Monday, October 13, 2008

Weekend in MD

Early Saturday morning, we drove to Maryland to visit with a group of friends. Because 7 out of 12 of us are into the Renaissance Faire scene, we spent all day (and I mean all day, like we left at 9:30am and got home around 8pm) at the MD Faire, which is, according to the "Rennies", the best one in the mid-Atlantic region. The forest where it is held is beautiful. It's what Sherwood Forest would have looked like had it existed, but it really isn't our thing. We enjoyed the music (who doesn't love a bagpipe and drums!) and Peter had some hard cider that he enjoyed (uncommon because of the carbonation commonly found in cider and beer). The food was okay (there was a lot of it, always a good thing when you're pregnant) and there were lots of little shops. We bought a woodcarving called "Mother and Child" for the nursery that looks like an Irish knot, but when you get up close, you see it has been modified and represents a mother holding a child. Really quite pretty. We saw some glass blowing. Mostly we walked and then sat down and did people watching. Some of the outfits... Inappropriate doesn't even begin to describe them! Neither of us are really into the dress up aspect to things like that (although, I confess, I begged Peter to wear a kilt... no go...) Many of the people in attendance, friends excluded of course, seemed to want to dress up and play Renaissance. But the funny thing is, many of the outfits (most) and the entire Celtic flair are more Middle Ages than the Renaissance, which was an Italian thing! I saw very few people dressed in Renaissance style costumes. More were very English/British Isle Middle Ages. Yes, the Renaissance movement( 15th-17th centuries) hit the British Isles (late 16th-17th centuries, known as the "Elizabethan Era" more commonly), but the costumes that we saw were much more Middle Ages (5th-16th centuries). Which is fine. But for history buffs, Peter and I had a grand time with the people watching. Would we go back? Maybe once a season, if that, but definitely not more than that. Once you've walked around, we didn't find much else to do but sit and watch people, or listen to bands we'd already heard once before. A lot of folks spend their time in the bars/pubs, but that really isn't our thing either and, since I'm allergic to the smoke (and pregnant so I wouldnt be near the smoke anyway!) and Peter doesn't like it... It makes no sense to walk around where people are constantly smoking. So, all in all, Peter's comment was "It wasn't as bad as I thought it would be", and I concur. But I doubt, unless it is because we are visiting them again around Renn Faire season, that we would go back. But it was great to be with friends we dont always get to see.

Peter with little Rowan on the slide

Sarah and I, playing "Gossip Girls"

This gathering started years ago, when Tom and Sarah would have everyone to their house twice a year for a drinking/hanging out party. The men would videogame, the women would gossip, and we'd hang out. It was fun. Well, we grew up, folks had kids, the get togethers fell by the wayside. In March, the gang reunited at Nicholas and Sophia's Memorial Mass and afterward, we all discussed how great it would be to get back together. We joked about whose house would be great for what (our house won summer b/c we have central air, Jason and Stephanie won fall because of the MD Renn Faire, Tom and Sarah won winter b/c they have a fireplace, and then Scott and Bethany won spring because of their large yard and the warmer MD springs (two of us are in PA, two in MD, so it alternates). After the service, Peter and I discussed and decided, since July 19th would be hard anyway, we'd rather spend it surrounded by the love of friends and we scheduled our "Summer Gathering" for that weekend. Everyone came and it was lovely. So, a few weeks later, emails about the "Fall Gathering" were sent by Stephanie and, once again, we reunited for some quality time. Now, it falls to Sarah and Tom to pull together the "Winter Gathering". It'll be nice to continue the tradition of seeing everyone.

We left on Sunday morning, around 11:30 and went to church at St. Agnes, where a visiting priest from Haiti spoke via interpreter. Their entire village was destroyed by the hurricanes. It was so sad and I was crying during the speech. Peter gave all the cash we had on us to the collection for their school and for food. It makes you think just how good we have it here. Even on our worst days, we were never homeless and starving- truly starving. At the sign of peace, the woman behind us said "Peace to you, and peace to your baby." It was so kind. The service was small, but nice. They had no organ, only a piano, but the cantor was beautiful.

Then, we drove to DE to see Katie and John. We hadn't seen them since July, so it was nice to catch up. She made a delicious baked stuffed shells for dinner. YUM! We spent the afternoon and evening there, before heading back at 8:30. We got home an hour later and went promptly to bed. We were so tired and Peter had to go to work this morning. (I took the day off because I have to work an 11 hour day on Friday and the Saturday book sale- I'm tired already!).

Well, my mother-in-law is coming over to help me work on the Christening Gown, so I will go for now. I have to shower and get dressed.

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