Category: Renaissance Festival

The beginning of a grand adventure

Well, I am leaving for Peru tomorrow.  While the past week since I graduated has been very busy, and I’m excitedly nervous for the start of my trip, I couldn’t have planned a better final weekend in Atlanta if I had tried.  I spent all day on Friday at an event called LeaderCast – basically a one day leadership conference that was much akin to drinking out of a fire hydrant for 6 hours straight.  Speakers along the lines of Andy Stanley, Laura Bush, and Malcolm Gladwell came and gave us their wisdom and insight into what it means to be an effective leader.  Then, in the evening, Michael and I made dinner for us and 2 other friends of his.  Although I didn’t really know them that well, it was still a very nice and relaxing evening chatting and getting to know each other better.

Saturday was spent at the Renaissance Festival, my annual tradition ever since I started college.  Although the forecast was threatening thunderstorms all day, hardly a drop actually fell.  It was simply nice and cool all day long, and the threat of rain had scared away much of the crowds, making it even better.  We watched incredible acrobats, and pottery and glass-blowing demonstrations, and meandered through the vendors’ booths, and of course took lots of pictures.  I just felt so blessed to be surrounded by so many people who love me so much.

2014-05-09 22.02.51 2014-05-10 02.50.032014-05-10 02.09.052014-05-09 23.19.26

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2014-05-10 01.56.19 2014-05-10 01.55.18 2014-05-09 23.48.27 2014-05-10 00.03.43

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

That evening, after we got back, Michael and I got all dressed up and headed over to Chris and Julia’s.  Julia was having an “Old Hollywood” themed birthday party that night.  So the guys were all decked out in their suits, and the ladies were well represented in sparkly, shiny, or old-style flapper dresses.  It was really a lovely night.  Julia outdid herself with all of the planning and little details, and I was super grateful for the opportunity to see her and get to meet and talk with some of her and Chris’ friends.

2014-05-10 06.30.12 2014-05-10 06.30.54

 

 

 

 

 

 

The weekend was rounded out with a grand mother’s day celebration.  My whole family drove up from Albany early on Sunday morning, and got to my church just as the service was starting.  So I got to go to church with my family on Mother’s Day, something I haven’t been able to do in many years.  Afterwards, we all drove to a park in south Atlanta to meet the families of several degrees of in-laws.  We all brought some food to share, and had a grand picnic lunch.  Actually, grand is probably not the correct word.  It was really quite simple and unassuming; but the people that I got to share it with were what made it grand.

2014-05-11 01.44.51 2014-05-11 01.45.42 2014-05-11 01.46.58 2014-05-11 01.48.492014-05-11 02.40.3201 (1)photo 3 (1)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today (Monday) has been nuts, with me running around trying to get last-minute things for Peru.  Fortunately, though, because of wonderful friends who have pitched in and helped out with what they could, I was also able to go to Elizabeth’s graduation ceremony from Emory nursing school.  Graduating with honors, and already has the job of her dreams lined up – so proud of that girl!!

2014-05-11 22.38.10

And there it is.  I suppose that’s all for now, folks.  I leave tomorrow morning at 11:00 am.  I’ll do my best to give updates as regularly as I can, but as I don’t even know where I’ll be staying from night to night, I have no idea how regularly I’ll have access to internet.  As I’m reflecting over the last few years in Atlanta, I’m realizing more and more that life – all of it – is a grand adventure.  You don’t have to go to another country for weeks on end with no plan to have an adventure.  You can have one every day of your life, if you choose to find it.  But nevertheless, I’m excited to be going on my next big adventure!  Leaving in less than 24 hours!! 🙂

People in Strange Clothing

It’s so strange some of the clothing that we have deemed culturally appropriate for certain occasions.  Who decided that graduates should wear a shapeless robe with a square hat on their head?  Or that brides should almost universally wear a white dress on their wedding day?  Or that performers should wear skin-tight and brightly colored outfits?  Whatever the reason, my second weekend in Albany gave me run-ins with all three.
I went up to Atlanta on Thursday night so that I could go dancing at Wicked Westie.  But then Friday morning I was off to Birmingham, to see Micah, a dear family friend, graduate from high school.  Our moms have been friends for years, and most of my memories of Micah are from when he was younger than Matt, so it was super weird for me to see him in a graduation cap and gown.  But I was also very proud of him, and it was great to see his whole family again – I’m always traveling, so it had been years since I had seen them. 

Nathan and his wife, Emily – I haven’t seen them since their wedding!

The whole Roberts clan

Saturday morning, I headed back to Atlanta to attend the wedding of my good friend, Philip.  Philip is the one who introduced me to west coast swing dancing – we used to practice together for hours when I was a student at Berry.  He also loves to travel and learn languages, so we always had a lot to talk about.  He’s such an inspiring, motivated, encouraging individual, and I was so happy to be able to be there for his wedding.  The reception was a blast, too.  He and his new wife are both dancers, so of course there was a lot of dancing.  But there were also fun little things that I had never seen before, like a trivia contest in which they asked questions about themselves, and the guests competed to see which table collectively knew the most answers.  It really was a ton of fun.  I’m going to have to ask them for tips when I’m planning my own wedding, lol.  It was even better because my wonderful, good-natured fried Elizabeth came along with me – even though she knew absolutely no one there.  She’s such a good sport.  But I think she really had fun, and I know that I certainly did – it’s amazing how much more enjoyable something is when you experience it with someone you love.

I loved the groom’s cake!!

The next day I met up with Elizabeth again, along with two other dear friends, Amy and Jen, to go to the Renaissance Festival!  When I was a student at Berry, I always enjoyed going down to this annual event in the Spring, but between traveling, graduating, and starting grad school, I haven’t been able to go for a couple years. 

But I finally made it back, and it was such a blast!!  Spending time with dear friends totally made up for the fact that it was pouring cats and dogs for much of the time that we were there.  We took advantage of the shops while it was raining – dodging from one vendor to the next during lulls in the rain, and then cutting up inside while the floods raged outside.  But it was also clear for enough of the day that we were able to see some cool performances and demonstrations, too.  We listened to a ‘gypsy’ storyteller, watched a guy throwing clay for a while, and then sat in on a glass-blowing demonstration that was absolutely mesmerizing.  Of course there was also the prerequisite joust reenactment and acrobatics, as well. 

Jousting competition

Fire juggler / comedian.  His performance got cut short because of the rain 🙁

Being silly while we waited out the storm….

That’s a real person.  So….terrifying….

Watching a potter do his thing 
…and the glass blowing demonstration!  Incredible!!

My favorite performers of the day.  Acrobatic fire-juggling virtuosos 



This year’s Renaissance Festival just goes to show that you can enjoy whatever you’re doing, as long as you decide to focus on the good.  Despite the chilly weather and torrential rain, I don’t think I’ve ever enjoyed a Renaissance Festival so much as I did this year.  I’m so grateful for the lovely ladies that I got to share the experience with!  God had truly blessed me with some incredible people in my life.