Tuesday, April 23, 2013

A visit to Medieval Times!

We have some pretty great neighbors. A friend of ours visited from out of town and couldn't stop talking about how awesome they are. I knew they were something special when we had them over for dinner and I was playing some music on the computer and a song came on and the husband asked "What's this?" and I responded, "The background music for the Flash Man level from Mega Man 2" and he snapped his fingers and said "That's it!"

For their son's birthday, they had the party at Medieval Times. I'd never been before and the only thing I could tell you about the place would be Janeane Garofalo's "There were no utensils in medieval times, hence there are no utensils at Medieval Times" line from the Cable Guy.

We went to the one in Lyndhurst, which is about an hour and fifteen minutes away. Lily didn't want to go at first. She was distraught, because "They tell you which knight you have to cheer for!" and she didn't want to cheer for a  bad knight. We told her that those were just recommendations and she could cheer for whomever she liked. 

We had a little trouble finding it, despite having printed instructions, a GPS and the fact that the building is a giant castle. When we later returned to the website and learned that because of the road construction, it's easy to miss the turnoff for it.

The first thing that struck me was how much booze there was. A guy was walking around selling shots. I hope he was affiliated with the restaurant.  People brought their flagons of beer into the bathroom, which seemed a bit much.

We missed the group picture, but arrived in time for the rest of it. Because we were part of a birthday group, Lily got a coupon for an insanely sweet slushie in a souvenir knight helmet mug. 

Then it was on to the main event. A guy in garb laid out some ground rules, including asking us not to use the pewter dishes as noisemakers, because it would spook the horses. Fair enough, but he instead exhorted us to "Just clap your hands like normal people," and I was thinking "Normal people? I'm not the one dressed like Prince Valiant up there, dude."

We took our seats. We were in the yellow and red knight section, but Lily decided that we were just going to cheer for all the knights. We liked the blue one best of all. He had fleurs-de-lis all over his costume. He died later in the tournament, probably because Jen wasn't cheering hard enough for him. 

Jen noticed that the servers were included in the opening process. Lily got excited when she saw them. "Girl Knights!" 

There was a falconry exhibition at the beginning, which was pretty neat, though looking back, it was probably foolish to pack that dead mouse in my breast pocket. Also, I regret missing the opportunity to quote some Yeats

There were several guys with horse-sized pooper scoopers too, which struck me as kind of funny. The food was good and came out in regular intervals. 

I'm a slob about a lot of things, but I'm fussy about others. While I don't mind all the papers scattered around my desk, for instance, I hate it when my hands get dirty. It just really bothers me. I was seriously considering smuggling in some silverware into the place, but I decided that I didn't want to be "that guy".

There were no utensils in medieval times, hence there are no utensils at Medieval Times. There were moist towelettes, however.

I was surprised how good it was. The garlic bread was great and so was the tomato bisque and I normally don't like tomato soup at all. With the chicken, I thought I was going to have to choke it down just to be polite, but it was really astoundingly good. Among the best I've ever tasted. 

Jen got the vegetarian option, veggie lasagna and steamed vegetables.  She got utensils. Also included was a potato, which was okay (not bad, but not on the same level as the rest of the food either), an apple pastry, which was delicious and some birthday cake.

The whole meal was great and there was a guy riding around on a horse in the pit while we were eating. Then there were some jousting events and then some fights. This is where the late, lamented Blue Knight bit it. The fights reminded me a bit of professional wrestling, in that there was no mistaking them for real fights, but they were entertaining and nicely choreographed. 

We all had a really nice time. I wasn't sure quite what to expect, but it was a lot of fun.

Plus we got king hats. (Paul F. Thompkins shout out!)


  1. Your neighbors are awesome! (See, I'm still talking about it.) That's a great photo of Lily with the king hat.

  2. OMG I just about peed myself laughing about how you couldn't find it even though it was a giant castle. I was trying to tell Chris and he had never heard of Medieval Times!!! Oh the horror!

  3. "She [italics] got utensils. Best line ever!

    Being the medieval nerd that I am, I feel that I should point out that medieval Europeans DID, in fact, have utensils in medieval times. The fork, for instance, dates back to the first century CE. It was common enough throughout all but Northern Europe by the 1500s. Even then, the hoity toity knightly types and royalty certainly used them.