Monday, May 24, 2010

Trip to Tulsa and The Oklahoma Renaissance Festival

We went to the Oklahoma Renaissance Festival on Saturday. I was a bit worried about spending the money and where we were going to stay and all that. This is something that I've wanted to do for a long time, but after being a bit disappointed by The Four Winds in Tyler, I wasn't sure that I should do this. Besides the money for the tickets, we would need money for food and for tipping the people on stage and for a motel room Saturday night. Friday night's motel room in Tulsa was already paid for, or we wouldn't be doing this at all. And then I was worried about getting a room at all on a Saturday night. It is a bit of a hassle sometimes, if you don't already have a reservation (or better yet, have already checked into a room), and we didn't have either of those cause we weren't really sure if we wanted to stay in Muskogee or try to get part of the way home and maybe stay in McAlester.

And then there is my usual apprehension I have now if I go anywhere. If I leave the house overnight for any reason, I worry. The house wasn't as much of a mess as when I left last time, but still, it does make me nervous. But now I suppose it would make me nervous even if the house was perfect. There's always something that might go wrong while I'm away. Someone might break in or the plants might die or something. I just never feel comfortable anymore.

So, Thursday at about noon we left for Tulsa. We hadn't had lunch yet, and it started to rain about half an hour later. That's good for the plants (although I'd already tried to give them a good soak before I left), and there hadn't already been so much rain that I'd worry about flooding. We stopped for lunch when we had almost cleared the DFW area. We ate at Genghis Grill, which we had never tried before, though I've been to other Mongolian grills. I think that I might like this one a bit better than most, but on the other hand, it costs a bit more than I'm used to.

We were a bit worried that we weren't going to stay at our favorite place. We almost always stay there, because there's almost always a coupon. But we didn't see one right away. In fact, I started to panic that I didn't even remember the name of the place or which exit it was on. Without the instructions on the coupon, how were we going to find the place. But after stopping at the tourist info place we found more coupons books, and one had the place that we wanted for about fifty-five dollars (or about five dollars more than the company will pay, but the extra five bucks is well spent there). And we asked for coupons for the ren fest, and the lady all but laughed in our faces, cause she said that they didn't give out coupons for things that a lot of people will go to without coupons. I thought that was a stupid thing to say. Other ren faires have coupons and Six Flags has coupons, and it seems to me that even Disneyland sometimes has coupons. Anyway, we picked up a few things and left.

After we drove away, I noticed that one of the booklets did contain a $2 off coupon, but since I didn't notice that at the info center, I only had the one. I looked at other places for another coupon but did not find one. Still, two dollars off is better than no dollars off.

We got our room at the discounted rate for Thursday and Friday night. As it turns out, the jets on the hot tub weren't working, but I spent some time in the tub anyway. And they still have bacon or sausage and eggs for breakfast. This was a minor disappointment for what was mostly a good trip.

Friday he went to work, and I mostly stayed in bed and read a book. After packing all that yarn, I didn't knit anything. I was just too tired and aching, for no real reason that I could think of, as the drive was not that bad until maybe the last hour or so. Maybe it was the late start (not my fault, just necessary because of my husband's work schedule), or maybe it was the fact that I tried to get real work done in the six hours or so before we left. But I felt really bad and worried that it would continue and that I wouldn't even feel up to going to the faire.

After sitting in the hot tub twice on Friday and using some muscle rub, I felt much better on Saturday morning. Still, not quite a wake, I went down to breakfast and managed to burn a waffle. So I had half of a waffle and then spent some time cleaning the machine so that other people could have waffles. I thought I was awake, but it was early, and I forgot to spray the top of the waffle maker.

A couple of hours later, all was well, and we had the car packed and were on our way to Muskogee. We tried a few more times to get a second coupon, but we didn't find any. We got to the place at just the right time, got the best parking space you can have without paying an extra five bucks, and went to buy our tickets. Without even asking, the lady let us use the one coupon for both tickets. So four dollars off of about thirty. Thank you. And then there was a bit of a wait, and various people tried to entertain us. There's even a stage, but unless you are right in front of the stage, you can't hear whatever is going on there. But just other people walking through the crowd are funny. Some of them work there. Others are just funny people.

There's usually this opening bit about the royal family that I don't care much about. The king or the queen or somebody welcomes everyone to the faire and then they open the gates. After we went in we wandered around for a bit and debated about buying tickets to the Queen's Tea. By the time we'd made up our minds it was too late and they were sold out. If you really want to do that sort of thing you need to buy advance tickets online.

Okay, so when we were first trying to decide whether or not to go to the faire, we were wondering if the stage acts were any good and such, and then we noticed that The Jolly Rogers were going to be there. So that settled that, we were going. So first stop, the pirate stage, where we watched Cut, Thrust, And Run. Seems like they also shared the stage with The Jolly Rogers in Kansas City. This is an act with four guys pretending to sword fight. It isn't our favorite act, not that it is a bad act, just that we like Don Juan and Miguel better. (Don Juan and Miguel were not there, they were at Scarborough.) So after Cut, Thrust, And Run left the stage, most of the audience left with them. We thought that was odd, though a lot of people will leave at the end of a show and not watch the next one, in Kansas City it is usually the other way around, with most of the audience leaving when The Jolly Rogers stop singing and not stay to watch Cut, Thrust, And Run. Additional people came to watch, though not near as many as had been there for the earlier act, and that seemed to hinder their performance a bit. We were glad to see them, but it was all a bit quiet for them. At the end of everyone's show there is this bit of trying to ask for money and not have it be totally awkward. The Jolly Rogers solve that problem by singing this song about "pay me, you owe me, pay me my money now." This is usually a very loud song, but Saturday it was not, and one of the guys is just sort of leaning against the stage and didn't try to collect any money at all.


