Arizona Renaissance Festival

The rain moved out on Thursday morning but the day remained cloudy. The temperature was cooler than normal and we had a high temperature of 70 degrees. A few light showers fell in the afternoon – very brief and not enough to wet the street. It was dry enough for me to put chicken on the Traeger. Spiced with Pappy’s Choice rub, it made a nice dinner. I had the Traeger set to 350 degrees – next time I’ll increase the temperature for the final minutes of cooking to make the skin crisper.

Chicken cooked on the Traeger smoker/grill

Friday was a clear, sunny day. As usual, we started the day with pickleball in the morning – I play in the 3.0-3.5 round robin on Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings. After the round robin play, I got a couple of pick-up games in with Donna.

Our friends Mike and Jodi Hall have several African Spurred Tortoises in their yard. These are native to the southern Sahara desert on the African continent. They can reach a size of 33 inches and weigh up to 200 pounds. Mike and Jodi have a few large ones and some smaller young ones. They are two or three inches long when they hatch but grow quickly, doubling in size each year for the first few years.

Donna saves vegetable scraps when she cooks and we feed the tortoises with them a couple of times per week. They are voracious feeders and eat mostly grasses and vegetables. They require high fiber diets with little protein or sugars. It’s a good way for us to utilize vegetable scraps or produce that is past its prime.

Large African Spurred tortoise in the foreground, medium size in the background

They love the vegetable scraps from our kitchen

After we fed the tortoises, we rode the Spyder back to ViewPoint RV and Golf Resort and stopped at Fat Willy’s at the park entrance.

Donna saw a Facebook post from Lori Gardner Рsomeone she knew when she was growing up in upstate New York. Turns out Lori and her husband Jeff live less than a mile away from here.

We met them at Fat Willy’s and took a table out on the patio. Friday’s weather was very nice with a more normal high temperature of 80 degrees. We sat outside and talked over a couple of beers and appetizers. It was a good time.

On Saturday morning, our friends Howard and Sara Graff picked us up at the park. We piled into Sara’s Ford Flex along with their daughters Allison and Kenna and Allison’s friend Lauren. We headed east on US60 past Gold Canyon to the Arizona Renaissance Festival. The festival is located on 30 acres of desert with permanent structures. It’s open on Saturdays and Sundays from mid-February to the first weekend of April.

It’s a fun time – part circus, part costume party with a fair-like atmosphere. It opens at 10am and we arrived about twenty minutes early. Getting an early start is a good idea – the festival generates a lot of traffic bringing US60 to a standstill later in the morning. As we stood in line waiting for the gates to open we had entertainment from a few of the festival’s actors.

Donna made a new friend while we waited to enter the festival

The royal family arriving

There’s so much going on inside the festival that I doubt you could take it all in during a one-day visit. We wandered around and watched a few performances. There’s no shortage of good food inside – I enjoyed a curry chicken pastie plate. The cost to enter the festival was $22/person. Parking was free and the food was reasonable – my pastie with a side of peas and carrots and mashed potatoes with gravy was seven dollars. And they have beer!

Old fashioned open-air kitchen

Blacksmith’s shop

I probably wasn’t the best company for a day at the festival – my allergies were getting to me. My eyes were itchy and I had a sinus headache. After about four hours, we’d had all the fun we could stand and headed out.

Today we have clear, blue skies and the temperature should reach 80 degrees again. The forecast for the week ahead looks sunny with highs from the mid-70s to the mid-80s. I can’t complain about that!

 

One thought on “Arizona Renaissance Festival

  1. Betty

    That sounds like a fun festival. We will have to look it up next time we are in Phoenix. I learn so much from your blog. Thanks for posting for all of us folks out here.

    Reply

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