Monday, October 10, 2011

Maryland Renaissance Festival

This weekend my family and I had our annual camping / Maryland Renaissance Festival trip. Every year (well most years) Kevin and I get together with my family and friends of the family for a local camping trip at the Millersville, MD KOA and attend the Maryland Renaissance Festival (Renn Fest).

The last two years we took the camping aspect out of the weekend and just attended the Renn Fest. AND last year we didn't even go as a group because our schedules didn't match. That being said, the last two years our family fun event just felt a tad off.

Once we all decided on a date that fit our schedules we decided to bring back the camping trip as well. At first we were only going to stay one night but then we changed our minds and booked both Friday and Saturday night like old times.

I must say that the KOA has done some great upgrades to the campground since we stopped coming two years ago. One of the reasons we stopped camping was the fact that they raised their rates on the cabins but hadn't done any upgrades to them. This year we found more comfier mattresses on the beds, a new swing on the front porch and it looks like they've doubled the amount of cabins they have on site. They've also added a pet policy and little dog park too.

Friday at work the clock moved slow.... The Trailblazer was out in the parking lot loaded up with our camping gear waiting for me to get off work and pick up Connor and head to the campground. FINALLY the clock read 4:30 and I was outta there!

The great thing about camping at KOA in Millersville, MD is that it is only a half hour away from our home and 10/15min from a store if we forget/need anything. PLUS... since its local we know how to get there. The campground is also only 15/20min from Renn Fest (minus the crazy traffic - I'll get to that later).

Friday evening I spent unpacking the Trailblazer (Kevin arrived late because of his Friday night college class) while my dad distracted Connor. We had a brief dinner, took Connor to the playground and then tucked him into yet another bunk bed (thankfully he didn't fall out of bed this trip!). Once Connor was in bed I was able to relax a little bit and enjoy conversation and s'mores. Kevin showed up late and we ventured to bed in the late hours of Friday / early hours of Saturday.

Saturday morning Connor woke us up at 7:30am on the dot and we found ourselves prepping a huge pre-Renn Fest breakfast by 8/8:30am. Between us we made French Toast, Scrapple, Sausage, Bacon and Eggs! OH MAN did we INDULGE! It took us a while to get ready and dressed but were finally out the door by 11. Kevin and I have been "dressing up" for Renn Fest for the last 6 or 7 years. So getting dressed requires us to get into our costumes. Also, everyone who is camping preps a crock pot of yummy goodness before leaving and its cooking all day long so we have dinner when we return for our day of fun.

The problem with leaving at 11 and not 10 was the TRAFFIC! The 15/20min ride to Renn Fest took an hour. There was a Navy Football game, the Annapolis Boat Show AND the Renn Fest going on in the general area we were driving. Add great weather into the mix and it makes for awful traffic.

When we finally got there it was perfect timing. As we were walking up to the front gate they were bringing the elephants into the festival and Connor had a front row viewing of them walking by. Once we were in the main gate we met up with Alice and started our wandering. We also started deciding where we were going to be and when depending on the shows and events.

Love this place and this time of year!
About a half hour into the day Connor decided he had played too hard that morning and needed an early nap. THANKFULLY laying him back in the stroller and giving him his bink gave him an hours worth of nap.

While he was napping, we decided to eat lunch and enjoy a beer. To me... one of the greatest things about Renn Fest is the food! Its very affordable and very very yummy! AND you can get almost anything "on a stick"! For lunch I had Mac N Cheese on a stick and a Steak on a Stake. Mmmmmm. Kevin enjoyed Fish and Chips and we also shared some hush puppies.

We started to venture where the rest of our group was located and Connor woke up in a pleasant mood. When we got where we were going Kevin and I took Connor over to see the elephants since they were right next to where we were sitting. Connor was fascinated (as was Kevin). At Renn Fest you can get yourself an Elephant ride. Last year Connor and I rode the Elephants. We didn't this year. As it would be an awesome thing for Connor again...I'm waiting until Connor is old enough to go on his own... For me... once you ride an elephant you don't have to do it again!

Before venturing over to see the O'Danny Girls, Alice and I bought some Fried Oreos. OMG. So so so good. We even shared a bite or two with Connor. We got to see the O'Danny Girls (one of our favorite acts) and Connor enjoyed dancing to their music. From there we did some walking and shopping followed buy the annual axe throwing competition between my dad and Kevin.

As 5pm rolled around Connor was getting restless and overwhelmed and we were tired from walking and pushing the stroller all day. We said good bye to Renn Fest and headed back to the campground for an awesome dinner.

We had four crock pots waiting for us! One had sausage and meatballs with pasta sauce, another had chicken stew, another had pulled bbq and mine had chili. We also cooked plain pasta to go with the sausage/meatball mixture and mac n cheese to go with chili. CAN YOU SAY YUMMY!?!

Thankfully Connor was super great Saturday evening. He settled into a camping chair and read his books by the fire. I was worried he'd want to get in and out of the chair which is a dangerous activity while near a fire but he settled in and enjoyed books with a bowl of mac n cheese. Soon enough his bedtime came and he went right to sleep from his busy day.

Friday and Saturday night was COLD. Like 40 degrees cold! The cabins at the KOA have AC but do not have heat. Needless to say it felt great to relax by the fire and snuggle under lots of blankets.

You'd think I'd have had enough food for the day BUT I ended the evening with another s'more! BUT this s'more was different... I decided to add a piece of my spicy chocolate and it made for the best tasting s'more EVER!!! OMG. Mmmmmm.

Sunday morning came too soon and we found ourselves packing up and heading home!

Overall a fabulous weekend with beautiful weather! Pictures to follow in a different post!


  1. Other than the cold nights with no heat, that sounds like a really fun weekend adventure!

  2. Tried commenting from my phone and it didn't work, so trying again... :)

    Reading this on the way to lunch is dangerous! BTW What is scrapple? You've mentioned it a couple times and like smearcase, I've never heard of it anywhere else! Another MD thing? :) And how in the world does one get mac n cheese on a stick? or fry and oreo? Glad you had a good time! (and that Connor didn't fall out of bed)

  3. Ahhhh Christine.... Scrapple... plainly put it is the left over pig parts mushed together and cooked on the skillet. Sounds awful yucky but its super yummy.... I recommend buying RAPA scrapple. Its found in the same aisle as bacon and sausage... but I'm not sure its sold much further south than MD/VA...

    Mac N Cheese on a stick IS fried triangles of yummy goodness shoved onto a stick.

    Fried oreos are oreos dipped in the same dough as funnel cakes and dropped in the fryer. The oreo becomes soft and mushy inside... nom nom nom.....

  4. The macaroni sounds yummy. Emma would like the oreos. As for the scrapple.... I can't even eat sausage ;) I'll leave that to you!

  5. missed going with you guys this year!! next season i'll be back :)
    and on a side note... 40 degrees is our high right now... it got up to 45 the other day and andy and i went for a walk wearing tshirts and no jacket cause it was "warm" lol. its too funny to think that if i was still home i'd be just as cold as you in that weather lol