Pennsic XLVII

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Hey There!

My favorite vacation has come and gone, and I thought I’d share a few highlights with you.

To be honest, I was a bit nervous about this year considering I was 31 weeks pregnant, and it promised to be a hot week. There were a few “cooler” days, but with Little Bit making me warmer than usual, I’m not going to lie – it still wasn’t the most pleasant of temperatures.

Thankfully, I have wonderful friends and campmates who took extremely good care of me.

The Fellow and I took two 0 gravity chairs and left one in our camp and the other in the camp we often hang out in, so that I had my comfy chair both places where I could relax and keep my feet up. Basically, I either sat in our camp or theirs and  drank copious amounts of Gatorade and water and kept a cool, wet cloth around my neck and for the most part I was pretty comfy.

This was the first year for us to camp in our new-to-us vardo and THAT was a total game changer. It’s pretty easy to set up/tear down and has a lot of room. Next year we want to build some type of storage shelving over the one bench, especially as we may have Little Bit with us and will need floor space for a Pack n’ Play. It also has a full-size memory foam bed and that was every bit as fantastic as I was hoping it would be. The other nice thing about it is that it has a back window and a front door that swings open which allowed for a nice cross draft. It was the perfect temperature at night and even in the mornings it wasn’t too bad because of the canvas top. The Fellow bought me a Ryobi fan that runs off drill batteries and that was such an awesome addition.

My Pennsic mornings typically look like this:

Wake up, coffee, breakfast, shower, get dressed for the day. In between the shower and getting dressed for the day, if I can I like to lie back and take my time getting my hair done and figuring out laces or accessories on the day’s outfit. The Ryobi fan made that portion of the day SO much better as it kept me quite cool, and I was able to just chill in bed for probably half an hour before emerging for my day which is pretty high up on my list of favorite parts of Pennsic.

I knew that garb would be a bit of a challenge this year as all of my apron dresses are quite form fitting, but I had at least one pleated apron dress and counted on my laced front kirtles fitting. They did not. So I was doing a bit of a last-minute scramble when I decided I’d wear what I had and if I had to do a mid-week laundry run I would. Thankfully, a friend loaned me a flowy tunic (that was sooo light it felt wonderful in the heat), and I managed to get through the week only having to wash some bloomers.

I think my goal for next year is to make some more single layer tunics. That way I can go sans-apron dress on hot years, and they’re pretty roomy so they should fit no matter what my weight. (And I weigh as much as a baby elephant right now . . . )

While I spent a lot of time just relaxing in camp (and napping, probably my most favorite thing to do at Pennsic), I was actually surprised at how much other stuff I was able to do. The second camp we hang out with is about halfway between our home base and the market place, so I would stop there, rest, rehydrate, then continue on into “town.”

I picked out about 4 classes on blacksmithing and Viking metal working that I wanted to attend and made it out to two of them. Unfortunately, only one of the teachers showed. The one that I was able to take was on blacksmithing and was entitled “Forging in Clay.” I had assumed that this would be something to do with using clay to make molds or crucibles as I know that’s how Viking Age metal casting was done and figured it probably had other applications. Instead it was a hands-on class where we used a firm clay in place of molten metal. They provided a wooden hammer and anvil, and we learned and practiced hammering techniques. It was a neat introduction, and I really enjoyed it!

The Fellow fought again this war, and I even managed to make it down to the battlefield to watch a battle! I didn’t stay long though because it was truly HOT out there. I don’t know how the fighters stand it with all of their armor and how long they’re out there! Someone posted a video online and you can see him if you watch closely around 3:00 He’s in the yellow tabard with the white legs using the pole arm. He takes an arrow to the throat. (Reason why I don’t prefer to watch the battles. I know they’re all armored up and the weapons are foam and blunted, but it still makes me nervous!)

The camp behind us throws a party on Sunday night so we wandered over there that evening to say hello and enjoy the drums and the dancing. I paused on a bench under a tree for a bit, and while I was sitting I swear Little Bit was kicking perfectly in time with the beat of the drums. I’d be surprised if she wasn’t a dancer. She’s already got better rhythm than her mother and hopefully she’s more graceful too!

There was a torrential downpour in the middle of the week and camp flooded which was something I’ve never seen before. Now I know what people mean when they talk about muddy wars. I think next year we will tuck some rain boots in the car juuuuuuust in case.

We ate good food and hung out with good people and spent nights surrounded by drums in the distance watching shooting stars and had an absolutely marvelous time.

I’d finish this post here, but I thought you’d all enjoy a laugh.

As you know, I can be just a taaaaad bit clumsy.

Well, when we were tearing down the vardo, we had packed up all of the clothes and the chairs and emptied it completely out and were just waiting to fold town the top front/back pieces and secure her for travel. The Fellow had removed the support jacks and then had to excuse himself for a moment. I was waiting for him to return and chatting with a camp mate while sitting on the bed. Everything was fine for the first five minutes until I decided to lie back. I forgot that the jacks were removed, and we were parked essentially in a ditch on a hill. The vardo tipped backwards (Thank goodness the chocks were still under the tires), and next thing I know I’m pointed downhill with my feet up in the air – stuck!

Of course, everyone in camp panics that the pregnant lady is in a runaway vardo with her feet up over her head and rushed over to help. It took two of the stronger men in camp to balance out the weight on the front of the trailer and get me leveled out enough so I could scramble onto safer ground.

Both I and the vardo were completely fine, and my campmates were much more shaken up than I was. (I just laughed at the ridiculousness of the situation.) So lesson learned; jacks stay on until the very end.

Anyone else have any camping mishaps to share?

Tell me what you think

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