Michigan Renaissance Festival (2014)

Last weekend we enjoyed a beautiful, sunny fall afternoon in Holly, MI at the Michigan Renaissance Festival. It turned out to be the last warm day of the summer, so I'm glad we spent it out doors having fun!  Viola was excited to wear her new (off-brand) Tinkerbell costume. Evangeline, unexpectedly, refused a costume in the morning--- I don't think that's ever happened before! I stowed our Rapunzel (theme park) dress in the day bag, just in case.

This was Eva's first trip to the Renaissance Festival, and I thought she'd be all about it (princesses, flowers, fairies... those are pretty much her three favorite things!) but it took a few hours for her to warm up to it all. The customary Renaissance Festival flower head wreath helped, of course.

On our way to the children's costume contest we ran into this cute little girl. Her father told me they found this Merida dress at Costco... for $12! Can you believe it? He said Costco has a whole line of really nice princess dresses and I have to say, I was really impressed by the design and quality of this one. For those of you still looking for halloween costumes, you might check it out! (Maybe now I have a good reason to get a Costco membership... )

We made our way over to the children's area, and it was a good thing I had had the foresight to put the Rapunzel dress in the day bag, because once the children's costume contest was announced her bottom lip started to quiver and it was clear that she regretted her decision... Fortunately I was able to slip it on over her dress really quick and get her up on the stage!

This year's children's costume contest had at least four times the number of kids as the last time we were here and it seemed to go on forever. Each kid had their moment in the spotlight, though, and again the children's costume contest ended in a tie (shocker!) If I had to pick a winner, I'd pick the little girl in the super-rare Belle Wedding costume standing to the left of Viola, but that's just me... :-)

The Michigan Renaissance Festival has continued to grow in size and there were lots of new things to explore along with revisiting our old favorites. The girls we exceptionally excited to visit the mermaid, who makes chirping noises and hands out wishing stones!

And to ride the ponies, too of course. ("It's like a carousel only with like horses!" - Viola)

I wrote yesterday about all the adorable fairy houses that we saw there. If it had been up to the girls we wouldn't have gotten any further than this! It was quite the challenge to pull them both away. I was really, really tempted to get Viola "arrested", but her dad and I decided that she was probably just a wee bit too young still and that there was as much of a chance that that would be a truly traumatizing experience as a fun one. (Next year!)  So, instead, we got our faces painted and visited this weird potted plant guy near the exit...

(We were stopped by these traveling fairies who thought the girls must be their long-lost twins!)

All-in-all, any day that leads to driving home with two exhausted, sound asleep, and therefor silent kids, it a good day in my book!

#throwbackthursday: Won't you help a fairy?

"Fairies are starving. Won't you please help a fairy in need?"

Happy #tbt everyone. This photo was taken on our 2011 trip to Walt Disney World. Viola was highly skeptical about the photographer's instructions to hold out her hands and look excited. Magic Photo Fail, or epic awesomeness?  I think the later. :-)

#throwbackthursday: Favorite Character Interactions - Mulan, Terrance (2011)


We have so many digital photos, but precious few printed ones. Last night Viola asked me to find and print a particular image from our first Disney trip for an art project she is doing in class. While I was hunting through the 2011 Photos folder, I came across these great two interactions from that trip. 

The first is a visit with Terrance that went hilariously awry. Even though Viola had already met both Tinkerbell and Rosetta earlier in the day, she was overcome with shyness during Extra Magic Hours. To earn her confidence he decided to show her that there was a hole in the back of the teacup in the area behind him....

Using my psychic-mommy abilities, I predicted that Viola (age 3) would crawl in and not ever come out... which of course, she did. You can hear us in the background giggled with the photopass photographer and Terrance's handler... who both seemed to find the predicament as funny as I did.  

"Should I go help?" I asked.  

"No," they laughed. 

Check it out below. :-)

Later in the trip we got caught in a down-pour near EPCOT China and ducked into the pavilion to stay dry. Being newbies, we didn't know that you could find Mulan there, so seeing her was a happy accident. She was THE BEST. I've held off on sharing this video because Mulan mentioned that she really wasn't supposed to be in the room with the Terra Cotta soldiers display, and I would guess she REALLY isn't supposed to be sword fighting in there and I would never want to get her in trouble. But, since it's been about 4 years I thought it would be safe to share this now. What an awesome interaction, right? You can see how excited Viola is just watching! She still talks about it, and she was only a spectator.  

I wonder if this is what Kenny the Pirate means when he suggests asking Mulan to show you her Kung Fu moves in his Character Interaction Guide?