Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Saturday at Renninger's Steampunk Industrial Show

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This past weekend was Renninger's Antique Center's Steampunk Industrial Show, which is very much like a steampunk convention without the panels, but with the added bonus of having many rooms of antiques to look through.

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We arrived later than I had hoped, because our first stop of the morning was at Costco to pick up a refill of Blaze's anti-seizure medicine, since we had foolishly left that at home.

We all had a good time once we got there, though.

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Blaze especial enjoyed himself.

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We went to Renninger's steampunk event last year in January, as well, but this year there was even more entertainment, including the fire dancers from Phantasmagoria.

And what is better than watching people play with fire? People playing with fire during a The Cog is Dead show!

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There were lots of vendors of steampunk merchandise.

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There were also some very creative vehicles there.

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Although we were too late to see it inflated, the Airship Diamler (shown here) does have an airbag, but the wind was so strong on Saturday, that it tried to blow away and landed on top of some people sitting at a near-by picnic table.

These next two were built by the people at the Time Bandits shop:

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Renninger's in Mount Dora, Florida will be having another steampunk weekend in the Fall, Oct.17th and 18th.

Monday, January 26, 2015

A Very Rainy Friday in Jacksonville

DH had a conference to go to at the Ribault Club in Jacksonville last Friday. Blaze and I rode along, so that we could leave straight from there to head South to attend the Renninger's Steampunk Industrial Show in Mount Dora the following day. This did mean that Blaze and I had to entertain ourselves for about seven hours while DH was busy, though. The original idea was to spent most of that time at the Jacksonville Zoo, but the weather wasn't cooperative. There was strong wind and rain all day, with occasional thunder.

We wandered around Super Walmart for awhile and then went to the 11:00 a.m. showing of Selma. The movie was very good and fit in perfectly with 1960s history unit that we have been working on.

After the movie, we headed back to Fort George Island to visit the Kingsley Plantation. This was not the first time we had been to Kingsley during a storm, so I knew we could find things to do there. The barn was a fun place to play with the camera and put on a show.

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The fire isn't real, but the kitchen is a cozy place to visit and there is a covered walkway from the kitchen building to the main house.

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The house is only open for tours on weekends, but the porch was a nice place to hang out for a little while, until we found an armadillo to follow around.

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Saturday, January 10, 2015

Steampunk Camping: Victorian Glamping


  A form of camping involving accommodation and facilities more luxurious than those associated with traditional camping.

early 21st century: blend of glamorous and camping.

                               - Oxford Dictionary

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This year's steampunk camping event has already been announced. It will be November 6, 2015 and will again be at Mike Roess Gold head Branch State Park.

The link to the event on Facebook is:

Last year's trip was held in October, but attendance suffered due to a scheduling conflict with Renninger's Antique Mall and Flee Market in Mount Dora holding their weekend-long steampunk event at the same time. Renningers will be holding another steampunk event this year in October.  To avoid any further scheduling problems, the Victorian Glamping trip has been moved forward a couple weeks. Early November is still well within the limited window of pleasant camping weather in Florida, cool evenings, perfect for sitting around a campfire, and average daytime highs in the 70's.

If your love of antiques and flea markets kept you away from this year's Victorian Glamping event, I have good news for you. Gold Head Branch State Park is only a 25-minute drive from the Waldo Antique Village, Farmers Market, and Flea Market.

The idea of "glamping" is comfort. This is camping, but it's not roughing it. Most of the camping spaces in the Lakeview camping area (chosen because it is nearest to the cabins) have electricity. They all have water hook-ups, a grill, and a picnic table. My family has reserved the spot next to the primitive amphitheater.

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Motorhomes, trailers, and tents are welcome.

Any style of tent can be used for glamping. Some of the examples we saw last year were a historically accurate canvas tent that the owner had purchased for Civil War Reenactments, a modern canvas tent, and a modern nylon tent.

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I have seen some clever tent ideas on Pinterest that would be perfect for this sort of thing, such as inexpensive canopy tents hung with cloth or decorative blankets to create walls.

The tent with the pennant banner is ours. Our set-up is proof that glamping doesn't have to be expensive to look elegant. choosing air mattresses that are the same size as the beds at home, meant we were able to use sheets, blankets, and pillows that we already had, rather than buying sleeping bags. The nightstand between the beds was a thrift store purchase, that I refinished. The wooden folding chairs we took camping are ones we already had for use at home and the table cloth in the tent is a bed sheet.

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The mirror for our hand washing station is a dollar store purchase that I decorated and the water dispenser was on clearance at Target. It was originally blue, but I spray painted it to go better with the rest of our camping gear.

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The addition of a vinyl table cloth that looks like lace turned an old wooden picnic table into an inviting  breakfast table:

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Homemade trivets made it possible to place the hot coffee pot on the table without melting the vinyl (

The simple addition of a string of solar lights across the front of the tent made it look more festive and made it easier to find in the dark. It also made this wild looking photo possible:

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For people who do not own a tent or camper, or do not enjoy camping, the park offers 16 cabins.
Some of the cabins were built by the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps) in the 1930s, while others are more modern and even include wheelchair ramps. The friends who allowed me to photograph the inside of their cabin were staying in one of the one-bedroom, historic cabins, which included a lovely fireplace, a full modern bathroom and kitchen, along with air conditioning. The screened porch was nice, but we actually didn't have any problem with mosquitoes.

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The view from the front porch of this particular cabin (they all have views of the lake):

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There is talk about setting up a movie screen on that open lawn between the cabins and the lake for an outdoor movie night this year.

Pets are permitted in the camping area, but not in the cabins.

If you enjoy fishing, the cabins are overlooking a lake that has canoe rental and fishing, as well as swimming.

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Next year's Victorian Glamping event:
November 6, 2015

If you want to see what individual campsites look like, this site offers a photograph of each one:

Reservations are now available.

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Crafty Crow