Well, this time it's not boring and I took plenty of pictures! So, let's get started. Since the festival effectively ran for two days, I'll split them up.
We headed off on Thursday afternoon, this time, since Friday had all-day fun going on too. I'd finished everything just on time! And as we weren't staying in Midland this time but a little between it and Coldwater, we also took a different route. Instead of that scenic route through the Blue Mountains last year, we took the 400 North through Barrie to get to our B&B before too incredibly late. Alas, not near so scenic...
But was it ever worth it when we got to our destination! We decided to treat ourselves to a Bed&Breakfast since we'd be staying two days. We booked the Brass room at the BEAUTIFUL Bluebird Meadows Bed and Breakfast. And five-star treatment was had! Pardon me while I gush for a while here.... it was a lovely house set down a wooded driveway, full of wild birds with their many bird feeders, a pond, large garden, a beautiful house, and even a hot tub! The common room table was even set with lovely china table settings and adorable little iron frogs.
We got the Brass room, which was a tad cramped for the amount of luggage I had, but a lovely old-fashioned style bedroom (quilt, lace curtains, wall decor of pretty songbird ceramic plates). Suited to the name, we had a nice brass bed that also functioned nicely as a hat stand.
As we got in pretty late, the evening was filled with us finding a restaurant for dinner, showering up (only thing I didn't like- the shower was a cubicle one, which I smacked my toes off the edge of, and one of those newer straight-down shower heads that I bloody hate. And the small shower made it hard to find a spot to actually soap up with it...) and ironing my many, many articles of historical dress. Unfortunately we never had time to check out the hot tub!
But we did get treated to a cooperative little garter snake on the front porch when we were coming back in! <3Friday
And the start of the festival! We got up at 8, in time for the 8:45 breakfast being served by the B&B. We were filled nicely with tea, fruit salad, banana bread, scrambled eggs with cheese and herbs, bacon, and pumpkin-apple pancakes. And then, I got into my new 1890's summer outfit. As nothing started TOO early in the day that I wanted to do, we spent some time that morning taking photos in the lovely gardens. Furilas took some beautiful shots! Don't worry, I'll be spamming the heck out of them in the next days, but here's a teaser (along with a shot of what gorgeousness we had to work with!):
And with a photoshoot accomplished, and after some watching of the many birds, squirrels, chipmunks and rabbits from the porch, we headed on into Coldwater!
Friday was relaxed, but still had some fun events going on. Our first stop, after some Kawartha dairy ice cream, was to try our hand at croquet! Well, it was easy enough to pick up, but the turning wickets are apparently my worst enemy. I went from this....
...To this by the end of the game! (Don't worry, the croquet ball is in fact invincible to an angry malleting...)
But Furilas by a bit of luck and some well-placed swings, made it to the croquet final game later that afternoon. And won us a lovely little gift satchet of tea and a ceramic shell-holder. Not to say it was hardcore croquet; most of us were first-time players! Fortunately we had a referee to guide us through the game and the basics were quick to grasp. I wasn't the only player to show up in costume, but certainly the only one in authentic garden-party-suited historical attire (which I was very glad for in the summer sun! Wind just goes right through that voile blouse). Shown below, a scene from the final game. A bit hard to capture it all across the big lawn, but I got three of the players in (and just missed the unsportsmanly reaction of overshooting the final wicket).
Once we had wrapped up the afternoon's croquet, we took a short break and strolled the street a bit (and I bought a lovely new purse that would serve me perfectly for the festival), then the festivities continued in the form of tea, with tea duelling. We had a lovely table and tent-canopy set with an assortment of cups and saucers, and the lovely organizers running out the teapots and trays of biscuits for us. We all sat around and had both a nice friendly chat, and some tea duelling that ended in many wet messes landing on saucers. And a very long match that went on for over eight minutes in total. Furilas withdrew from that round by eating his
With that done, the afternoon was wearing on and the new Transfigured Friday (a night of Harry Potter events) was about to get started! We drove back to the B&B (only a short ten minutes! But over a huge hill that made my ears pop every time...) and I got into my 1880's Ravenclaw dress for the evening. I was a bit worried about heat, as while the dress is all cotton it had been a hot day and I was still in full Victorian underpinnings and the dress has a fairly heavy double skirt, but it was cooling off fantastically by the time we got back into town, and I was perfectly comfortable for much of the evening. I wish I'd gotten a few more pictures! They had a scavenger hunt, trivia, some photo backdrops set up, many people who'd come dressed up, some live performance (the incredible theremin bassoonist was back again!) and a surprise visit from some Wye marsh conservation owls!
