Thursday, September 23, 2010

Adventure Day

Part of why I've chosen the life I live is to see the beauty in this country as I travel. Most of the time when I'm actually traveling, as in I have a destination, I don't stop to see the sites. I just want to get to the gig. However, many of my gigs are several weeks long. I camp during the week and perform at fairs during the weekend. That means there is time to see the sites as well as practice, work on new stuff, and do the never ending office type work. There are way too many weeks that I let the practicing and office work take over. I have decided, no matter what, one day a week shall be adventure day.
Last week, I went to Sandy Point State Park. I was surprised to find a real life actual factual beach. I had not planned to find a beach, but luckily my van contains everything I own, so I hopped in the back and found my swimsuit and sunscreen and practically ran to the beach. The sand was the texture and color of "sugar in the raw". I sat on the sand with my feet in the water letting the waves roll up and splash me. It was heavenly. I'm sure the place is packed during the summer, but in Sept on a Wed, there were a few dozen cars. This park was the very last exit before crossing over the water on the Bay Bridge. It's a really long bridge and I could sit on the beach watching all of those people cross it to do whatever it is people have to do on an ordinary Wednesday.
Today, I took that bridge. It was super amazing cool. It made me think of my bridge engineer friend. I could completely see why bridges are fascinating. This bridge just seemed to go on forever. So much water to cross and all those boats down there... It was an incredible view. A little after the bridge, I took a turn down to Wye Island. My first stop was at a picnic table by the water. The ground was muddy just like a lake shore. I noticed the fish jumping and then I saw something floating and kind of white. Jellyfish! Once I noticed that one, I could see that this cove was FULL of them. If their main bodies were completely round, they would have been golf ball to baseball sized plus long flowing tentacles. After I took a picture I managed to tear myself away and moved on. Some of the trails in this park were crummy, but there were a couple that led thru the woods and ended at the water. My third stop did this and as I approached the water, a Bald Eagle flew from a tree near me. It flew out over the water safely away from the crazy red-haired girl. The trail at the end of the road was also pretty cool. There was a sandy beach at the end with fine nearly white sand. I took my shoes off and waded until I saw one of those cute little jellyfish. On the way out of the park, I stopped at the first stop where the jellyfish were numerous. The tide had come up and I couldn't see them. BUT I disturbed another mighty bird. He took off from a tree across the cove, but came back to the same tree. He stayed there so long, I had time to go to the van and grab my binoculars. An Osprey. Great adventure days. Life is good.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Maryland

Ah, Maryland Renaissance Festival. There are many things about this fair that make it special. I think those things over the years have created an environment where people know they can come into the fair and just enjoy things. There is no tipping, so people stay and listen in the lanes for a few minutes. They make eye contact. They stop and chat with performers. They know I don't expect a dollar. They are free to enjoy everything without the (real or suspected) look of hope or expectation in the performer's eye. Honestly, I hate the tipping thing at a festival. I feel like I'm begging. I want people to be free to stay through the last song without thinking that I expect them to save a dollar for me. Maryland saves me and the patrons from that whole ordeal and I appreciate it... and I really do think it has shaped the way the entire fair feels. Aside from that, the layout, hilly grounds with lots of shady trees make the place a simply nice place to hang out. Even with tons of entertainment, I never have a problem with other acts' sound bleeding into my assigned space. Acts are friendly and good. It's just a good place to be.
Last weekend was Scottish weekend. This next weekend is Irish weekend and I will be performing 7 times a day. There is really no way to avoid me! Weekend after that is Pirate weekend and then Celtic weekend! I'm thrilled to be here. If you are anywhere near here during the run of this festival, it is worth a stop or a drive to enjoy a day out here!!