It feels like forever since I've posted. Since we went on our trip last weekend, it took several days to climb out from our dirty laundry and catch up around here. Then, near the end of this week, the little one had an accident. She's ok now, but let's just say I was one scared mama for a while. Since then I've been holding them both tightly and watching them smile and play and just be themselves. I'm still a little shaken, so all I'm up for sharing for now are happy thoughts and photos.
So. Last weekend.
Friday began with a wonderful pre-trip trip. A friend invited us to her parent's farm, where they took all of the kids on a little riding lesson.
So cute!!! Ella definitely has the horse bug now. (Shh . . . mama, too!) They both talked about the horses all the way to Texas.
Ah yes, Texas. Home of the Texas Renaissance Festival. Ken and I have always loved this festival, and this was the first year that we brought the girls to this one. I intentionally planned our school year so we'd finish our Medieval unit in October and start learning about the Renaissance and the printing press and DaVinci and all of that fun stuff just before our trip. It was fresh and alive in Ella's mind, and I was just as excited as she was to go on this trip.
This year, we decided to camp in the family camping site on the festival grounds. It was actually our first time tent camping. We had a blast! Actually, the camping was the easy part. The festival itself was exhausting. Fun, but exhausting.
The first night was cold. Like, 41 degrees cold.
Still, we learned that 41 degrees is completely do-able.
It made us feel capable. Like we could survive anything together.
And still wake up smiling.
We also played Uno.
And climbed trees.
Ella's favorite pastime.
I can't believe I don't have a picture of the tent itself, or anyone standing outside of it, or any typical camping-type photos. Probably because we didn't get back to it until after dark every night. And yes, we set up in the dark the first night. Again, completely do-able.
And what would a Roman Bacchanal be without hanging with Caesar???
It was awesome to see Ella understanding the skits and really getting into it all. Her favorite show was the birds of prey one. We got to sit in the front row, and even Harper paid close attention to everything they said.
This is Harper and I waiting for a nice swing ride. Don't be fooled by the smile. She had just finished The Fit to Beat All Fits, complete with throwing dirt at me and screaming that she hated me. I had to carry her off the stone path at one point so she wouldn't hurt herself, and I'm pretty sure everyone around us thought I was trying to kidnap her. All because her daddy went with Ella in some haunted house thing and they left her behind with me. It was awful. But the swing ride to follow was sweet.
We each pulled on a rope to make it swing, so we could go as high as we wanted. It was such a quiet, gentle break from the busy day. And the smiles were totally worth it.
Here are the girls posing by the arena:
I wish I had a picture of Ella in her dress without the cloak.
Harper, on the other hand, refused to wear a costume once we got there, even though she talked about it for weeks beforehand.
Harper was fascinated with throwing her cloak around her body like an evil villain.
Waiting for a joust!
The kids weren't really into most of the shows, but we did find one on our last day that was a HUGE success. It was an interactive class for children on the art of defense. Very cool.
There were tons of great activities, but I forgot to take pictures of most of them. There was a blacksmith, an armorer, weavers, spinners, broom makers, a printing press, and even a coin mint. I highly recommend a festival if you can find one near you. If you decide to go to THIS festival, and you decide to camp there, I have one warning for you: The Train. It passed eight times the first night, and the darn thing sounded like it was going to run right through our tent. Still, it was a fantastic trip, and the girls (and mom and dad) are asking when we can go camping again!