Monday, September 30, 2013

Playtime

Yesterday, my church's drama team held it's first read thorough for the Christmas Drama. This will be my first time acting in about eight or nine years so I'm a bit nervous but incredibly excited about it! It's a great story, but I don't want to give anything away.
Today, my nephew, niece, and I spent some time outdoors, just enjoying the changing leaves and gorgeous weather. A small hawk like bird even perched in a tree by us. I just love this time of year, the sunshine is still warm, but there's still a faint chill in the air, the leaves are changing, giving one last burst of color before the winter comes.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Pyrates Return!

It's rather late in coming, but here is the tale of my  latest adventure at the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire!    A
few weeks ago, my father and I took my niece and nephew for the second pirate themed weekend at the faire.
Pirate Captain Grace O'Malley. (she and my niece bonded over French Fries)   


First, we visited the  Children's Discovery Garden, where Dad taught, or rather attempted to teach the kids how to play giant checkers.
Then we were off the see the first joust of the day. I had a great time, but the kids got bored. The knights were explaining the rules, and were exchanging a lot of banter and I think it was over their three and five year old heads. 
I wasn't about to distract the people around me or make the kids sit through something they didn't like so we left Bosworth Field and wondered about the Shire. That plan seems to work best with the kids.

We perused the Imaginrium Gallery and Museum. The kids were fascinated by the fluffy dragon puppets. Then we found ourselves at the Maze!

After the finding our way through the maze, we  rode some of  the rides.  It's neat seeing rides operated not by machines but by burly men or in some cases by the rider pulling a rope. 








We also got to ride an elephant! It was a lot of fun, but I was seated over her hind leg so every time she took a step, I felt like I was going to be thrown off.     
                                                   After the elephant ride, I had one of the best foods I have ever eaten in my entire life, fried brownies!  Now, I have been skeptical of fried sweets for years. I always thought they were battered first, yuck! But, oh, was I wrong! The brownie was cut up into little doughnut hole bites, and when fried, the outside was slightly crispy and the inside was warm and gooey perfection! I think I'm in love.

We walked around the shire some more, began the kids' wooden weapon collection,

 Played more games,
learned about bees, my nephew thought they were the greatest thing!  We also saw a human chess match, learned how to sword fight, ate ice cream, and generally made many wonderful memories.


We ended the day with mugs of hot chocolate and the kids asking, when can we come back? I ask the same thing kids and I can never wait to return!





Thursday, September 19, 2013

Geocaching Part Two

I tried my hand again at geocaching again, aided , actually led, by my good friend, Nicole.  I say led because she has the geocaching APP on her phone and knows how to use it. We set of for Na Aug Park in Scranton, where our first cache led us to the tree house.  To be honest, we were distracted by the graffiti inside.  

As Christians, we appreciated this. I was also impressed by the use of cursive! 
As Whovians, appreciated the following...














After getting back on track, we followed the APP though were having trouble with the map. It wasn't updating as we walked along, so knowing the area, we tried to follow the landmark themed clues which led us to the gorge.
I have no idea what this rusted frame used to belong to; any ideas?














Aside from the gorgeous , a little pun intended,  view, our trek yielded nothing. In fact, once the map updated, it seemed to take us away from the gorge and towards the playground. After searching around , we decided that either the cache had been stolen, we did not understand the clues, or the clues and directions were badly written.
So, we gave up and began a new search for a cache around the old, neglected zoo.













The map and clues led up to the old tiger enclosure. But alas, no cache was to be found.

We were getting hungry by this point so we went for pizza then continued our caching quest at the Cinnemark Theater, where two caches were said to be hidden. 




















The clues and map led us to where the theater parking lot over looks PNC Field. Again, we did not find the cache, but we still had a wonderful time and are planning another, hopefully more successful search soon.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Time with Dad

Last weekend I got to spend some time with my dad at the  Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire. Even though I attend many times, I find the people I go with influence the experience.  While last time my friends and I followed the story line shows, my dad and I wondered about catching shows by chance.
Such as this one, Pastimes. I've heard this group on their reproduction hurdy gurdys while in line to get inside the fair grounds, I've never attended one of their shows. It was very informative as they gave not just the history of the instruments but of the songs they played as well. The music was enjoyable, perhaps not something I'd listen to aside from the faire, but still pleasant and the history was presented in an informal, interesting manner.
After that, I suggested seeing Tartanic, a drum and bagpipe group that plays more modern Celtic, and other music. It was neat comparing and contrasting the two shows. Tartanic is an incredibly fun group that performs at various other Renaissance Faires and modern style venues.
Then it was off to eat dinner at the new Anchor and Mermaid Tavern, the first sit down service restaurant at the faire. While the seating service was rather slow, once our server took our orders the food arrived very quickly. The menu is small, but excellent. I had roast beef and mashed potatoes and Dad ordered the bangers and mash. We also had a freshly baked loaf of bread and butter to share. I think once the staff grows accustomed to sit down service, it will be even better than it is now.

We also watched an archery demonstration that talked about both history and technique. I must confess I left wanting to shoot like Merida from Brave, and while I could have purchased a bow and quiver of arrows, I lack the shooting space at home. However, one of my friends has such a space and is saving up to purchase her own bow, which I believe is handmade by the demonstrators. 
Then it was off to see a group called Mudwood,
who was performing  that weekend only. Aside from singing folk style music they also created a rather impressive mud sculpture on the faire grounds which will remain as long as the weather permits. 
We also explored the Imaginrium Museum, which is located in one of the shops. In all the years I've attended, I've never gone thought the entire store.  My dad, however took my niece and nephew in last season and thought I would enjoy it as well.  The store sells exquisite dragon puppets, and the museum showcases the artists who creates the puppets, other works.
I couldn't believe how many new things I experienced at a place I thought I knew so well! I think that's why I love revisiting some places, to see how they and you, have grown.