Friday, October 29, 2010

Our ninth week in review: October 25-29

Report cards anyone?  LOL

Another great week of school for Daisy!  However, the weather is messing with her seasonal allergies (frost last Friday, pouring rain, unseasonably warm temperatures--up to near 80--for a few days, with a high of only 60 today) so she's ending a great week by feeling cruddy :(

On Monday we enjoyed our long-anticipated field trip to The Franklin Institute in Philadelphia.  We visited the traveling Cleopatra exhibit  (see my report with oodles of fascinating pictures right here) then spent a few hours exploring the other exhibits.  Please excuse the cellphone pictures.  I managed to forget that I had the proper camera in my bag---only flashless cellphone pictures had been allowed in the Cleopatra exhibit.

Most of our time was spent in Sir Isaac's Loft "where art and physics collide."  Among other activities,  Daisy compared the energy needed to lift herself with the help of a few pulleys vs many pulleys:


She explored pendulum motion by viewing patterns created with sand (I swear this exact pendulum display was at The Franklin Institute in the 1970s):

She set up gigantic domino relays--check out the stairs they had!

We then moved to the bioscience exhibit, home of the giant walk-through heart.  Daisy does not enjoy the heart experience (just a smidge claustrophobic!) so we skipped it as usual.  Instead she explored the Health and Wellness section and the Blood section, learning exactly how much blood is in her body based on her mass:

After a foray through Electricity (I miss the old electricity exhibit with all of Ben's equipment, sniff sniff), we returned to  Changing Earth to see what we had missed before our Cleopatra ticket time.  Daisy spent a long time selecting times in history to see how coastlines and sea levels have changed.  The little Statue of Liberty model was either submerged or exposed with the sea level changes.

Daisy was struck by how the coastline of the United States would change should the ice of Antarctica and Greenland melt.  Yikes, that's a lot of water!

Unfortunately, we had to leave after Changing Earth.  Our 5 hour validated parking time was at the limit and rush hour would be starting soon.  No time for the planetarium, Franklin Air Show and Flight Simulator, for the Train Factory and for a visit to KidScience.  We'll see those next time!

For "regular" school this week we covered

Pre-algebra review this week covered word problems involving ratios, rates, unit rates, and proportions.

I had tried to find patty paper locally but the kitchen store was out of stock for two weeks so I finally ordered a box from Key Curriculum Press, the publisher of Patty Paper Geometry.  Their price including shipping was considerably less than other online sellers and shipping was incredibly fast (2 days from NYC).   The proper paper will be much easier to use than the differently-sized origami paper we had been using.

Today (Friday) we'll do some competition math assuming Daisy's sinus headache doesn't reappear by math time.

We started chapter 5: Atmosphere in CPO Earth Science, finished the ground water and wells project (homeschool FAIL--separate post), watched Bill Nye Atmosphere, and built our own barometer (Investigation 5A).  Topics included the composition of Earth's atmosphere as compared to nearby planets and the layers of the atmosphere.

Last week I managed to upload all the pictures for a bunch of science posts yet neglected to add any text, so the posts still sit in draft mode.  I will get them posted today.

It was a history-filled week with Cleopatra, regular history and the state park Earth Explorers program which focused on local history this week, specifically local agriculture.  The kids pressed their own apple cider!  This week only two other kids, one boy and one girl, were there for the oldest group time (9-15yr).  They were both around Daisy's age and got along very well, if the amount of chatter and laughter at pick-up time is any indication :)

We've moved from Egypt to the ancient Indus valley.   The Human Odyssey devotes a whopping five pages to the topic, so I added the first ten chapters of The Ancient South Asian World and the Jan 2008 issue of Calliope: Spark Along the Indus 2600-1750 BC.  I adapted a mapping activity from the K12 Student Pages (p 118-119 for those playing at home).

Next week we'll start ancient Chinese civilizations.  The Human Odyssey also devotes only a few pages to this topic, thus she'll be reading from The Ancient Chinese World in addition to some other library resources.

We've stopped making a timeline.  Daisy felt like it was busywork, essentially duplicating the very good timelines between each section in The Human Odyssey. 

English/Language Arts
Daisy's gearing up for the start of NaNoWriMo on Monday!  She finished adjectives in grammar with adjective phrases and a chapter test.  No more grammar until December.

