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Small Wonders: Renaissance remains buxom

May 20, 2011|By Patrick Caneday

“…whether you're a 50-year-old or an adolescent, you're on some kind of hormonal rollercoaster in those two age groups. So I'm not quite sure if it's serious comedy or funny drama.” — Geoffrey Rush

When I was 12 years old, my mother took us to the Renaissance Pleasure Faire for a day of medieval role-playing fun. If you've ever been, you know what a seminal experience this can be for a lad in the grips of puberty (pun only vaguely intended).

Two things come to mind when I think about that day. The first thing is food. The second is the generously corseted breasts of fair maidens.

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OK, make that three things.

So last weekend when my wife suggested we go to the faire, my inner teenager leapt through the Internet to buy tickets. But since this was a family day trip, I'll try to cushion the debauchery.

The food was amazing! Exactly as I remember them … it.

Abundant, sumptuous delights everywhere you looked. It was impossible not to see all the treats; their purveyors overflowing with morsels to tantalize and beckon like siren song. Every shape, size and color; fresh and aged, petite and plentiful. There was something scrumptious for everyone's taste.

And the food was good too.

The first thing you notice as you pass through the port of entry to the 16th century, having your ticket electronically scanned by said damsels of bared bosom, is that you really are entering another world. But as my friend Scott pointed out, traveling back in time can be expensive. With kids of any era, it doesn't take long for the past and present to collide in our wallets.

“Can we get that sword?”

“Can we get that flagon of ale?”

“Can we get that chamber pot?”

They settled for $20 floral hair garlands before we were 20 paces in. Though conventional wisdom says to bait your child with souvenirs at the end of the day — the carrot to keep them on track — we believe in getting it out of the way early so we don't have to hear the little scamps’ relentless begging.

After watching the sleepy loomers, ruddy blacksmiths and contortionist jugglers, our lasses spy a manger filled with chambermaids braiding intricate designs into each other's hair with ribbons and flowers. So much for the garlands and our theory — $50 and an hour later, our little ladies are adorned with dos that would make Princess Leia jealous.

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