This particular Renaissance Faire is held every year at the Santa Fe Dam Recreation Area. It’s actually called the Original Renaissance Pleasure Faire - because that’s what it is. It was started in 1963, and was moved around the Los Angeles Area a few times before settling in their current spot. They now have 200,000 people come to visit every year - and they only open for 7 weekends out of the year. It’s pretty amazing.
Getting there was both easy and incredibly difficult at the same time. It’s only a half- hour drive from Caltech; but the line of cars waiting to turn into the area it was held spanned more than a block. It took about 45 minutes of waiting to actually get into the area. But waiting in line, we had our first glimpse of what was to come. People walked past the line of cars in all sorts of regalia, with capes, fancy dresses and otherwise. I specifically remember a man dressed all in white: from the back, it looked like he might be a knight, as he had a white cape on (although the sneakers he wore somewhat ruined that look). However, when we drove past him the cape was connected to a long baggy tunic with the Templar sign on it. My expectation of his clothes versus the reality made it seem really funny, as it looked like he had put on a bed sheet.
After getting to the front of the line of cars, we finally figured out what the hold-up was: although there was plenty of parking in the recreation area, they only had 3 people taking payment for parking. This situation probably happens every weekend (and every year) as well. It seemed like they knew it would happen, with the number of traffic policemen we saw on our way in. It’s unfortunate that there doesn’t seem to be a solution to the problem.
It is currently 1:21 in the morning and I am thrilled to be writing the first post of our new admissions blog, Caltech Fission. For those of you who didn’t follow the old blog, it’s nice to meet you. My name is Andrew and I’m a senior at Caltech studying geophysics and English literature.
After a week being back, I think it’s about time for some reflections on what it meant to be abroad, and what I’ve taken away from it. I’m really happy to be back, but it’s just been almost a culture shock of sorts being back in California, and back at my true home (for now, at least).
There’s nothing more festive than beautiful holiday decor. Something that has gotten quite popular in recent years is light displays. Around Pasadena, the LA Zoo, LA Arboretum are a few venues that have elaborate holiday light displays. This past weekend, I went to check out the LA Zoo Lights. The general admission is $15 on weekdays and $20 on weekends, which is certainly not cheap, so if you do go, be sure to take a ton of photos.