post. (It's a surprise!) I didn't take too many pics other than hers; after a while all the pretty dresses and suits of armor start to look the same, so I only stopped folks who caught my eye with something unique. For example, this blue fairy wore latex gloves, so she could blow bubbles through her fingers:
The Festival offers elephant rides, so we stopped to watch the two big creatures munching on hay and begging for treats, which the handlers would tuck into their giant mouths with almost comical nonchalance:
During one stop the elephant was pretty intent on pestering his handler, who, after sharing her nuts with him, completely ignored his trunk tickling around her arm and waist. I was fascinated, and snapped a photo. The pic turned out to be a happy accident: my spot metering was off, making it way over-exposed, but I've decided I like the look:
In fact, this is my favorite shot from the whole day. I love the contrast of textures, and the lady is just stunning.
And speaking of stunning ladies:
On our way out John and I stopped to watch the final jousting match, which started with the two knights' squires doing a test run with padded lances. As the opposite squire approached our end of the field, John squeaked, "JEN. It's a GIRL!!" And then we both did little happy dances.
Here's the squire Lady Knight ran against:
I like how this shot makes it look like there's a hell mouth opening up in the middle of the field. :D (It's really just the light hitting all the kicked up dust.)
Both knights were unhorsed, and the girl in the foreground was off and running before they even hit the ground. (She was in charge of fetching the horse.)
After a tense moment or two, both knights were up and throwing comical punches at each other:
It was pretty great. :D
After that I tracked her down for a photo, but she was such a celebrity I didn't get the chance to ask her name or age:
So I'll just keep calling her Lady Knight - and I'm guessing she's somewhere between, um, 12 and 28.
(I am very bad at guessing ages. Can you tell?)
K, that's it for me! And if any of you locals want to check it out, the Bay Area Renaissance Festival runs every weekend through April 6th.
Oh, and also for my fellow Floridians: MegaCon is less than 2 weeks away! Rest assured John and I will be there all three days, and I *think* Lady Vadore may make an appearance. I'll have plenty of pins to give away, so please say hi if you see us!