This year things went better from before the beginning as I had Friday night off and so jmaynard and I could go to Sioux Falls on Friday evening, I could get some sleep, and have a chance of being truly awake for things. After checking into the motel (great location, not so great design) we had supper at HuHot and then visited a comic & games shop I used to deal with much more. This time it was surgical strike shopping for an upcoming ACME delivery.
We also stopped in at a Hy-Vee liquor store to see what they had. I wasn't really expecting much but I wound up getting a few things. The most interesting was a bottle of Chartreuse. We were clearly "not in Minnesota anymore" as behind the checkout counter were taps - you could get a growler filled beer if you wanted. I asked about one brew and was given a tiny sample.
Saturday I had hoped to set up a bit with the mead vendor, but they were doing things different and a key bit wouldn't be available, so I bailed on that idea - and though I had had a fairly large breakfast, did not partake. I found Minos and company and confirmed the centaur bit. It went better this year, though I wound up laying down again, this time I made it to the prep. tent first. I had a water bottle (which looks like a wine bottle) which helped, but not quite enough. To my disappointment the soft drink folks did not have Gatorade there this year. I had been planning to fill the bottle with that, rather than plain water. I do think it would have helped.
There were a few folks that were there not as mythical creatures (though one might have been, but he was simply too big to be the 'baby' dragon). One was a fellow in 'pirate' dress that... well, seemed to me to be from The Department of Not Getting It. He had some great costume ideas - for a convention, not a faire, not even the extension that is the Mythical Garden. But he saw them as faire ideas. Zilch might speak of him someday should any come to pass.
It felt slow, but much was that there were genuine acts going on (I saw Topsy Turvy from 'behind' due to layout). It did pick up with time. When our 'crier' tossed his bell down as we finished and changed back to (renfest) normal I said, "One ringy-dingy" and Minos had some reply I forgot. Later as we were about done with the costume change(s) the crier asked, "Tomorrow, same bat-time, same bat-channel?" to which Minos replied, "You bet your bippy" and I commented, "How 1960s can we get?" "Yeah, I think we pegged the needle on the geek-o-meter."
Afterwards, I went looking for food. Breakfast was big, but it had been some time ago, and I had expended some effort in those hoof-shoes. Despite arrangements Minos had made, I could not actually sit, nor even lean back a bit, so it was quite tiring. W
To my (and Jay's, I found out later) disappointment, Rowdy Hog was not there. We found out later that they had planned to be, but wound up too short on help. They were missed.
Wandering the site, I found a few shops of interest and made a couple small purchases, and mental notes for Sunday. I think the only act I truly sat down and watched was Zilch, and considering what all I got, I started wondering how many references I might be missing.
We bailed a bit early and made our way to a (the?) Indian restaurant, where Jay mused it had been some time since we were there without having to explain things to someone in our party. Since jay was driving, I went and had the Flying Horse Royal Lager which I was very glad to find was only 4.7 ABV since it was a 655 mL bottle. Not my usual style, but works well with the medium spicy (for the restaurant...) dishes. While one person can have that lager all to oneself, with a meal, there is quite enough that sharing it is not at all unreasonable. Somewhere in there was a quick stop at a store for naproxen and sports-drink powder.
Sleep came quickly, but between the hoof-shoe time and the motel mattress (way too soft, I think) I was sore enough I tried sleeping on the floor for a while once when I woke up in the night. That didn't work much better, alas.
After getting ready for the day and final packing, we checked out of the motel and headed out to Cracker Barrel for breakfast again (the motel offering left much to be desired). I wandered a bit and did a bit of preparation, acquiring a bottle of Gatorade from a source I shall not mention here, and filling my 'wine' bottle with a double dose of drink powder and then water. I purposely delayed my appearance at the Mythical Garden some as I didn't want to be standing longer than I really had to.
