(a followup to Silly people in silly clothes - a NoCal E2 Renaissance Pleasure Festival)

Bright and early people gathered at the Mountain View train station. Well... it wasn't that bright yet - the marine layer hadn't burnt off yet and so was kind of gray. Is 8am really that early? Well, for some of us it is. Whatever the case, I had quickly run down to the doughnut store and brought some back to snack on while waiting for others to show up.

The first to arrive (after me) was Mike, the RabidMonkey. Stepping out of the car with a sword, ancient 1 wood golf club and an array of wireless telecommunications gear. He declines any doughnuts and we sit and watch the birds (there were many pigeons that kept flying down, it almost felt like The Birds at times).

Rischi showed up next to the parking lot followed shortly by Akasha with Juliet and the corpse who eventually became known as John. Without much further a do be do be do do be do, we headed out for parts almost known after a quick exchange of cell phone numbers in case someone gets lost.

The drive along 680 is rather nice, a fair chunk of it is in a wooded valley with golden hills on either side. Its just a fairly long drive. All the while I was chuckling at Rabid's conversation with his cow-orkers on the phone. Finally he was able to get them to do something that would take a few hours before it was done in hopes that the people who should be there would show up before it was done.

More driving... lots more driving. Just before 680 joins into I-80 there is a bridge with a bunch of ships just sitting there... they are fun to look at (don't look too closely if you are driving). More driving, and yet more driving.

We get there! whoo whoo! and get a reasonable parking spot, without too much trouble. A quick change of clothes from hiking boots to black leather, and the doublet (and a change of high heels to something more approbate to walking around all day for those wearing such attire).

One of the best things about the renaissance festivals is the people watching... all types of them. There was the green haired punk jester girl, a few goths (what is a goth doing in the sun at a pleasure festival?). One cannot neglect the butterfly barbarian (big hairy guy) who had a Holstein spotted loin cloth and butterfly wings (if you are able to get past the shear incongruous nature of butterfly wings on such a large guy the deeper pun of dairy products emerges), Sir Target (the shiny Darth Vader guy), and a few thunder bunnies. As a male, I feel obliged to admit (as if it can't be assumed) that I was glancing at the outfits of women and wondering how they fit in them at times and wondering why the bra was ever invented. And lest I forget, there was the guy in the kilt with a stuffed sheep wearing a wedding veil (feel free to figure out who was wearing the veil yourself).

Along with people, and walking around, we did occasionally sit places. Often when sitting, there were things to watch (besides people, or rather, people who were trying to be watched, like actors). There was Shakespeare's Bloody Bits (that seemed to borrow heavily from the Players of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead and re-lived all the bloody scenes from Shakespeare's plays. There was the Minstrels of Mayhem (my personal favorite)... twice. The first show was the classic audience participation (Beer and The Rattlin' Bog (to which RabidMonkey knew a much longer version)) and then later the classic songs (finished off by Health to the Company). Alas, there is far more than can possibly be seen in one day... or maybe even two days.

And so a long ride home (with a slight headache, thanks guys for keeping the conversation alive). To anyone who ever drives back on I-80 on a Sunday afternoon of a nice weekend it is slow. It seemed like the entire population of San Francisco was driving back... which wasn't too far off. Fortunately, 680 was a nice open road again. In an attempt to get back faster, I decided to take 84 from 680 rather than drive around the southern trip of the bay. To anyone who ever has the chance, this is a beautiful road to take that goes through a narrow canyon with a stream running down it and train tunnels. We were going through it as the sun was setting and casting long shadows of trees on golden hills, without a sign of technology (except that big dish on the side of one hill). Breathtakingly beautiful. Furthermore, someone doesn't want us to find 84... the signs are always these little things off on the side and subjected us to a few U-turns.

(I still have almost a full dozen of doughnuts in the back seat of my car... I suspect they are stale by now. Does anyone want one?)

So here's a health to the company, and one to my lass.
Let us drink and be merry, all out of one glass
Let us drink and be merry all grief to refrain,
For we may and might never all meet here again.