huzzah for dame fiona!

What a lovely Columbus Day weekend it was! We got quite a bit done and were able to take some time out to enjoy the CT Renaissance Faire in Hebron, CT –our third year of attending.

The Ren. Faire is a complete blast, and seems to get better every year. The weather was flawless which always helps. We got quite a few medieval heckling jokes from the actors at the faire about my pregnant belly which was fun. A guy dressed as a dragon gave me some beads for good luck, with this advice:
“1. Never do anything for beads. 2. Shiny things are always good”. Wise advice indeed.
Some of the most entertaining acts of the day were:

The Pope and Cardinal–by no means free of “cardinal” sin, these 2 had most of us rolling in the aisles with their oh-so-naughy, oh-so-bawdy irreverent humor. They chose people in the audience to act out a rendition of David and Goliath, and some of the things they said might make Paris Hilton turn as red as the Cardinal’s hat!

The Duelists–again by no means a “G” rated act, these guys are the experts in crowd heckling. Their motto “if you take your kids to this and they get what we’re saying, it’s not our fault, you’re just bad parents!”. They even told one kid who was harassing them, “next time mommy gets pregnant tell her not to drink so much”.

Smee and Blog: apparently these two have been performing for over 30 years and they are just fun. They are 2 “executioners” who like to revise old showtunes to have gruesome, execution-related themes. (example: “If I were a Hatchet Man”, instead of “If I were a Wealthy Man”)

Zoltan the Adequate (his motto, “Am I amazing? no, just adequate!): a comedian/magician who endangers himself in many ways (eating fire and sitting on nails), does card tricks and flirts with the crowd. Best joke of the day, “If Dick Cheney and George Bush were on a sinking life boat, who would be saved first?–the rest of the world!”.

Sweet Amaryllis: a really cute group of women who sing medieval songs and play the harp, flute and cello. Just nice relaxing stuff to listen to.

The finale of the day was a live jousting tournament which was great fun to watch. Chris and I rooted on the “black” side for the evil Dame Fiona, who won by cheating (But she won all the same!).

It’s great fun to go to the faire; we hope little Renee will enjoy the tradition too. You can check out the faire at this website :

The baby’s room is 90% set up. It would be 100% if, for our very last step of assembling the crib, the crib company failed to send us the bolts to attach the very last item. They apologized and are mailing them, but jeez! Talk about irony. Those damn crib people making it hard to assemble stuff! But the room is really cute. I spent some time Friday putting her little clothes into the dresser. It is sweet to see all the little socks, pj’s and dresses.

We stopped by Babies R’ Us this weekend to get a few last minute baby things, including a car seat stroller, which was our last major item. we also stopped by a children’s consignment shop near Chris’ parents and found a like-new baby bouncer for cheap. Score!

Still surreal that this little girl is coming so soon.

Hope everyone is enjoying their Columbus Day weekend.

Spooky Salem

Chris and I spent a wonderful Saturday at the Salem Inn. It was a blustery cold day and that added to the mystery and magic of the old stone house inn, with its winding stairs and creaky floors. We stayed in the honeymoon suite which was surprisingly decent priced. (One may argue that this is because the place is haunted?)
It was lovely, with a double sided fireplace that you could light, and a jacuzzi tub. you could sit in the tub and open the sliding doors from the bathroom so you could watch the fireplace. All the decor was in the old colonial style.
We ate dinner at a nearby Indian restaurant called Passage to India, which was pretty good. Although the witch theme is a bit overused in Salem, there were some cool little magick shops strewn about, and some very interesting and eccentric shop owners. Our particular favorite is the Broom Closet, they had fantastic herbs and incense and some pretty cool-looking wool cloaks.
Much to Chris’ delight we found a huge comic book store with all kinds of graphic novels, comic memorabilia and manga. It was like heaven!
We ourselves didn’t experience anything too paranormal (unless you count people being nice as a paranormal thing nowadays). But several other guests reported strange events. The owners of the inn claim that many people have witnessed strange happenings in rooms 17 and 18. (We stayed in room 76). The guest book was full of reports of strange sounds, sensations and apparitions. Spoooookkyyy…
The wind howled all night long and the floors creaked; the radiator hissed and the fireplace cast an eery glow across the ceiling. Needless to say it wasn’t a very restful night…but it was all in good fun. Around 3 am both Chris and I awoke to a startling loud crash, but fell asleep again not long after. It could’ve been any number of things! But thankfully the ghosts decided to have mercy on us and leave us alone.
We walked around Salem a little more on Sunday and found a pleasant cafe called Gulu-Gulu cafe (not sure where they got the name). They had some yummy vegetarian paninis. Our last stop in Salem was at Ye Old Pepper Companie, which claims to be the oldest candy store in New England. We bought some chocolates, anise candies and peppermint gibraltars (their specialty, I am told).
It was far too cold for walking around Salem for too long, but we were planning on a concert in Boston on our way home. We were pleased to know that there was an Imax theater halfway between Salem and Boston, and we thought what better way to kill a few hours and be away from the cold? We got to see I am Legend, and it was pretty sweet (and scary!) In Imax. Will Smith did an amazing performance.

Next stop…Boston! After we had planned our Salem excursion, Chris discovered that Blonde Redhead was performing in Boston that same weekend. We thought we’d live a little and stop by to see them on our way home. They were playing at the Paradise Rock Club, which turned out to be a decent venue. Opening for them was the School of Seven Bells, which turned out to be a very unique mix of trance, club rock and Indian music. The lead singer held maraccas (sp?), bells and a tambourine in one hand, and shook the night away! Good stuff.

Blonde Redhead played a quick set but a good one. Their performance was not as spellbinding as Osheaga, but then again they were not outside in the fresh air, they were in a stuffy little club. They played “23′, “The Dress”, “Equus” and all the other hits and even came back for a 4-song encore. The band was extremely shy and said only one sentence the entire set. The lead singer appeared quite shy and spoke in very broken English, so that may have been why interactions were so few. But everyone was captivated by their coolness, even if it was for a short time.

Well, getting home at 3 am was painful (thank you to Chris, who drove the whole way home and let his wifey sleep cause she had work the next day and he didn’t!), but I’d do it all over again. It was a great birthday gift to be able to spend some quality time with the hubby in some magical places.

Family Values

Well the annual Martineau-Dion-Casey family reunion went off this year with a few hitches. Unfortunately the crew from Virginia couldn’t arrive due to an injury, and several others couldn’t attend because of work or health reasons. But it was my grandparents’ 60th (60th!!!) wedding anniversary, and they had a few friends who knew them “way back when”. Theresa and the baby came, and she made an announcement that baby#2 is on the way!
My cousin John brought some great pictures from an exciting, random trip he took. He met a man at a bar in Colorado who was aiming to sail from Florida to England, and he asked John if he wanted to come along. So my cousin said, why the hell not! And, having never sailed before, he went with this guy (just the two of them) from Florida to the Azures (sp?) to England to Sweden. It took 40 days on the ocean, and he saw some pretty amazing things–beautiful sunsets, whales and dolphins passing by the boat–we were so jealous! How cool would that be? Thankfully he wound up safe and he became pretty good friends with the guy.
All in all, despite some spots of rain and the lower attendance, it was a decent day. We only took a couple of pics but we’ll put them up shortly.

In other news, I just heard tell that Southern Culture on the Skids will be playing at the Iron Horse in September! Tickets are 15$ as far as I know. They seemed like a lot of fun at the Green River fest, so anyone interested let us know if you think you might wanna go!