I nerded out this weekend the the Bristol Renaissance Faire. (You know it's nerdy when there are superfluous Es.) I've been there several times, and I love everything about it. The actors with great or terrible accents, the shows, the shops, the food, the dusty paths and haphazardly-placed stonework and seating--it's all fantastic in my book.
I accompanied a friend from work and her family, which included a toddler, a five-year-old boy, and a teenage girl. The little ones were, naturally, immediately enchanted. Hey, there were face paint, costumes, and rides, and that's really all it takes to make for a fantastic experience at that age. And if you've been there, you know that all the people who work there are amazing with kids--fun and playful without being the least bit patronizing. I only tried bartering them away for a chance to throw the axes once.
As it turns out, you can't barter with other people's children. Who knew?
Our small group also included my friend's teen cousin, G. G had never been to a ren fair before, and I wasn't certain it was going to be her cuppa. When I mentioned a lot of people go in costume even though they don't work there, well, you should have seen her face. I'm pretty sure "ren fair" and crazytown became synonymous to her at that moment. When it came out that there was no pavement anywhere, G became very anxious about the state of her new shoes, and I became concerned she was not going to enjoy the experience.
Cut to five hours later. G has had her entire face painted, a new henna tattoo, has eaten something called "meat on a stick," and is adding her own comments about the costumes and people around us. She is excited. She is having fun. She is totally geeking out with the rest of us.
And it is awesome.
(True: I made a reference from the Narnia movie about the bear's battle cry, "For Narnia!" making him sound like he has a speech impediment. But now I can't find a clip of it. Please someone tell me I'm not crazy...)