She worked more on the NaNoWriMo workbook and spent many hours writing on the computer.

I usually don't keep track of Daisy's free reading, but this week's book list is notable.  She (re)read The Hobbit, The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, and The Return of the King!

We finished Chapter 2 in SYRWTL French (Galore Park French Prep 1).  Now we can discourse on important topics like what school supplies are in our school room and who is in our class LOL  Today (Friday) Daisy is going to make flashcards for all vocabulary up to this point.

Other Fun Stuff
It's been a slower week for outside events, just the usual ballet classes and Saturday Nutcracker rehearsals.

The Sunday Halloween parade downtown and trick-or-treating down Main Street were so much fun.  Mike wore the Nutcracker head at the ballet studio's table while Older Sister handed out the candy and coloring pages.  The weather was perfect, too.  I forgot the camera.

Older Sister has Arsenic and Old Lace performances tonight, tomorrow night and Sunday afternoon.  No rest for the drama weary---A Christmas Carol rehearsals begin on Monday afternoon!

Older Brother spent much time and effort this week honing his college list and writing his applications.  There is light at the end of the tunnel.

The Best of the Week:  the day spent at The Franklin Institute!

The Worst of the Week:  my mood :(  I've been very short and snappish with the entire family as next week is the anniversary of my mother's death.  Last Halloween I spent the day holding her hand as she slipped in and out of consciousness.  I really wish we could just skip to mid-November.

Looking ahead to next week:  It will be a tough week emotionally.  On top of that, Mike is having knee surgery next Friday to repair his ACL and to fix other issues related to surgery two decades ago.  For fun, Daisy has a Girl Scout meeting on Tuesday.

Sorry to end on a down note.  I hope you all had a great week and will enjoy a very fun weekend!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Cleopatra at The Franklin Institute

Read a complete picture-intensive review of our fantastic field trip right here!

Cleopatra exhibit at The Franklin Institute

On Monday, we completed our Ancient Egyptian studies by visiting the traveling Cleopatra exhibit at The Franklin Institute.  I had missed being a chaperone to the King Tut exhibit while it was there in 2007 so I was happy to finally have the opportunity to view ancient Egyptian artifacts.

The tickets are timed-entry.  We arrived at The Franklin Institute at 10:30am and were given 11am tickets for the exhibit.  If you are familiar with FI, the traveling exhibit space is one floor up from the ticketing level, off the atrium, above the gift shop.  Some special exhibits in the space are open to the atrium but this one is not, presumably to protect the artifacts from light and to preserve the slightly mysterious feel (background music, lighting) in the exhibition galleries.

We each were given a wand-style player for the audio tour (included in price).  A group in line behind us complained that they weren't headsets, but I definitely preferred the wand to a headset.  It was much easier for Daisy to listen to the audio commentary this way than through a headset.

We waited almost half an hour after our entry time.  Ahead of us was a large group of middle-school students.  With their chaperones, they were separated into three different groups to be let into the exhibition.  Our group consisted of Daisy and me, a mom and a 10/11yo boy, a mom and two teens and a lot of senior citizens!

We first entered a small theatre for a four-minute film.  Here's the description from the exhibition website :

Introduction Theater

Leaving the theatre, we walked through a hallway which appeared to be over water, representing the underwater ruins of ancient Alexandria, lost after an earthquake and tsunami "centuries ago." Underneath the clear floor were various artifacts from the 5th century BC such as

The first exhibition gallery featured


Another submerged city discovered near Alexandria, Canopus had a dual personality. It was a religious center as well as a decadent playground for Alexandrians, comparable to modern-day Las Vegas. This gallery focuses on the city's identity as a site of religious pilgrimage. Artifacts include representations of Osiris, god of the Afterlife, and ritual implements used on the boat procession from Canopus to Heracleion that was held annually in his honor. This gallery also contains artifacts that illustrate the indulgent side of Canopus

These artifacts were used in temple rituals

A stone (diorite) head of an unknown Pharoh from the Saite Dynasty (26th Dynasty, 664-525 BC)

We saw real hieroglypics, right in front of us!

A representation of the city of Canopus, based on underwater archeological evidence

Items that would have been used in rituals---the handle-like item is what remains from a musical instrument.  Bells would have been attached at the top.

