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We have returned safely from our trek to Pennsylvania for the Blackmore's Night concert and the PA Ren Faire, huzzah!

By happy chance (so he says *ahem*) Mr Psmith picked a hotel for Friday that was across the street from not one, not two, but THREE Irish pubs!! So as a prelude to the evening's main event there was well-poured Guinness for Mr Psmith and a nice pinot grigio for me, and a bartender from Leitrim with a GORGEOUS accent (when we asked him how long he had been here, he said "T'ree weeks"). We then "garbed up" and, since the theatre was only two blocks from the hotel, paraded downtown in our Renaissance-y best, nodding regally at mystified passersby. The concert was very good; lots of fellow audience members also in garb, so it was a bit like going to see the 16th century version of Rocky Horror Picture Show, only with less toast and more shawm. Seeing Carl as the opening act on a big stage was great fun, and then Blackmore's Night played for 2-1/2 hours straight -- many old favorites and one or two we didn't know, and Candace's voice was as stunning live as it is on the CDs.

The next morning we had a two-hour drive to the Ren Fair but a luxurious hour to get dressed once we arrived (normally at our "home festival" we have about 20 minutes!). We looked splendid, if I do say so myself, particular Mr Psmith who is quite dashing in doublet, hat, boots and sword :) We strolled the grounds like visiting nobility all day and had quite the time, inspecting the baby dragons (i.e., anole lizards), watching the various minstrels, and eating anachronistic but tasty food items. The PA Faire is more "produced" than our home festival -- for example, all the performers are mic'ed and the joust had theatrical piped-in music that sounded like the soundtrack to Ben Hur! But once you get past the different character it's a fun change of pace. The Faire's theme this year was a fierce competition between Shakespeare and Marlowe, and the "Finale in Song" (which is what PA has instead of a final pubsing) had some very funny bits indeed where they got out of temper and ranted at each other, and the Queen was clearly channeling her Blackadder incarnation. Though as Mr Psmith said, the last number was much more Glee than Tudor. Still, worth the trip if only for the chance to see Empty Hats and trot out our black velvet one more time :)

Mr Psmith scored again with Saturday night's hotel which had an excellent restaurant complete with vegetarian menu (spinach, mushroom and goat cheese quesadillas with chipotle honey glaze -- nomz!!)

We slept in this morning, then headed out and were home by 5pm, well ahead of Hurricane Sandy which was all over the news of course. On the drive home NPR taught us things about Kurt Weil and the Threepenny Opera, and we passed a convoy of five utility trucks which we speculated were being mobilized ahead of the storm. Made me feel rather reassured; not that we're supposed to get more than high winds and an inch or so of rain at Chez Psmith, but still, it's nice to know that people are Planning Ahead. We're happy to be home, and I hope that all of you who are in Sandy's path weather the storm safely and with minimal damage!


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Oct. 29th, 2012 08:45 am (UTC)
Ooh I like Blackmore so that sounds fun.
Oct. 30th, 2012 03:39 am (UTC)
They were excellent live, as good as on the CDs. Candace's voice is just luscious.
Oct. 29th, 2012 07:36 pm (UTC)
Sounds like fun!
Oct. 30th, 2012 03:39 am (UTC)
Yes indeed. Glad to have gone, glad to be home :)
Oct. 30th, 2012 12:30 am (UTC)
Sounds like a wonderful time. Envious of the Irish Pubs - but very happy for you to be there. :D
Please forgive the lack of coherency. Pain and Pain med haze.

Edited at 2012-10-30 12:31 am (UTC)
Oct. 30th, 2012 03:40 am (UTC)
Irish pubs just rock, there is no question about it :)
Oct. 30th, 2012 01:00 am (UTC)
Sounds like an excellent time, and all the better because you missed any storm craziness.

So you're a Blackadder fan, too, eh? I adore that show. My favorite is the 18th century series; it's the first gift I gave my partner after we'd gotten together. But they're all classics.
Oct. 30th, 2012 03:47 am (UTC)
HUGE Blackadder fan, yes, second only to Monty Python! "Beer" and "Potato" are my favorites ("They have one great redeeming feature: their wallets. More capacious than an elephant's scrotum and just as difficult to get your hands on."), though I also adore the one where they accidentally burn Dr. Johnson's dictionary and have to re-write it ("Oh, I'm sorry, sir. I'm anispeptic, frasmotic, even compunctuous to have caused you such pericombobulation."). And the very last episode of all, when they go "over the top" and it fades to poppies, leaves me teary-eyed every time.
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Oct. 30th, 2012 03:27 pm (UTC)
It's a pretty neat instrument, actually -- makes a nice harmonious buzzing sort of sound, like a cross between a clarinet and the drone on a bagpipe but you look much cooler playing it than either of those. The PA Ren Faire had old-fashioned trumpeters, which was also fun.
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