Thursday, February 13, 2014

Arizona Renaissance Festival 2014

A most unusual renaissance entertainer

It was that time of  year again for Jean and I to take our annual trip to Apache Junction, Arizona to attend the Arizona Renaissance Festival and Pleasure Feast. This particular trip has been going on now for about twelve years since we first discovered the Festival during a visit to Phoenix, Arizona.

As always, we manage to spend our first night of the trip at Chiriaco Summit so that we can casually drive into Arizona the next day. This stop over seems to work for us since Jean does not get home from work until around 6:30 p.m., leaving later that evening allows us to get through traffic and closer to Arizona. Once Jean gets home we collect our last minute items, jump into the RV parked near the house and head off toward Chiriaco.

As I have mentioned before, Chiriaco Summit is basically a trucker stop east of  Indio along Interstate 10, here they allow you to overnight if you are travelling through. What I like about staying at the Summit, is we can get breakfast at the Cafe before we hit the road to our next destination. Because there are plenty of truckers that overnight at the stop, the meals are substantially filling and at a good price.

Breakfast time at Summit Cafe
While eating I looked out a window and noticed there was a small Post Office next door. So after we finished breakfast we went outside to go look at the Post Office. It was closed, but it is an official and working Post Office catering for the local folks that live near the summit. I really like the way they have decorated the outside giving it a true old time desert feeling.

Chiriaco Summit Post Office

Just in case you need an address

Well, after our breakfast and exploring it was now time to head off toward Arizona. At 55 -60 miles per hour we crossed over into Arizona around 11 am - Arizona time. The first thing I wanted to do when we crossed over the Colorado River (State Line) was give the RV a bath, and I remembered that they had just opened a Truck and RV Wash next to the Flying J truck stop. At the truck wash the RV got a good wash for about $1.25 ft or $39. I don't remember the name of the truck wash business, but you can't miss it as you will see the Flying J on your south side when entering Arizona.

Back on the road, Jean and I both agreed that we really enjoy driving through the desert and being sure that when we do travel, we are not in any kind of  hurry. Yes I do plan out our trips, time elements of travel and locations we will be staying at in advance to assure our adventures will be with minimal issues. And yes, at times incidents or problems do arise, but if you do good planning it only prepares you  to handle them when they do materialize. Having a good GPS unit, access to internet maps (like Google Maps), planning tools (like Good Sam trip planning tools), scheduled maintenance of your rig and so on, only make your travels that much more hassle free when you are on the road.

By 3 pm our next stop was going to be at my Cousin Louie's place for a visit. If we are in the area we will always stop by and spend some time with him and visit. At Louie's we went out for dinner that evening  at Gordon Biersch and had breakfast (Menudo) the next day at a the Peoria Cafe in Peoria, Arizona. After an enjoyable breakfast and visit, we said our good-byes and headed off to our next stop - Cabela's Outfitters for a little shopping.

Rolling Magic's first visit at Cabela's
 At Cabela's we spent about two and half  hours walking the floors looking at all the merchandise they have to offer, but it was now time for us to move on. We know that we will be back again and yes we did manage to find some items to buy while we were in the store.

Our drive from Cabela's to Apache Junction went exceptionally well, with light traffic on the interstate. We arrived at the KOA within an hour. At the KOA the folks inside registered us and guided us to our RV site. The staff at the KOA were all very helpful and friendly folks. We even had a nice site assigned to us while we stayed there. This was going to be home for the next two nights in Apache Junction.
Those are the Superstition Mountains in the background

Our site
Tucked in with nice desert plants surrounding us

Clever sign at the KOA

Sunday, February 9th - Renaissance Festival Day!
Alright, it was now time to Garb Up (get into costume) for the Renaissance Festival and to look forward to having a fun day. Our friends Susanne and Ken were going to pick us up at our site and take us to the festival. Susanne and Ken for the last four years have been joining us at the festival and pleasure feast. They come from Wickenburg, Arizona where they stay to avoid the winters in Montana where they are from. 

The drive to the Festival is a few miles from our campground on Highway 60. At the festival location parking is free but they do have an admission for entering. Jean buys our tickets well in advance so we can get the combined Festival and Feast deal.

Once inside it was my job to plot out our activities for the day, which also includes the feast. This year we managed to see some new entertainers besides some of our favorites. We decided it takes at least two days to be able to catch enough of the goings on at the Festival, so next year we are going to plan on a two day visit. The Arizona Renaissance Festival offers so much to see from great entertainment, plenty of food merchants, artisans and more!

New act - Barely Balanced, Comedic Daredevils

Clan Tynker - family circus, all time favorite

Yes, let's not forget the refreshments

Being a Pyrate is a tough job!

Jean managed to find an English Lord...

Time travel is encouraged...
It was another great and fun day at the Arizona Renaissance Festival and Pleasure Feast. At the feast we had a wonderful five course meal, raucous revelry and entertainment, plenty of beverages (beer and wine), and a souvenir special edition feast goblet to take home and add to our collection. We ended our day watching the Joust  Tournaments at the King's arena.

Our friends Susanne and Ken delivered us back to our RV, said their goodbyes leaving us to complete the night relaxing under the Arizona sky. We went to bed early because I wanted to have a really early start on Monday morning to beat the work day commute on the Phoenix freeways. By 5 a.m.Monday morning Arizona time we were up and packing away our stuff to prepare to travel. By 5:30 we were on the road and making good time moving through the Phoenix area. Once we manged to blow by the early commuter traffic we stopped at a Cracker Barrel restaurant for breakfast (a must for Jean). After breakfast we were now on the road heading home and starting to think about our next RV adventure...


Info Arizona Renaissance Festival

Cabela's Outfitters

KOA campgrounds

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