Statues of Osiris

I was fascinated by the bronze situla, a pot about 18 inches tall and 12 or so inches in diameter.  Near the bottom left side of the handle (at the 10 o'clock position) you can barely make  out a Greek inscription.  The situla is dated from the Ptolemaic Period (332-30 BC).

At various locations in each gallery were audio hotspots.  If you stood on the indicated section, you would hear the audio to go along with video playing on a nearby screen.  People not standing on the hot spot would not hear the audio, but would instead hear their own audio tour narration.

We spent so much time in the first gallery that four more groups emptied out of the theatre before we moved on!

The next gallery was


The most dominant artifacts in this gallery space are two 16-foot tall colossal figures of a Ptolemaic king and queen from the Temple of Amon at Heracleion. Each new pharaoh, including Cleopatra, was crowned in the ancient city of Heracleion. This gallery highlights the city's role as the place Cleopatra and all of Egypt's rulers were invested with the power to rule the empire and its strategic position on the Mediterranean coast, where various war objects on view illustrate how it provided Egypt's main line of defense against foreign invasion.

A picture with Daisy showing the size of the statues!

On the rear size of the collosi was a gigantic chart of
Daisy explained the relationships between  those listed on the bottom two lines---Cleopatra VII's siblings and children---to me and to some older adults.  I was very impressed at the details she remembered from her readings.  Thanks go to the Oxford Press The Ancient Egyptian World and the Cleopatra VII Royal Diaries book :)

A smallish (12-15" in length) Greek sphinx confused some little girls as they were expecting it to be part lion.

Daisy found the various gold coins on display to be quite interesting
The level of detail was amazing!


Visitors journey into the ancient city of Alexandria, where Cleopatra's palace once stood. Featured objects reflect everyday life in Ptolemaic Egypt. Key pieces in this room include a statue of the High Priest of Isis and a sphinx with a head that represents Cleopatra's father, both from her private temple at her palace. Also on view is the massive stone head of Caesarion, Cleopatra's son.

Displayed in the Alexandria gallery were beautiful gold jewelry and trinkets.  These were an example of Egyptian "tryphe" or ostentatious extravagance which was in great contrast to Roman's austerity.

The Beauty and Power of Cleopatra

Here, visitors gaze upon a larger-than-life headless sculpture of a female body, dressed as the goddess Isis that represents a queen from the Ptolemaic period. They also see the only known example of what scientists believe to be Cleopatra's own handwriting on an original papyrus document.

What did Cleopatra look like?  No contemporary portraits survive, though there are official portraits of her on coins.  These are believed to be conventional images of  royalty, not true-to-life images.  On coins, she was not at all attractive!

The lighting in the display case made for a very difficult no flash cell phone picture, but I just had to capture the ancient writing.  Of all things, this document granted tax exemption from sales of imported wine!

Search for the Tomb of Cleopatra and Marc Antony

Entering this gallery, visitors are transported to the temple complex at Taposiris Magna, about 30 miles west of Alexandria. Here, Dr. Zahi Hawass, Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities of Egypt, is leading a search for the tomb of Cleopatra and Marc Antony. The gallery introduces artifacts recovered from this ongoing search, including an alabaster head believed to represent Cleopatra.

We viewed religious objects, masks, coins showing Cleopatra and jewelry that had belonged to worshippers at the temple complex.  Daisy found it amusing that Dr. Zahi Hawass was featured in this gallery as he had appeared in several National Geographic DVDs used in our Egyptian studies.

The Legend

The final gallery is devoted to images of Cleopatra through the years in art and popular culture. Artists have tried to capture the essence of Cleopatra in a multitude of art forms throughout history, from paintings to films. But so far, the real last queen of Egypt has eluded everyone.

It was interesting to view the various portrayals of Cleopatra through the years.  To the Romans, she was a wanton seductress.  She was always pictured in medieval portraits with snakes, symbolizing Satan.  Renaissance artists showed a pleasure-seeking Cleopatra who ultimately committed suicide with an asp.  During the 1800s, her exotic sexuality was the focus.  Cleopatra was a ruthless aristocrat yet a tragic beauty who was driven to suicide.  By the movie age which coincided with the fight for women's suffrage, Cleopatra was shown as an emancipated modern woman, most possibly the closet portrayal to actual reality.

In conclusion, this special exhibit at The Franklin Institute was well-worth the admission price ($26.50 weekdays for adults, $19.50 for kids 2-11---I had a small value coupon) and the parking garage fee (validated for up to 5 hours $12).  The visit was the perfect capstone to a month spent reading about and discussing ancient Egypt.  

