I previously had mentioned that I had hoped to make it to the Florida Renaissance Festival in Deerfield Beach before I left.

Don’t ask me how or why because I don’t really know. Many years ago we discovered that this festival was in town and we attended. It was unlike anything I had seen before and I wound up enjoying myself. Ever since that point in time, I have attended the festival yearly. Hell, I know where the ATM’s, beer booths and bathrooms are typically located.

I attended this festival with my mom, brother, friends and alone. This time I wanted to go by myself.

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I preferred going on my own this time simply because I could walk around at whatever pace I felt like. I can linger and loiter wherever I want and for as long as I want (Plus, I’m also great company). I like that I don’t have to worry when someone else needs to go to the bathroom, laugh at lame jokes they tell or feel the need to keep someone entertained. This was all about me. I’m certainly not the type of wear a costume to these things, but my underwear was the next best thing. What matters is what’s on the inside, after all.

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I couldn’t resist documenting my trip with a selfie LeeFie on my way out the door since there was a mirror there which was going to the trash. I was almost satisfied with how I was looking. Almost. Not quite.

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It was the opening day and it was relatively early. I had forgotten how long the drive to Deerfield was, but I got through it jamming to some tunes. For the first time ever, I managed to get parking close to the entrance and did so relatively quickly (I still don’t know who you have to sleep with for that VIP parking. Not that I would, I’m just saying that if I did think about it, I wouldn’t know whom). I was glad to be there, but as I got closer I started feeling a little sad, maybe nostalgic even (I’m the only person I know that gets sad in preparation of being sad. Making myself crazy is a talent unrivaled by any). I realized that I was leaving and this was potentially the last time I would see the cheesy entrance for the festival (on most solo trips I have my Bluetooth headphones, so that’s what you see around my neck. I like to rock out with my…never mind).

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Once I arrived I was greeted by the usual useless trinkets that look really cool, but you would have no use for (which of course means that I wanted to buy everything I ran into).

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Then there are other trinkets – the kind that you CAN use but are too expensive despite being cool – like these metal cover notepads. I can take all my crazy notes in style! Don’t think I didn’t consider this. I must have lingered by the books for a few minutes debating the logic of purchasing one of these. Fortunately the small area of my brain that is rational prevented me from doing so.

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That’s not all. You can also have the absolute coolest and geekiest toilet paper holders!! As detailed as they look, those things are likely guaranteed to keep you single for the rest of your life! I’m really glad I was moving to an apartment because that meant purchasing this was not really an option. Had it been, I’m not sure what part of my little brain would have won.

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Shortly after I arrived I went to the strategically located beer booth. This place is set up just a few stands from the entrance. I recognized the state of the economy so despite it being noon, I decided to do my part and purchased a beer. Speaking of which, Warsteiner makes a killing in these things. A  beer at $9.00? Shameless. I get it when I’m out at a bar, but here? Geez. I grumbled internally, but still purchased the beer(s).

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I rarely linger to watch the performers do their thing, but being as to how this was my last visit I felt the urge to. Some are very entertaining. The first I ran into was a musical act. Although they were clearly talented, I lost interest fairly quickly and moved along. This was too straight forward for me. Most people here have their theatrics and antics fairly well practiced and can usually gather a small crowd quickly. These guys didn’t have that so they lost me.

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“You there, sir!” I heard a voice from the stage behind me. I forced myself to not turn around and hoped my Jedi mind trick would work and the performer was speaking to someone else. “You sir, with the black tank top, drinking a beer and smoking a cigarette”. Well, shit.

I turned around to see a stage, seating and an older man with a microphone. “Come, don’t be shy. Sit here and watch the show” said the male performer. I motioned to him that I was smoking. “Well, put out the cigarette and come on down! Nice shirt, I would wear something like that if I looked like you” said the guy. That won me over, of course, and I put out the cigarette and found a seat in the front row.

