Tuesday, February 28, 2012


Hail and good tidings! Even with a time machine, I've been too mondo-busy to write up my latest adventures, experiments, and creations. However, said time machine did take us to too wonderful a place to not record...Sherwood Forest in the time of Robin Hood!

This is the third year of Robin Hood's adventures, but our first time in seeking him. Alas, we never saw the fine scoundrel who spends so much time stealing money from the government and returns it to the people, as we were too busy having fun with whatever we stumbled across in his woodland home.

For instance, a fox.

The Wethergirls love faire rides, but decided to just do the Big Swing...

...and the Red Maze. They are in there somewhere.

Me? I love the music and discovered a great, new (to me) gypsy band, VaNa MaZi!

Of course, one of the best reasons to travel through time is for the food. I can very highly recommend the steak & lamb with hummus from the Jerusalem Cafe, while the girls prefer more traditional turkey legs, chicken gumbo in a bread bowl, and a big sausage on a stick.


Strewn along the trails were tons of glass "fairy stones" (glass marbles), which were a big hit with my princesses. Kids were encouraged to take a few home with them, though I limited my girls to two each...otherwise they would have taken them all.

My princesses.

My Empress.

The Seven Sisters sacred circle and location of the evening bonfire.

Similar to TRF, there is a free tea party for kids every afternoon. In Sherwood Forest fairies run this party rather than French and it is much more elaborate and entertaining.


Mambowether and Missewether were THRILLED to discover the royal artist, Dan Marlowe. Rising booth prices drove him out of TRF and into the loving arms of Sherwood Forest. Of course, we had to do another painting under his expert instruction.
This took a little over an hour, mainly because I kept screwing up the mountains. I still don't think they look right.

While Miniwether is the best drawer among the Wetherclan, Mambowether is the best painter. She did a majority of the work on this painting, just like last time. This did not satisfy her creative urge and so she also did a spin-art.

Before spinning.

After spinning.

Speaking of spinning (neat segue, eh?) eventually night fell and everyone gathered by the bonfire in the center of the Seven Sisters rocks. From there a parade of fire artists led everyone out of the forest in a wild display of spinning fire!




It was a perfect day for the faire, partially cloudy with temperatures in the high 60s. It took a little over 2.5 hours to get there from the north side of Houston, but a empty roads, a large pile of bacon & cheese kolaches inside the time machine and beautiful roadside wildflowers outside made for a pleasant drive. Many TRF people, both patrons and entertainers, were there and so we ran into lots of old friends, which added to the pleasure.

Sherwood Forest Faire has a much purer feel to it when compared to the Texas Renaissance Festival. Sherwood doesn't have bungie jumping or other anachronistic crud to ruin the fantasy and most of the visitors were in garb, which really made it awesome. Food and kid's rides prices were a little higher than TRF, but general shopping prices were the same or even a tad lower in some cases. Admission tickets are much cheaper and better yet, on Sundays tickets are buy one get one free!

The grounds of Sherwood are spread through beautiful woods of oak and cedar, making it much, much prettier than TRF. In fact, it was by far the prettiest location for a renaissance festival I've ever seen (this includes faires in MN, IL, NY, and multiple TX faires). The only downsides to it (other than only being about 1/3 the size of TRF) were that the parking lot had no lighting (bring a flashlight), most of the merchants were not set up for credit cards (bring cash), and the parking lot was covered with tennis ball sized rocks that made walking through it in the dark somewhat treacherous. Much to my wife's and daughters' pleasure, there were flush potties but no drinking fountains so we couldn't refill our drink bottles and had to keep buying water.

These minor negatives were VASTLY overwhelmed by the overall wonderfulness of Sherwood Forest Faire. We all had a great time and Mambo decided she liked it even better than TRF, though mostly because to the painting class. I still prefer the bigger selection of weapons, leather, and crafts at TRF, but I have no doubt Sherwood will quickly grow to match that!

Adventure! Excitement! Faire!