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I’ve Been Had

May 17, 2008

I hate that feeling. It’s sort of liked being robbed, I suppose, except that I handed the money to the thief out of my own free will. We went to the Tennessee Renaissance Festival today. We thought it would be a fun experience and the girls would get a kick out of it. The advertisements made it seem like there would be all sorts of great things to do – sort of like a state fair, but with knights and princesses. Well, not quite.

First of all, the cost was $18 per adult. Thankfully the children were free. I went ahead and paid the price, though, because of all the cool stuff that I thought would be included in the price. Wrong. $18 just got you in the door and then they nickel and dimed – well dollar and five dollared – you the rest of the time. Every ride the girls wanted to ride – $5. I let them ride the camel and that was it. The girls wanted their face painted – the cheapest one was $2 and it was the worst butterfly I had ever seen. The good ones – no joke – cost $10. Thirsty? A bottle of water – $2. Hungry? Fried Corn – $3. Even the “free” entertainment cost us. We saw a pretty amusing comedy routine with knife throwers and jugglers. When it was over they mentioned- a number of times – how our donations were how they made their living, and then they stood at the exit with their hats sticking in your face. Of course you’re going to give them a buck or two. We finally made our way to the human chess match with promises of realistic sword duels whenever one side’s player took out the other. Ummmm, no. Instead, it looked like this. But with two of ’em. I mean, for $18, at least practice once or twice.

Oh, and speaking of dorks, it felt like we were at a Star Trek convention. You know, where everyone dresses up like Klingons or with Spock ears. How in the world are there that many people in Tennessee with Robin Hood outfits? I mean, is this what you do when you outgrow Dungeons and Dragons? This part didn’t bother me as bad as you would think, though. In fact, the best part of the event was the people watching. But there were sooooo many of them. I was constantly getting poked by someone’s sword…. I hope.

Finally, the one reason I wanted to go was to see the castle – supposedly a full-fledged castle. Of course, it was no where to be seen. You had to take a 5 minute bus ride (yeah, right… I want to spend 5 minutes on a bus with the Purple Knight and his, uh, ministrel), and the wait for the bus was – drum roll please – 30 minutes. Survey says, “brrrrrrrnttttt.”

So we left after two and a half hours. We got some excellent bar-b-que from Whitt’s for less than $10 and then went to the park and played…. for free.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Joe permalink
    May 18, 2008 1:23 pm

    Oh, come on Brian. It wasn’t that bad was it? You should have stayed for the joust, and had to put up with an annoying “woman of royalty” commenting on the match, and half-heartedly saying “Huzzah!” after each combat. Actually, the joust was pretty cool. I think I enjoyed the Birds of Prey exhibition the most, and learned quite a bit. Sorry y’all didn’t stay around long enough for that.

    I have to concur on the prices of things, and the interesting folk and costumes that abounded certainly added to the festival flavor. The wench-wanna-be (who was really a man) that Deborah spotted was a tad unsettling, though. Any idea why there was a pirate theme for the weekend? The influence of Pirates of the Caribbean was certainly evident enough.

    I have fond memories of the Renaissance portion of Busch Gardens, Williamsburg which I was reminded of some, but only slightly. You have to admit, though, the festival made for an interesting cross-cultural experience in Middle TN.

  2. Joe permalink
    May 18, 2008 1:24 pm

    Despite what I just posted, I thoroughly enjoyed yours. You had Deborah and I laughing.

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