Monday, September 25, 2006

Minnesota Renaissance Festival

My wife and I took the opportunity to visit the Minnesota Renaissance Festival in Shakopee, MN on Sunday. She has been wanting to go to a Ren Faire for ages, but something or other comes up, or we're broke. We've known about the festival in Minnesota all month. Given that we will be leaving the region to go back to Texas next week, we decided to go to the festival. It was a three hour drive to get there and, obviously another three hours to come back; except, we got lost to and fro due, so it took a few minutes longer both ways.
The festival was great! It was definitely much better than we both expected. We thought there would be more tents. We were suprised to see that the festival has permanent structures and covers a very large area. In addition, the parking area alone was monstrous. The only thing that comes to mind to compare is the parking at Fiesta Texas. The big difference is that the parking area is unpaved; it's all grass. What is even better about the whole festival is that it's not like going to theme park in the sense that only the employees dress up. Both workers and the guests dress up in Renaissance costumes. My wife and I did not own any costumes until she acquired one yesterday. She chose a wench costume and will proceed to join the Wench Guild.
Some of the things we saw were jousting, fairies, people in elf costumes, plenty of crafts, and costumes galore. The festival has shops throughout. The image of the festival is like that of a Renaissance village or town. There was even a beggar! It was a fun experience. We would definitely visit again, if we ever are in the position to travel 1,000 miles for a vacation or we are working in this area again.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

All for nought

We were informed that the federal team sent to review our Head Start center would not come today. Our center is roughly 3 hours away from the nearest center and about 4 hours away from our regional office in Oshkosh. The distance made it too inconvenient to have the team visit us in person. They conducted phone interviews instead.
 
There are mixed emotions amongst the staff. On the one hand, there is relief that we are not going to be closely scrutinized. On the other hand, we've put a lot of work into the center and were prepared to show it off.
 
Well, this week is practically over. After this, there will be two weeks of work and then we will shut down the center. In October, we all head back home to the Rio Grande Valley.
 
We have a couple weeks to finish up all paperwork. That's all of our focus from this point on. Ignoring that sentence ending in a preposition, we have our work cut out for us in our remaining time. But it won't be quite as stressful as it has been in preparation for PRISM.