Okay, time for lunch, since we did not get tickets for the Queen's Tea. For future reference, the fish and chips weren't that great (more cornmeal breaded southern type fish than English style fish and chips) and I did not care for the hummus either. And I don't remember either place having plastic forks, so when you run out of bread you can't finish your hummus unless you brought your own fork (or unless you like hummus so much that you'll lick the plate).

Then we went to see Bob the Juggler or Bob the Incredible Juggler, or something like that. We thought that might be one of the acts from Kansas City, either the bald guy with the bowling balls, or the skinny guy with the ladder. It was the skinny guy with the ladder, and he had also been one of the guys entertaining us at the front gate. Bob's a nice guy. We love you Bob.

The act following Bob's was an escape artist. We like him too.

There was a costume contest, but we just missed it. We would usually go and see the show with the birds of prey, but somehow we missed that too. And we didn't watch a joust either. I usually don't bother with that. The first joust I watched was great, not because of the show itself, but because of our section's cheer leader. You're supposed to say stuff like God save the king and God save the queen, which we did, but then this guy also had us saying stuff like the bishop is a ninny. Without that guy (or someone very much like him), I've mostly don't care for the jousts, so I rarely watch them anymore.

Next, we looked for someone else we had seen before the opening ceremony, and we found her. She one of Willie's Wenches. (Sometimes I'm a bit slow, and it didn't occur to me who Willie was until the next day.) So she directed us to the correct stage, and then we got lost because we went off to buy a drink (possibly at Bud's Root Beer, where you at first buy an expensive bottle and then get refills all day for a dollar or two), and then we somehow still managed to end up back at the right stage in time to see the show. And then after the show we stayed to watch Captain Thom Bedlam, who we had seen at The Four Winds in Tyler.

So after the show, I asked Thom if he was the same guy from Tyler, cause I suppose that I might not remember correctly, and that maybe one drunk pirate pretty much looks like another. But it was the guy from Tyler, and we said something like he was the best act at The Four Winds, and he encouraged us to say that louder, so that someone with him might hear us. At that point we insult this guy, who turns out to be the new part owner of The Four Winds, and he's sorry that we didn't enjoy our time there and gives us free tickets if we want to try it again next year.

For the record, I was mistaken when I said that I did not enjoy The Four Winds last year, cause it was 2008 when we were there, and probably that guy we were talking to wasn't involved that year. I am debating on sending the guy an email explaining why we didn't care for The Four Winds, which for us got off to a bad start when they didn't take credit cards.

Okay, so that was about the last show of the day, and we can't do much else but get more root beer and look at the shops. Not that I buy a lot from the shops, even when I have money. But there are a few things that I will always buy if I can find them, and there's the odd impulse buy here and there, and we always buy a few small things like incense and scented oil. And we hadn't bought anything yet (other than food and soda), and we found some incense and bought that, and then I had to look at Dragon Pets one more time. I think that I'd stopped to look three times. I wanted something that was twenty dollars, which I decided was too much, and there were even really cool glow-in-the dark dragons for thirty dollars, but I just could not see spending more than ten or fifteen dollars for a toy that I would just have on a shelf most of the year and only actually carry around with me maybe at another ren fest. But I took one last look, decided that the twenty and thirty dollar options were definitely out, but maybe the ten dollar ones were not so bad. There was a glitter blue one for ten, and a purple for fifteen. I bought the blue one.

On the way out I find the scented oil place. But I've just spent ten dollars on a dragon and I decide I don't really need to spend more money. Besides, selecting an oil takes time, unless you already know exactly what you want and are just buying a refill. So I skip the oil.

On the way out, a bunch of people sing to us. That was nice. I had already filled out a survey (and was given a ticket for one of the Halloween things in October). I doubt that I'll be there in October to use it, but just in case, we stopped to fill out another survey so that we would have two tickets.

Then we had to find a motel. That can be a hassle on a weekend, especially during a special event. I was all for driving down the road a bit, but I wasn't the one driving. He was tired. We stopped at a place he had stayed before and asked if they would take coupons (when we already assumed that they would not but you cannot get a discount if you don't ask for one). We were told no discounts, and that there was only one room left, and it was a whirlpool room, which made it $56. With the whirlpool (and the driver being very tired and not wanting to look elsewhere) that seemed reasonable and we took the room. Then we walked a few stores down the street and ate at the steakhouse, even though we mostly do not care for steak and ended up eating the chicken. And then it was back to the room to use the tub. This time, the jets were working.

On the drive home Sunday, we stopped and bought some peaches and some really tall pepper seedlings.

I think that there is one weekend left of Scarborough, but I don't think that I'll go. I am quite tired from the trip.

1 comment:

Ananda girl said...

Wow sounds like a great time to me! Sorry about the aches though.