That, and a delay in setup, helped. I made to the end of the allotted time, but just barely. I need to be in better shape for this and prepare even more with the water and electrolytes. The pirate was there again, now with a newly acquired eyepatch. A couple that had visited the day before asked how he lost his eye and were told, "Taking a ship." "What was the name of the ship?" asked the man. The pirate didn't have a ready answer and I quietly said to the lady, "I believe it was the Lollipop. It was a Good Ship." and she got it. The pirate... did not. To my amusement, when someone else asked about the eyepatch, the lady said it was the Lollipop. The next thing that came up was, why was a pirate ("Pirates are not mythical.") at the Mythical Garden. Our pirate no explanation for that, so I invented a bit more backstory: He was there to assist us, and if he did well enough, we'd see about recovering his eye. It seems I can readily invent backstory - as long as it's not my own.
Once again, part of post-Mythical recovery was a meal. One of the women from the mead vendor asked if or why I wasn't drinking. "You saw where and what I was. Drinking before that is a Bad Idea. After that, I have not eaten for some time, and it is bad to drink on an empty stomach. However, I have now just finished lunch. So..." and I made my selection and paid for it. She poured - into the standard plastic cup for measurement. I was about to pour that into my mug when she grabbed the cup and mug away from me, poured the cup into the mug herself, and then took my mug back to the taps and added a bit more. "You did not have to do that." Reply: *wink*. Well, I wasn't arguing with it.
One bit of street performance was a couple gals as Pose-A-Peasant. This is a risky bit as holding a pose for any time can get tiring. They had been left in crouching positions and one had all but begged to be shifted to releive her back (something I quite understood!). Someone set them up with a prop to recreate the scene of American Gothic (Gothic Gothic?). While that was going on, I had An Idea... and borrowed the colorful sidewalk chalk nearby and drew a few sets of colored circles on the ground. "I am worried about what is going on behind us. Oh no. I think I know what this is." Yes, I left them with a crudely drawn version of Twister.
The last memorable event at the faire was at a soap vendor I (or we) saw last year, not only at Siouxland, but also at Sioux City Riverssance. The gal there was utterly stunned that there was a soap scent we agreed on in a positive way. Generally we do agree, or at least tolerate most selections. We both reject a few (especially patchouli.. eww) but there are some more floral scents that I rather like (honeysuckle, lilac) that Jay considers too flowery. However we both really liked the new 'butter rum' soap they had.
I told the story of very stimulating peppermint glycerin soap a different vendor had and how it could be a bit much. It was fine if lathered up and fairly quickly rinsed off. Let it linger and it could have noticeable effect. And some parts of the anatomy are more sensitive than others. A line from a certain Rock'n'Roll tune could sum up the initial discovery, "Goodness, gracious, great..." "I knew that was where that was going." And I had mentioned this to the other vendor (years ago now) was told, "That's why we don't have cinnamon. It'd be more potent yet." I ventured how a cinnamon-peppermint combination might be excessive. "I could make that." "What, and sell it to the BDSM crowd as..." and suggested a name for it. "I might have to make that now, just to use that name!"
We were told that they would not be at Riverssance this year as they managed to get into the Kansas City Renaissance Festival. Asked if we'd been there, we replied that we had not and with the same owner as the Minnesota Renaissance Festival the idea wasn't that appealing to us. We gave up on MNRF years ago, as we had more fun, overall, just about anywhere else. The acts are good, but the feel is.. off. We were then told that while the ownership was the same, the direct management was very different - and that if we decided to go, they would see we got tickets. While the tickets would be a minor expense of a KCRF visit, it is very kind offer and one which we are at least considering.
It was another very good day, and I truly zonked out on the way home. I barely recall us merging onto I-90 from I-29 if I made it that far awake, and didn't wake up until the exit for Fairmont. Only once we were home was it discovered or remembered that one item had been left behind. A phone call or two and that was sorted out, and Tuesday's mail had the item back where it belonged.
Did I see everything? No. I doubt anyone really can see it all in a weekend, even having free time to roam or see acts from open to close both days. Did I miss something? Almost certainly. But I had a very good time, and that's what really matters.
For a while I thought I might have been missing out on things by participating in the Garden, but the past several years I spent most of the same time visiting the Garden so it really wasn't much different. I just had a very different perspective. This year's lessons are not for the faire, but more for me. I need to be in better shape (less weight, more endurance) for this. I need to apply sunscreen anywhere that might get exposed, even my own garb normally covers that area - I have a bit of mild sunburn on my right arm where I missed a bit.