Wednesday, March 28, 2007
Seventh graders were taken on a field trip to Medieval Times, where hundreds of guests are treated to a meal and a knights' tournament This really should be Alex's post. He is our resident medieval historian. He has long had a passion for knights and castles, and the culture and inventions of the era. His social studies subject this year has been medieval times, so he has added considerably to his arsenal of facts and history. Well, he could definitely add a great deal of interest and factual statements, so I may have him edit this later.
One advantage of Alex and Max attending a small school is that exceptions can be made, like bringing siblings along on field trips. Bringing Maria was a last minute result of the change in Geoff's work schedule. We were concerned she might have a Medieval Meltdown during the long day, but she was a sweet tempered princess for the entire journey. I am glad William was welcome; it turned out to be a can't miss experience. And me? I drove. Alex's teacher, Mr. B and two of Alex's classmates, Billy and Marcos, rode with us. Ours was the cool car, playing educational films on the DVD player. Mr. B and I got to listen to the children absorbing the historic documents of medieval life as explained by Monty Python.
Here is Mr. B and his young charges, primed and eager to learn. The place was full of school groups from all over So Cal. Ours was the smallest group, even with my two additions and the the other two moms that drove. We were all led in to the Hall of Arms, where the children were tempted with fancy drinks and souvenirs, like banners, hats, things that light and glow and real armor. From this pavilion like area, we could also observe the beautiful Andalusian horses in their stalls.
Even modern armor is made by hand and that is why a suit of armor can cost $6,000 or more. Alex, what is this protective hand armor called?
After enough children spent their hard earned cash, the king addressed the throng and we were all admitted in to the grandstands that circled the arena. I am thinking Alex may know a better word to describe where the knights rode and battled. It was a sand filled field. It was big, but when the horses were running, it seemed much smaller. We were seated in theater seats in front of long tables, where our lunches were waiting. I am not going to be a Medieval Whiner, but if you are going for the food, you will be disappointed.
The real reason to go to Medieval Knights is for the show, the fighting, jousting knights and the beautiful horses. In the stadium we were seated in colored sections. There is a knight to represent each cheering section, so that everyone can take sides. Our group was cheering for the yellow knight, who fought well and even favored Chloe's mom with a flower... very chivalrous!
For the record: Before the tournament began, Alex analyzed the armor and weapons of each knight. He considered the historic accuracy of their appearance and how well armed each knight was and then he concluded that the green knight would win. The green knight did win.
I haven't talked to the other kids, but Alex and William thought the show was great and fun. They were impressed with the horsemanship and the clash of the weapons that sparked and shattered. It was a very dynamic and action packed program. Oh, and there was history presented in the dialogue and back story. The performances aren't going to win any Tony awards, but Alex did recognize historic characters and details.
Low light and fast action results in *artistic* photographs.
We were absorbed in the battle and our Medieval Chocolate Chip Cookies.
All the action was overseen by the Spanish king and his daughter, Princess Esperanza.
Princess Maria cheered and clapped enthusiastically for the horses and majesty of the tournament, but as you can see she was disappointed with the yellow knight's effort...
Near the end, our yellow knight was eliminated from the competition, and it came down to the black and silver knight versus the green knight. Both fought valiantly.
Medieval history came alive!