Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Catching up from the weekend: Part 2

Right now I am sitting in the library drinking a cup of surprisingly tasty, although still obviously from a machine, hot chocolate. For this rainy day, nothing could be more comforting, unless I didn’t have any schoolwork that I should be doing or if I was watching The Sound of Music.

But anyway, I wanted to tell you about Sunday. I went to the Renaissance Festival with Jerry. We have decided to make it a tradition. Everyone needs traditions and it gives us something to look forward to every fall. Also, sharing a tradition with someone, be it family or friends, seems to strengthen your relationship and intertwine you through this meaningful, religious, silly, fun, or slightly ridiculous occasion. The Renaissance Festival probably leans towards fun and slightly ridiculous (but don’t worry, we haven’t actually dressed up… yet).

At the festival, we watched a sword swallower, acrobats, and a royal joust. These people are truly medieval. Many festival-goers are dressed up too. Some looked more like regular pirates, are these from the Renaissance time period? Others were very stately and looked like the Queen or King of England in their full regal attire. And of course there are those of us who do not dress up, but instead enjoy watching others do so. The Renaissance Festival is a great place for people watching.

The food is a mixed bag. I will not go so far as to say that some is authentic, but some choices are possibly more “Renaissance” than others. A classic example is the turkey leg. I have never tried one, but the concept of eating this massive piece of meat that looks similar to a small club, is fascinating to me. Maybe one day… There are other choices such as “Steak on a Stake”, bratwurst, bread bowls, roasted corn and more. The ones that I would definitely steer clear of are the chicken nuggets and pizza. These are not festive at all and didn’t look too appetizing.

Spinach Artichoke Dip Bread Bowl



I got the spinach artichoke dip bread bowl. The dip was overflowing out the top of the bowl and very warm. The consistency stayed very creamy and although I didn’t see any artichokes or pick up much of the flavor, the spinach was delicious in it. Beware of these pieces getting caught in your teeth! Not pretty. The bread is slightly crusty but with a soft interior, perfect for soaking up the flavor of the dip.

The best way that I have found to eat a spinach artichoke bread bowl (I got the exact same thing last year) is to first take the top off and eat some of the dip out of the bowl with your spork. Then, break off pieces of the bowl and eat it with the dip. With this method you  finish with both at the same time.

Also, the cinnamon roll with cream cheese is delicious too! I love cinnamon rolls and although not warm, this was better than I expected. It was not cloyingly sweet or dense. It also tasted like it was freshly baked. Unfortunately, I was too eager to eat it to take a picture.

Here are some pictures of Jerry and me during our time at the festival.


There are lots of swords and weapons there. Evidently, people actually buy these. We just take pictures with them.


You can even ride camels.

To finish off the day, we went to Earth Fare. It was my first time but the inside reminded me of Fresh Market. However, Earth Fare differentiates itself by its commitment to carry products with no high fructose corn syrup or other preservatives/artificial additives. I bought some granola bars that I will report on later. At this particular Earth Fare, near SouthPark in Charlotte, there was even a café and grill. It was complete with freshly made smoothies, grilled chicken and fish, burgers, and specialty wraps, sandwiches, and paninis. I got food from the salad/hot bar. Everything was very fresh and there were many options. The panini that Jerry ordered was large and reasonably priced. I will definitely be back the next chance I get.

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