life in and around NYC is insane

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Medieval Times

So, you may have asked yourselves, songbird is a history geek, songbird loves fantasy, songbird goes to the Rennaisance Faire every summer, so why hasn't songbird gone to Medieval Times?

Truth is, Drew and I went there back in the 90's. Loved it. Planned to go again, but life got in the way.

Then Drew participated in an online auction of some sort, and successfully bid on admission to Medieval Times. The passes could only be used midweek, though, so we had to pick a day when both of us would be off from work.

So we picked the 7:30 show on 12/26. And found ourselves driving from Long Island to Lyndhurst, NJ on a cold, stormy night. What fun we had driving on the Cross Bronx in freezing rain . . .which turned to snow when we hit Ft. Lee. We actually made note of the two hotels within walking distance of Medieval Times, just in case. Fortunately the snow turned to rain by the time we left for home, and at that hour (no traffic!) we we able to take the Lincoln Tunnel, drive crosstown to the Midtown Tunnel and make it home in record time.

As for the evening at the castle . . . The premise is that you are feasting with the King while enjoying a jousting tournament. . .when you enter the lobby you're presented with lots of opportunities to spend your money -- souvenirs, photos with the actors, a full bar, a tour of the dungeon showing medieval torture objects. When you're seated in the arena, you're assigned a knight to root for - we were in the Green Knight's section, where everyone was wearing green paper crowns. We had preferred seating in the front row, so we also received green flags and a souvenir program.

There is no menu -- everyone is fed the same meal ( though vegetarians are offered an alternate selection). Dinner is served without utensils, on pewter plates, to give it a medieval "feel". Our bill of fare consisted of tomato soup, some really soft and chewy flatbread, 1/2 of a rotisserie chicken, a single spare rib (I would have preferred more ribs and less chicken) and roasted potatoes. There were hot apple pastries for dessert.

The show begins while you're eating, mostly demonstrations of horsemanship and falconry, some pageantry. After dinner the intensity builds as you watch jousting and combat. Sparks really fly when swords meet.

Funniest moment of the night - the Master of Ceremonies announcing "If you parked your chariot in our courtyard, New Jersey license plate number xxxxxxx, you left your candles burning. Please go attend to it, as we don't have jumper cables." He couldn't finish this speech with a straight face.

My souvenir of the night? Not the carnation the Green Knight threw to me (though that was nice). I bought myself another addition to my pewter collection. A sword in a stone. Conjures up images of Merlin. . .

So it was a great evening. Of course.

Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament on Urbanspoon

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