Anitra in Wonderland

I’ve decided my holiday weekend was a blend of the infamous children’s story “Alice in Wonderland” mixed with a twisted version of “Noah’s Ark,” with a small sprinkle of Robin Hood.

There were queens and knights and giant chess boards. There were tea parties and fortune tellers and even a wise old turtle. There was sword fighting and jousting.

I visited a place called Sherwood Forest, the enchanted home of fairies and other magical creatures.

There was also some scary evening rain, some pretty big hail, and of course, the resulting flooding.

Let me explain: I spent Labor Day weekend at the Minnesota Renaissance Festival – camping (or trying at least) in a series of seven consecutive severe thunderstorms.

It was my first visit to the Renaissance Festival, and I was certainly enchanted. Complete with a renaissance costume, and I honestly don’t remember the last time I had such fun at a festival. (Nor do I remember the last time I’d been called a “wench.”)

I loved the scenery and costumes all around me. The castles, attractions and shops looked authentic. I was dressed up as a wench (thus the name calling). There were lords, ladies, knights, pirates, gypsies, fairies, and many other peasants.

I laughed at the comic shows, I smiled at the pickle peddlers, and I snapped a dozen photos of a shy fairy and some beautiful armored horses.

Of course, the “Noah’s Ark” part of the weekend wasn’t so enchanting -with nearly six inches of rain and some nickel size hail. It’s my luck that the one camping trip I take in five years would take place during a crazy storm. Pardon the clich√©, but we were very unhappy campers.

By the time the fourth storm rolled through at 3:30 a.m., we were sitting in a car, staring up at the rain falling on my moon roof. We decided sleep deprivation is it’s own intoxication, and we laughed at how amazing the water looked coming down out of the lightening stricken sky. Of course, a rainbow’s promise was fulfilled as the sun came out by late morning. The two of us overcame our grogginess to enjoy day two at the Renaissance event before returning home.

After 14 hours of catch up sleep, I wondered if it was all real or if I’d dreamt up the enchanting weekend.

To erase all doubt, the $50 worth of gas it took for the trip has been recorded in my pocketbook. Luckily, the digital camera captured some proof as well, and the memories will be stored away for years.