{July 17, 2012}   Knick-Knack, Paddy-Whack, See a Whip that Cracks

After my last blog about walking the plank on a pirate ship, my mom commented that I “sure do have a knack for finding great things to do.”

I’m not sure that I have a knack for it, but I do think my 47 and fearless project has reignited my natural curiosity, which has opened me up to new experiences and new people.

After my first belly dancing class last week (definitely one of my 47 new things; I will be writing about it in a future blog), I asked a fellow student where to buy a coin scarf that belly dancers wear. She mentioned the scarves are often for sale at area ethnic festivals as well as the Bristol Renaissance Faire in Kenosha, Wisconsin, where she works.

Then she went on to give a plug for the faire, adding that a baby dragon from the live stage show of “How to Train Your Dragon” was going to appear the coming weekend.

Because Dylan is such a dragon lover, I knew we had to attend. We bought tickets for the Bristol Renaissance Faire and were thrilled to catch a glimpse of the baby dragon Nadder (click on the link below to see our video).


We also watched jugglers, acrobats and entertainers of all sorts. The boys couldn’t wait to brandish the new wooden swords and shields they picked out while solving riddles to track down an evil villain during a Kids Quest adventure.

As we watched a glass-blowing demonstration at the faire, I thought I recognized the man acting as the “apprentice” in the demo. I was sure I had seen him at my glass-blowing lesson—#5 on my 47 and fearless list—earlier this year. After the demonstration, I asked him about it and learned he was indeed at the hot glass studio that day.

Now dressed in period costume for the Renaissance Faire, the apprentice (Bob) had a 6-foot whip hanging from his belt. Dylan, who also is a fan of Indiana Jones, wanted to know why he had a whip when most other costumed performers carried swords or other weapons. Bob gave a thorough historical explanation of how a whip could reach an enemy before the enemy’s sword could reach him. Then he went on to say that the whip was made by his good friend Adam Winrich, also known as Adam Crack.

Adam, too, is a performer at the Bristol Renaissance Faire and holds nine Guinness World Records for his skills with a whip. Bob’s suggestion led us to see Adam’s show and his amazing performance cracking fire whips (click on the link below to see our video.)


Conversations like the one we had with Bob—that offer a bit of history or introduce a new art or activity—can pique curiosity and make any event more interesting.

Now the question is: Should learning to crack a whip be one of my 47 new things? What do you think? I can see it coming in handy…when our boys need to clean their rooms…or…


tina says:

I vote YES that you should learn to crack a whip–will go well with the pole dancing!

Ha! I’m going to see how this belly dancing class goes before I move on to pole dancing…and whip-cracking!

Michelle says:

What a fun time! I haven’t been to a Renaissance fair in ages. It never ceases to amaze me how much history the performers know. Maybe for another challenge, attend a Renaissance fair in period costume! I’ve gone to conventions in costume and it adds another layer of awesome.

And yes, I agree with Tina, learn how to wield the whip. If a problem comes along, you must whip it, haha!

Ha! It’s not too late…to whip it…whip it good! (Now I have that song in my head.)
I love your costume idea, Michelle! Thanks! Some of the gowns from that period are gorgeous. I’d love to parade around in one. I did see a lot of women wearing gypsy/belly dance costumes at the faire, but I’m not sure that’s period appropriate. Though if I really wanted to move outside my comfort zone, I could wear a chainmail bikini like a few women I saw. The outfit doesn’t leave much to the imagination or look very comfy. Maybe not…

Michelle says:

I’ve actually seen women wearing belly dancing gear with the coin skirts and everything. It could totally work! And it would be more comfy than a chain mail bikini.

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