I spent the night with Alex and Ainslie while their parents were out. We told Alex that the next morning he would get to go on a “special trip” with Aunt Anne. He was so jazzed that he didn’t want to eat breakfast. I took him to the Ren Faire.
To no one’s particular surprise, he hated it.
Because we were there early, we stood outside and watched the crowd grow and listened to the town crier do his thing. He saw the spritely…people on the roof and said they could fall and get a big owie. Then he really started to see the costumes.
I was a bit worried about the costumes, because he has historically disliked “characters” – at Disney, at the play and even Santa Clause. I told him the people were dressing up, like on Halloween. No kidding, he actually said:
“Why are they dressed like it’s Halloween?”
I told him, “Because it is fun to dress up.”
He insisted, “But it isn’t Halloween.”
I used the old standby, “They’re pretending.”
He determined, “That’s weird.”
I practically had to drag him inside. He didn’t want to go on a pony ride. Didn’t want to go on any ride. Didn’t want to watch the shows. Didn’t want to go to the petting zoo. He wanted to “go back”. I had to take out my map of the place to prove to him that we were walking in a big circle that would take us back to the car. It took all of 54 minutes and then we were out the gate.
“Weird” and “crazy” were his adjectives to describe the experience.
Luckily, his mother had given me a back up plan – the Faire is right by the Jelly Belly Factory. So we went on the tour. The “factory” was really a warehouse and the “tour” was sitting in a trolley thing, going 20 feet and watching the candy making on video screens.
Alex was the best behaved child in the place. State code says that people are required to cover their heads, so he dutifully wore the paper Jelly Belly hat. He did not whine or cry or complain that it was too slow. Then we got our free sample bags of jelly beans and were led to the retail store. He was so pleased with his free sample that he didn’t ask for a single thing in the candy store. I told him to pick out presents for his parents, which he did.
And then I saw something awesome. Toni, my friend at work, loves the Sunkist jelly candy, but can’t find anyplace that sells them individually wrapped. The Jelly Belly Factory store does. Do you know how many Brownie points I am going to get for this?