Today started as any other Saturday morning.  The SOCs screaming outside my bedroom door, Mr. Dragyn slamming things in our bathroom, and me, trying desperately to sleep just a little longer.  Finally, Mr. D says to me, “I think you might have time for a shower before we leave for the Renaissance Festival.”  That woke me up, quickly!  I didn’t realize that we’d decided to go on *this particular day*. “This was the day that we talked about with your parents last night at dinner.  Where were you?”  Um, apparently not focusing on the conversation, that’s for cetain!

I stumble out of bed to find appropriate clothes for the younger 3 SOCs (who will otherwise wear whatever they feel like, not caring about the weather).  I manage to find t-shirts and shorts for all of them and nixed SOC #3’s idea of wearing a long-sleeved shirt (Honey, it’s August.  I don’t think you’ll need it today) and make my way back to gear up to face the day.  As I was dressing, SOC #3 came in to see me.  “Mommy, my tummy hurts!”  I’m sorry, honey.  Could you be hungry?  You didn’t eat much last night. “I dunno.  Maybe.”  In hindsight, which is always 20/20, I should have listened to her and my Mommy siren, which was blaring Warning!  Warning!  Potential bad situation ahead!

We eat breakfast and load up into two cars, my car and my parents’ car, winding our way towards the Renaissance Festival, about 20 miles away.  Since my parents have health problems, both of them have handicap hangers for the mirrors of any vehicle they are in.  This was a boon, as it allowed me to park my car close to the gates.  My mother, SOCs #1, 2, and 4, and I all pile out of the car, just outside the main gate.  Mr. Dragyn, however, forgot about the handicap hanger and he, my father and SOC #3 make the long trek to the main gate.  (This tidbit becomes important later on.)

We all meet up and go inside, once the other 3 had rested a bit.  We split up into the following groups:  Mr. Dragyn, my father, and SOCs #2 and 3 go one direction; my mother, SOCs #1 and 4, and I go off the opposite way.  As there are at least 4 cellphones between us, I felt this would be fine.  We’re going about our merry way, happily shopping, eating, and having fun.  My mom and SOC #1 went off to explore some interesting shops, while SOC #4 and I had just settled down to watch a comedy show by the troop “Totally Hot!” when I felt my cell vibrate.  Uh-oh.  This can’t be good! It’s Mr. Dragyn.  “Hon, SOC #3 just threw up.  Big time.  Where are you so we can meet you?”  <sigh>  I should have listened to my Mommy siren!

Everyone meets up with us and we then discuss strategy.  SOC #3 is looking forlorn and upset about not quite making it to the Port-o-Potties when she threw up.  That’s okay, honey; you wouldn’t have wanted to throw up in them anyway. It’s decided among the adults that SOC #3 and I will drive my parents car, that Mr. Dragyn drove, back to our house, so that everyone else can continue to enjoy the Ren Faire.

SOC #3 and I make our way back to the main gate of the Faire and sit down just inside, so she could rest and drink some cold water.  Once she’s feeling able, we start for the exit.  She stalls, looking up at me with her big, blue eyes, and says, “Mommy, I really wanted a wand!”  We turn around and head for a likely shop.  No wands.  We go to the shop that sells wooden swords and shields.  No wands there, either.  CARP!  Where to next?  In desperation, I spy a shop next door that has wands.  SCORE!  SOC #3 finds one she likes and we go in to pay for it (it was $4.  Can you say inflation??).

We make our way back to the exit, finally leaving the Faire grounds, when I hear a little voice say, “Mommy, my tummy feels all topsy-turvey again!”  We immediately find a place under a tree to sit down and rest, letting her drink some more cold water.  She and I are there for a good 15 minutes before she feels ready to walk to the other car.

We start walking in the general direction that my parent’s car was parked.  The way the parking lot is laid out, there are signs with different decades on them, with 1400 being closest to the Faire grounds.  By the time we reached 1750, I was tired!  I called Mr. Dragyn to ask him where he’d parked the car.  “It’s in the 1860’s, on the left side.”  And we’re off again, hiking our way to the car.

We finally get to the row in 1860.  I ask SOC #3 if she remembers where Daddy parked the car.  Her face lights up, “Yes, Mommy!  It’s this way!”  I figure that she was there when the car was parked, so she should know how to get to it, so I followed her.  By this time, it’s been over an hour since we’d left the rest of our party.

We walked down the row, with me holding out the key and pressing the alarm button periodically, trying to find the car.  No luck.  I ask a family getting into another car if they had seen any out of state vehicles.  “No, but if we find one, we’ll come back for you!”  I stop and call Mr. Dragyn yet again.  “I told you that I parked the car on the left side, as in if your back is to the Faire, it’s in the row 1860, on the left side!”  SOC #3 and I trudge our way in the opposite direction of how we had been walking, until we finally found the car.  We get in, blast the A/C, and leave the parking lot.

I’m hot.  My feet hurt.  SOC #3 is complaining about her tummy and being hot.  I thought I could find my way back to my house.  No joy.  Luckily, some bright individual (moi!) decided to gift her parents with a GPS unit last Christmas, so I was able to input our house information into it to find our way home.  The British voice coming from the unit tells me that I have to make a legal U-turn.  Great.  Joy.  I turn the car around and we’re heading in the correct direction.

Suddenly, my eyes widened in horror.  Um, sweetie, did you by chance forget the remote to the garage with your friends down the street? Her little voice responds, quietly, “Yes, Mommy.  I’m sorry!”  No, this is a good thing!  If we can get the remote, we have a way to get into our house!

Fifteen minutes later (2 hours after leaving the rest of our family), we finally get to our street and stop off at her friend’s house.  Thankfully, they are home and are able to give us the remote.  We get to the house, open the garage door, and go inside, where we laugh at how dirty our feet/socks are from walking in the dusty Faire ground.  The rest of our family joins us 45 minutes later.

SOC #3 hasn’t thrown up since that one incident.  She told me that she ate a turkey leg just after doing the bungie jump at the Faire.  I have my suspicions as to what caused her to throw up.