The area around DFW is never short of a few festivals, it seems, and we made it along to a couple more this weekend. We had originally hoped to go canoeing but there was a distinct chance of thunderstorms. These never materialised, though Saturday evening was rather cool with a bit of rain, which wasn't ideal for listening to music on an outdoor stage; conversely, Sunday was very warm and muggy, which didn't look fun for all the people dressed in full Renaissance costume!
So, first up was Taste Addison. Addison is a well-to-do area north of Dallas, and this festival was a chance for the local restaurants to have a stand and sell snack-size portions of their wares for around $5. I tried fish & chips (not quite up there with the British seaside version, but not bad), chilli and gumbo (much more American) and spring rolls (double size portion because it was almost the end of the festival). For dessert there was a very delicious honey flan with fruit. This is the Mexican version of flan - not a pie-type affair but a kind of baked custard, something like creme caramel.
Music was provided by Bowling for Soup and Foreigner.
Bowling for Soup: local band, fun music, crazy way-out-there banter between songs - and where did they get that name from, anyway???
Foreigner: rock band which I'd seen once before in conjunction with Bryan Adams; I liked them a lot better this time, though whether they actually were better or it's just that my ears have got attuned to rock music since living with Graham, I don't know! They're better known for their more mellow stuff than the rockier songs ("I wanna know what love i-i-i-i-i-s....").
On Sunday Graham and I, and a couple of friends, Dave and Amie, headed down to Waxahachie (great name) for the Scarborough Fair Renaissance Festival. I was somewhat unprepared for the sheer scale of the thing - 38 acres of mediaeval-style buildings, wrecked galleons, a castle, stages and jousting area. And more people in costume than you would ever believe possible.
We were intrigued by the concept of turtle racing, but it turned out to be much less exciting than it sounded, with a white-haired guy doing a lot of patter about the World Turtle Racing Federation and such like and only about two minutes of actual turtle action. Three of the turtles just sat there and the littlest one made a run for the edge of the stage and was pronounced winner. Thrilling.
The falconry exhibit was a lot better. We admired a couple of owls and a bald eagle, and saw some nifty flying by a hawk chasing the lure. The display was put on by a charity which cares for injured birds of prey, so they provided a lot of information about bird conservation as well, and a chance to chat afterwards.
The bald eagle, proud symbol of America.
Jousting was a grand production, attended by King Henry VIII himself (and one of his queens). The baddie was suitably rude, and died in a very dramatic fashion, and the winner, fighting for Sir William of Whitehall, retired to loud huzzahs from the crowd.
There were shops selling all manner of things, from bows and arrows and chain mail to fantasy art and wooden goblets. Orange and strawberry sorbet mounded onto half an orange provided a cool relief in the heat, but Graham was laughing at my orange lips for ages afterwards.
We rather liked the hanging chairs and hammocks. This is Dave and Amie looking relaxed:
and I could get used to this life!
I wonder why he seemed so reluctant to buy me one...