That was ahermferumpaderm years ago. I've gone off and on to King Richard's for years, but lately it has become a tradition with my kids. This year was truly special; my brother Bill took us, along with my brother Charlie's teenage girls. The dynamic that exists between the four teenage children is something magical in itself--while my kids love the Faire, and participate to an extent, when the four of them are together there's a bit of extra courage for each of them, as if the parts are made stronger by the whole. I like to think it's the streak of the wild child in my brother's children tempered by the quiet creativity in my own. Together they stretch the boundaries and made what would have been a fun time...well, as I said, magical.
I knew it would be special the instant they started dancing when the drummers played. Without care for who was watching, they twirled and dipped, arms flying about their heads.
Off they went. A small part of me wishes I could just follow them, and watch with glee the mischief they could indulge in.
But then I would have missed this:
And even this:
Still...I did miss the children conspire with Queen Anne. Yes, the four teens stalked the Queen, and when the Queen insisted they dance with her, they asked her if it would be easier if the King were...missing. Now, I'm not going to go into details, but let's just say they wanted to take some of the weight off the King's shoulders...in the Queen's defense, she made sure that the King wasn't to be harmed, only perhaps...indisposed for a bit. It was almost too incredible to believe that the Queen played along, until an hour later, when she came back, and I heard the exchange with my own ears. All in all, it was a fairly magical piece of the day.
While waiting to address the King, we caught the Misadventurers on the King's Stage...it was another highlight of the day, as the Missdventurers called for young children to participate, to become Misadventurers themselves. My two nieces (let's just call them Wild Wench and Lady Who) and Happyboy readily jumped up to participate, but to my surprise, so did Rose. Up the ramp to the stage she went, and as the show went on stopped periodically to yell, "Mom, Dad, Billy--I'm on stage!" over and over. She's a bit of a ham.
Again, it was a huge highlight of the day. There were also the Washing Wenches, the Whip Show, an aerial silks show, and the Jousting events, all free of charge, as well as a tiger show that we didn't stop to watch. These were all of the events that were included in the cost of admission, and you can, with older children, get away without paying for anything else but food or souvenirs. However, we had Rose, so we ended up shelling out cash for the maze/slide, the rocking ship, and the pony ride:
Now here comes my one complaint. King Richard's Faire doesn't allow any food brought in, and doesn't allow you to leave and return. What this means is that for people like Punkgirl & me, who have celiac disease, there really isn't an option to eat there. The food service helpers are woefully untrained about allergies--they told my husband that the chicken nuggets and fries were gluten free. My daughter ate them, and for the remainder of the day I watched for headaches, rashes, and stress. Before I purchased my own food (because I couldn't believe they were really gluten free) I asked again. I was told no, they were not. I stood in two separate lines, because on the website both the sausage pepper onion and the chili bowl are listed as gluten free, but as I watched them dip the ladle into the bread each time and then back into the bowl, I knew there was no chance that my food wouldn't be cross-contaminated. I get incredibly ill if I even get a drop of wheat in my system, and since I didn't want to spend the rest of the day in the bathroom or lying down on the ground, I chose to stick to water and chance the kettle corn. Because KRF has a food ticket system, this meant I now had $15 worth of tickets (yes, it's $5 for a Coke and between $8 and $10 for a meal--and you have to buy tickets in denominations of 5) that I couldn't use. This was the worst part of the day, but I did pull myself through--I've been dealing with celiac since before they had gf options anywhere, so I am no stranger to just sucking it up and being hungry at big events.
The food hiccup aside, we had a really good time. It was expensive, because we were feeding 4 people (5 counting me--but I used my tickets to buy my mom some fudge and Rose some ice cream) and we were buying souvenirs--but for $26 I got each of the kids and myself one of these little leather notebooks in varying colors and this uber-cool pencil:
Slay At Home Mom and her little Misadventurers
Rose hanging out in a Sky Chair--literally.