The exhibit will remain at The Franklin Institute through January 2, 2011.  Additional information, including ticket pricing and hours, may be found here.
A four-minute movie opens the exhibition. Visitors are introduced to the parallel stories of Dr. Zahi Hawass and Franck Goddio, who are leading searches for Cleopatra VII from the sands of Egypt to the depths of the Mediterranean Sea.

As soon as the movie ends, visitors encounter a statue of a Ptolemaic queen, perhaps Cleopatra. Visitors also begin their audio tour, provided to every guest as part of the exhibition experience and narrated by the "voice of Cleopatra," who leads visitors through her life and times. 

Friday, October 22, 2010

Our eighth week in review: October 18-22

First of all, the plumbing repair was quick and relatively inexpensive in the grand scheme of repairs.  The threads, yes threads, of one pipe leading to the shower head came off inside the pipe! Who knew?  So we have a working shower again in the master bath.  The ceiling repair and associated ceiling painting in the kitchen, family room, and entry hall are another matter...

I can't believe we're up to eight weeks already!  Good gravy, another week and we'd be ready for report cards!

Ding dong, percents are dead LOL  Much more interesting math is at hand----ratios, proportions, you name it!  We'll start with Patty Paper Geometry next week.

It was a hands-on kind of week.  In addition to taking the Chapter 4 assessment in CPO Earth Science,  Daisy completed the writing portion of Investigation 4A (Weather Cycle--see separate post forthcoming), had a blast with Investigation 4B (relative humidity--see separate post also forthcoming), enjoyed her first class at the local state park, and is working on a ground water and wells demo/project (will also be a separate post but it's not yet done). 

Here is an in-action shot of a portion of Investigation 4B---Daisy laughed so hard while spinning our homemade sling psychrometer!

We have finished Egypt!  This week included Ramses II, who Daisy called "the vain pharoh" due to the large number of his statues spread all over Egypt,

a mapping activity from the K12 student pages comparing the range and spread of the Old Kingdom, Intermediate Period, New Kingdom and modern day,

completing the Egypt portion of a Comparing Cultures chart from the K12 student pages,

reading the post-Ramses chapters in The Ancient Egyptian World (chapters 20, 22, and 23),

leading up to Cleopatra

The books pictured are (left to right) Cleopatra: Egypt's Last and Greatest Queen , a DK Discovery book (old cover) and Cleopatra VII: Daughter of the Nile (Royal Diaries) which she had already read many times. I love our library system.

On Monday, we will explore the traveling Cleopatra exhibit at  The Franklin Institute in Philadelphia!  I was going to buy tickets ahead to secure our time slot but they want a freaking $4+ "fee" for each ticket!  No way---we'll just take whatever time slot is available once we arrive.  We'll explore the rest of the museum as well, so that will be school Monday :)

English/Language Arts
Grammar:  more adjectives (comparative and superlative, little vs few, demonstrative, interrogative and indefinite)

Writing:  She continued in the NaNoWriMo workbook plus wrote a new short story and a very long letter to a friend who moved to Atlanta last year.

Literature: In the past three days, Daisy has read an unabridged Little Women and The Adventures of Robin Hood, one from her sister's collection and one from her brother's collection.  We reviewed the types of meter from Building Poems and analyzed the meter in various poems.

Woot, verbs!  Avoir and etre (imagine the accent), so now we can ask where things are and who has them LOL  Using the Galore Park French I (French Prep) in combination with Older Sister's French 1 books works well.

Other fun stuff
Nutcracker rehearsals have started in addition to the weekly three classes.  Yesterday Daisy enjoyed a hayride/botany class as part of the Earth Explorers program through the closest state park.  She met a homeschooled 10yo girl :)  Hopefully that girl (and others) will participate in other classes Daisy has chosen. 

The best of the week:  I was able to attend an ice cream social for newbie homeschoolers through the local homeschool group!  I talked informally with several great women before a panel discussion led by seasoned homeschooling moms.  I also met someone else new to homeschooling with an 11 yo girl---hopefully our girls will be able to meet at an ice-skating activity next Friday.  Not only do I have a great online support group through the WTM forums, but I am now gaining an IRL group.  Life is good :)

The worst of the week:  all unrelated to homeschooling----the plumbing issue, brake work today on the little car, a broken-in-two-parts teen's cell phone, an overwhelmed senior who has been exploding due to frustration and stress.  But all shall pass.  Eventually!