Shortly after this, the show began. I’m always amazed at the performers who do performances requiring a high degree of concentration, skill, strength, agility and/or flexibility. This one pretty much had it all as well. Eventually my mind fell apart and I wondered what it would be like to sleep with the female performer due to her incredible flexibility. It must lend itself for some options one has never considered before. (Oh, come on. I don’t care what your family member/boyfriend/husband says: Every guy thinks the exact same thing every single time they see this stuff. Trust me.)

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The performance turned out to be great and the show was not only fascinating, but they were very funny. Satisfied (and a little in love) I moved along. Now, I don’t have much of a plan when I’m at the Renaissance Festival other than the fact that having beer and a huge turkey leg is mandatory. I slowly found my way to the food vendors.

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“You, sir! Put our meat in your mouth!” screamed one of the vendors in a failed attempt at cleverness. “We have the biggest piece of meat!” Sigh. Motherfuckers ruined my vibe. I avoided their giant meat and went to another vendor for my usual food. Once I was satisfied from properly stuffing my face, I moved on to the end of the festival. There’s a vendor whom you pay money to throw tomatoes at.

This guy is worth visiting and watching just for the quips. In order to get you to pay, he says funny, sometimes mean, things at the passer bys. More often than not, it’s a guy with a girl who gets his ego bruised and he feels compelled to participate. “Nice of you to bring your retarded brother!” he screamed to a couple walking by. They kept walking as they laughed.

“What hair band do you play for? This isn’t the 80’s!” yelled the guy to another couple, the male having long hair. Bingo! That was enough for him to stop and buy the tomatoes to throw.

“You throw like a girl!” “Is your arm tired from last night?” Ouch. “Maybe you should let the girl throw!” the quips kept coming. I finally decided it was time to go, but made the purchase of a few to throw myself. If you must know, I hit him in the head with my last one.

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One of the coolest places to buy a beer is in the center bar area. There’s always this older guy dressed up selling beer. No matter how many people there are, he has his persona down so well that he always has more people than any of the other servers. The guy is friendly and takes photos with anyone, usually buy hopping up to the table and posing. Fortunately when I requested a photo he came out to take it. He also yells “Huzzah!” very loudly (extremely loudly) when you tip and it creates such a spectacle that people tip often. I don’t know how this guy can keep it up throughout the period of a day. I wondered it all only because I can’t just relax and have a good time; I have to wonder about the logistics of it. I must be terrible company.

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This year at the same bar area they had some neat item – liquor on a stick – basically booze popsicles. It was brilliant and people loved it. I should have thought of this first. The vendor was a cool guy who never broke character. I spent some time chatting as I had made up my mind that I needed to get him to break character. I failed, but I was amused at the places my mind takes me.

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Prior to leaving I decided to take a few pictures just for the memories.

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Just as I was about to leave, two girls in their jester costumes walked by. I took a photo with them, but couldn’t stop thinking to myself that I was just the third jester missing from there – except I was in civvies. I didn’t mind – I have a lot of practice making a buffoon of myself anyway.

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Suddenly it was time to go. I found that I didn’t really want to go, but I had to. I started going to this fair with a group of people and I was the last remaining one. New adventures awaited and I had fulfilled my desire to make it to the Deerfield festival one last time. A little sad, I started my walk back to my car and took one last cheesy-as-hell photo (it was a recreation of one we had once taken in a group) and drove back to what was, for a little while longer, my house. In another episode of My Brain Messes With Me, I found it symbolic that the photos were of shadows since that’s all those old memories are. That’s all some of the people in the old photo are. That’s all EVERYTHING in Miami would be shortly. (I told you I’m great company).

I heard Maryland has a large Renaissance Festival. I guess it’s time to start some new traditions. The book is empty, but that’s how it always starts.

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Comments
  1. […] It seems like it was just moments ago that I was writing about leaving the douche-fest called Miami. In the last days of February it will be a year that I have relocated to Maryland, but in my mind I just wrote about having been in town for a week. I even remember vividly doing what could be my last visit to the Florida Renaissance Festival. […]

  2. rebecca2000 says:

    The toilet paper holders kill me.

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