My Ravenclaw dress proved extremely popular, especially the owl puppet (recognize old Owloysius without his bow tie?). I couldn't go two minutes without being stopped!
After a quick dinner of Subway, we finished off the evening by catching the end of the fire show, followed by the 80's covers of Joy Brigade, and some silly dancing with wands out was also had. And yes, bustles make for excellent dancing attire! There was some fine rump-shaking going on. XD
With that, we had to head back to the B&B at 10:30, as we had to pack enough up to be ready for a quick checkout in the morning, and get to bed on time for the main day!
And the B&B continued to be awesome. Look who showed up on the porch this time! <3<3<3<3 Saturday
And, the biggest and last day! We got up at 8 again, and our breakfast this morning continued to be lovely- parfaits of vanilla yogurt, banana and mango, croissants, a dish of baked potato, egg, cheese and sweet pepper, bacon, and a finale of strawberry rhubarb crisp (I have definitely never eaten that as breakfast!). We said our goodbyes to our wonderful hosts as we got ready and finished packing up and checking out, though I left my sweater in the common room, so we had to come back later anyway and pick it up!
Today was my fanciest outfit, my 1880's kraken-waterfall gown. It was also the hottest, stickiest day with very little wind... no amount of natural fiber helped the sweat in this heat if the sun was out!
But we did manage quite a bit. Unfortunately not near so many photos!
We started with the display of vintage cars that was being put on with the Lion's club. And although 45 years outdated, couldn't resist a "win this NEW car!" pose with a 1930 Model A...
After that, we continued on to the main street. I bought some more Enchanted World books to continue my attempt at collecting the whole series, and found some beautiful vintage gloves to replace my modern spandex ones I'd bought in a hurry before the event as well as some cloth summer-friendly ones I could wear in place of my leathers.
We then met up with a friend who'd had to skip the last year, and waited to catch back up (this is where the heat felt worst, as we were trying to shelter in full sun and no wind under my umbrella...) after the costume contest. I skipped any costume contest this year, as the organization was the exact same as last- no real judging of workmanship, everyone herded onto the stage at once and endless amounts of sandbagging allowed. And it took forever! In that heat all I wanted to do was hide on a shady bench... there was also a native drum circle going on a short ways away that gave good reason to stop and rest a bit (I don't know how they did it, they hardly stopped for an entire hour!)
But anyway, after that, we met back up, I gave my friend a long-promised jar of my homemade jam in exchange for some lovely crocheted summer mitts she'd made me, and we all got some lunch in the form of ice cream! With the heat, my appetite was practically gone. But some orange-vanilla swirl (aka, creamsicle) did cool me off nicely.
After that, we were shocked to discover just how fast the day had gone- we were nearly out of time once again to check out the museum portion of the festival, and arrived pretty much at the end with no more reenactor/demo activity going on and vendors nearly ready to pack up. But I did still manage to make the acquaintance of a lovely Mr. Octopus...
After that, I had enough time to have a bit of nerding out about textiles with a hand-spinner who was still running her wheel (a more modern construct from a saxony wheel but still pedal powered, it was super neat!), and we called it a day. I managed to strip off the costume in the parking lot with a bit of help from Furilas holding a blanket up for cover, then we got ourselves on the road. We had to make a quick stop back at the B&B to pick up my forgotten sweater (and, a free zucchini and cucumbers from their garden! At this time of year you can't GIVE the darn things away they're so plentiful...), and we madethe 2-hour drive up to Owen Sound to spend the rest of the weekend at the In-Laws. It's chokecherry and wild blueberry season and we need to go picking!
And with that, I'm off to the woods. Hope you enjoyed the review! I'll start regularly uploading photographs again within the next few days.