And looking ahead to next week: which actually starts tonight with a trip to a corn maze in Strasburg PA with Older Sister's Girl Scout troop and families (flashlights! bonfire! smores!), a 50th birthday party for a friend tomorrow (adults only!!!!),  on Sunday the town's annual Halloween parade (ds's marching band will perform) and subsequent trick-or-treating down Main Street, our field trip to The Franklin Institute Monday...I'm tired just thinking about all the fun things to do!

I hope you all had a great week and will have a super weekend :)

Friday, October 15, 2010

Our seventh week in review: October 11-18

This week has been an unusual mishmash of full, accomplished-feeling days with unsettled half-days. 

Tuesday morning was my monthly coffee with long-time friends, when we meet sans kids (except for infants) and talk about everything under the sun.  Mike wasn't able to work from home that morning as he had to meet with clients, so Daisy went down the street to play with her youngest cousin for a few hours.  She began work on her NaNoWriMo workbook while there.  We only "did" school for two hours that afternoon as we also prepped for hosting Girl Scouts that evening.

Wednesday was PSAT day.  Older Sister took it this year as practice, so we had to get her to school by 8am as usual and then pick her up at 11:30.  Way to mess up the day!  No organized schooling was accomplished after 11am.

Word problem torture continued, with more percent of and percent off and rate problems.  I am so mean.  But Friday we did do some MOEMS contest problems!  Patty Paper Geometry has been ordered.

Stupid supply order hasn't yet arrived today (Friday---ordered last Wednesday----it's on the UPS truck in town somewhere), so that threw off my entire schedule for the week.  We spent this week covering the water cycle (Chapter 4, CPO Earth Science), watching a fab Bill Nye dvd on Monday, reading and discussing section 4.2 and the chapter connection on caves.  We obsessed over Investigation 4A, the slowest ever water cycle simulation.   A combination of not enough sun and cool house temperatures teamed to produce v.e.r.y.s.l.o.w. evaporation and condensation of water in our salt and fresh water GeoBoxes.  Possibly unexciting pictures to follow.

Another fun week of Egypt!  We studied Hatshepsut, a female pharoh

Amenhotep aka Akhenaten and the family including Nefertiti

and his boy Tutankhaten/Tutankhamen

The resources pictured above were used in conjunction with K12's Human Odyssey Vol. 1 (chapters 8 and 9) and Oxford Press's The Ancient Egyptian World (chapters 11, 13, 14, 15, and 16).    That DK Tut book is fabulous, btw.  Daisy has been reading bits and pieces to me for the past hour.

We also revisited the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archeology and Anthropology's website at to explore their collections online.  Daisy thought it was so cool to see the artifacts pictured in her books on their website.  We'll be visiting them in person hopefully before Thanksgiving!  I also need to book our timed tickets to see the touring Cleopatra exhibit at the Franklin Institute (see )

Language Arts
In Voyages in English 6 (2006 edition), we covered the use of sensory language in writing, simile and metaphor, and misused words (lie/lay, sit/set, your/you're etc).  We moved into adjectives in grammar---descriptive adjectives, definite and indefinite articles (yawn), numerical adjectives (ditto), adjectives as subject complements and comparative and superlative adjectives.

Daisy began reading The Golden Goblet Thursday and should be finished today.  She is not enjoying the storyline nor the writing style but is slogging through.  She would prefer a female protagonist.

We started meter in Building Poems and spent an afternoon trying to fit normal speech into iambic pentameter.  Seriously. 

As I mentioned at the top, work has begun on the NaNoWriMo workbook.  She is a braver person than I.  The thought of creative writing makes me twitch.

Sigh.  This is hard!  Reading in French is coming much easier to both of us than speaking it.  Older Sister laughs at our accents and attempts to help us correct them.  I expect we'll improve with practice.  Right?  This week we continued talking about items in a classroom and the verb avoir.  I'm having the dickens of a time trying to remember genders of nouns as I keep getting them mixed up with German genders...

