Saturday, August 6, 2011

Take me to the faire

Work and weather permitting, J. and I set out for Bristol Renaissance Faire after a stop at Bonjour. This time we ended up on 41 in lieu of the Tri-State, which (1) didn’t slow us down as much as I would have thought, (2) J. found a less tense drive, and (3) didn’t cost anything. Because we were earlier than usual, we went to Apple Holler first, where a sign announced that there were a couple of days until apple picking began. A woman behind us seemed incredulous that picking would start so early, but  one of the young women assured her that these are a small, tart variety (presumably for cooking). She seemed to accept that explanation somewhat grudgingly. And they call Missouri the “Show Me” state.

Both of us ate about one third of our lunches, by which time the sun seemed out to stay. At the faire, we scored the last of the front row bench seats for Adam Winrich’s fire whips show. and afterward J. picked up tips from a professional insulter while I explored the Black Pearl. We didn’t plan or do anything in particular, or at least I didn’t. J. bought memberships to Friends of the Faire, and we were given a tour of the garden. Nice group. We were told they have quite the appetites.

I decided Highland Park would be a good stopping point and discovered that it’s the home of Bluegrass (a restaurant), where I’d been been once before earlier this year.

When I opened the car door in the parking lot, I heard what sounded like hissing coming from the car. That’s one of the problems with hearing loss; the angle and distance of a sound changes its character dramatically. Even as I asked J. what the sound was, thinking it was a leaking tire, I got out and realized it was the deafening song (whine) of many, many cicadas, or dogday harvestflies. They sing in the evening here, too, but not in such quantity over such a sustained time. On facebook, Morton Arboretum had asked something like: “Cicadas—sweet sound of summer or really annoying?” Not surprisingly, the answers were divided. My guess is that your response depends on the density and volume of your resident cicada population. Hyde Park: Sweet sound of summer. Highland Park: Really annoying.

Bluegrass can be crowded and noisy, and I adore dining al fresco, so without thinking I’d opted to sit outside to enjoy the cicada chorus in the twilight. Their song wasn’t as intrusive as the din indoors. What I hadn’t considered—I don’t know why—was the army of other six-legged creatures that couldn’t leave us alone, including mosquitoes, gnats, and flies. I retrieved some spray from the car, which staved off some but not all. Poor J.

He went with barbecued bison ribs, while I ordered ribeye (rare) with bleu cheese crust. Mmmm. More leftovers.

At the Flamingo, I watched the Doctor Who episode, “The Waters of Mars.” Afterward, I realized, I needed a drink and a shower. Both made me nervous.

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