Other fun stuff
At Girl Scouts this week, the girls started and completed the Earth Explorers badge.  We have the perfect backyard for that badge, the reason I volunteered to host and plan, with a creek at the bottom and 30' or so of native plants/trees before the grassy part.  They used that portion of the yard for activity 1 (Be an Ecologist) and activity 8 (learn how to ID 5 native plants).  We discussed how the space had changed from the past and how it might change in the future (activity 2: Traveling Through Time).  For activity 4 (Reading the Ringes) Mike cut slices from a small fallen tree as we didn't have a stump nearby.  Once back inside we discussed adaptation of plants and animals in extreme climates (activity 7).  Finally, the girls played a food web/food chain game I made using index cards (activity 5).

For exercise, Daisy had a in-studio ballet performance on Sunday and her usual three classes.  The Nutcracker cast was posted this week and rehearsals begin on Saturday.  Production week will be a little hairy as it is also tech week for Older Sister's high school production of A Christmas Carol!

She and Older Sister played flute together.  Daisy also started making Halloween crafty decorations for this year.  We picked up some pumpkins ($1 and $2 each!) on the way home from the RenFaire last week, and Mike and Daisy have been making their plans for carving.
Best of the week: definitely the history discussions we have as Daisy does her reading (including the one we're having now!)  I probably should have her writing more, though I'm afraid that would slow down her thoughts as she makes connections and draws conclusions. 

Worst of the week: stupid PSAT day in the middle of the week!  In frustrating college news, Older Brother spent his day off school (seniors are off on PSAT day) with Mike visiting Johns Hopkins and American University.  No change expressed in college preferences as of yet.  No headway made on the Common Application.  Mike will be bottling his latest homebrew this weekend...

Looking ahead to next week:  We'll do Investigation 4B and a Ground Water and Wells activity (done as a lab), plus probably Investigation 5A whatever that might be.  It looks like we'll be wrapping up Egypt, unless more Cleopatra resources on request come in at the library.

By the way, I posted the pictures from last Friday's field trip to the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire yesterday :)

Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire field trip

Last week we visited the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire on their Elementary School Day.  The activities were geared to the 3rd-6th grade crowd yet there were kids in attendance of all ages from public schools, private schools and homeschools.  Mike said the crowd was much lighter than during the Middle School Days he had attended with Older Brother and Older Sister two and four years ago.  This was our first event with the local homeschooling group and won't be our last.

After Daisy was grossed out by the sword swallower, we watched the pottery demonstration.  It was fascinating to watch him throw a pot without looking at his own hands!  At the same time, there was a craftsman handcarving a wooden spoon.  Had the wooden spoons been for sale, I would have purchased one immediately.

We walked through all of the shopping areas, checking out the handiwork and the wide assortment of "made in" items.  Despite stopping at every single stall and booth, Daisy resisted the call to spend her money.  She instead chose to have some fun at the games.

First she tried her hand at the crossbow:

Then she tried the regular bow.  This was a much stronger bow than Older Brother's old one and took much effort to shoot:

Finally, she climbed the two Jacob's Ladders.  The easy side was quite easy and she clambered up that ladder.  Next she tried the more difficult side.  I was sure she'd tip over onto the hay below:

but she rang the bell!  Huzzah!

After the games, we wandered through the food stalls as Mike enjoyed a pickle-on-a-stick:

Daisy ate chicken nuggets and curly fries <rolling eyes> and Mike had a bratwurst basket.  I was going to get a chicken cheesesteak after we watched the human chess game and visited some more stalls.  We were on a mission from Older Sister to find a good mask for her.  The Homecoming Dance at her school is themed "masquerade" this year.  She and I were planning on trying to make a mask...  I was thrilled we found a great black with gold mask instead!  Daisy tried a few one while I agonized over the choices for Older Sister:

There wasn't enough time to get my lunch before grabbing seats for the final jousting event.  We had pretty good seats near the middle of the arena

where we were able to watch the Queen address the two knights

and their "seconds"

Great excitement!

I couldn't get pictures of the swordplay that followed the jousting as all the kids in front of us stood to watch it.  We were able to watch it, though.

After all the excitement, we went in search of my chicken cheesesteak.  Alas, that shop was closed!  I consoled myself with The Most Amazing Caramel Apple ever, dipped in caramel and rolled in teeny chocolate chips and chopped peanuts, for only $1.00.  Calories well spent, imho.

I think we'll return to the RenFaire next year!  Mike wants to go in costume...