Pennsic 2007 Diary

Pennsic 36: The Pocket Bard Goes to Pennsic

Despite the half-hearted efforts of fate, I was back at Pennsic this year. Feel free to go back to the main Pennsic page to see my diaries for my three previous Pennsics.

A note on the subtitle: I have been in the SCA for 8 years. Not only that, but I have lasted those 8 years with an incredibly common name (“Katherine”) and no nick-name. This year, however, my new camp-mates started calling me “The Pocket Bard,” an allusion to my powerful voice by diminutive stature. In terms of nick-names, it’s a decent one, so I happily started answering to it, and even used it as a title for this War’s diary.

A brief point of note: between last War and this, I acquired a boyfriend. He didn’t come with me to Pennsic, partly because he’s not a SCAdian, and partly because he’s doing seasonal work out on the west coast. But if you see references to Marc, that’s him.

That said, on to the diary.

Monday, July 30

CAD 2.75 — toll
6.85 — lunch
30.30 — gas
7.95 — toll
14.00 — supper
= CAD $2.75; US $59.10

9:14 pm — Quality Inn, Meadville, PA

Back in Meadville. This is the third time I’m staying in this city, that must make it tradition. Different hotel each time, but the city’s the same.

So. A brief rundown of the day, which was to all intents and purposes blissfully uneventful. Left home around 8:45. Reached the edge of the island at 9:10 and the Ontario border around 20 minutes after that. Around 11:17 I got into a line of cars waiting for the border crossing to the I-81. Waited for a half-hour. The border guard was merciful and didn’t ask any trick questions:

Guard: “Purpose for visit?”
Me: “Historical camping.”
Guard: “Oh, is that like those guys who re-enact the civil war?”
Me: “Well, we do the Middle Ages, but the idea’s the same, yeah.”

Note to international travellers: do not say “medieval” to the border guards. Bush uses the word “evil” a lot, and we don’t want to be confused with him.

Anyway. The guard checked in my trunk, was immediately convinced based on what she found there that I am, in fact, going camping, and that was that.

Made it down to Syracuse and the I-90 by 1:10, had lunch about 10 minutes later at the first service station I could find. (McDonalds, alas.) Read a chapter of my book to clear my mind, and hit the road again around 2:20.

Sometime along the I-90, I spotted my first “they might be going to Pennsic” car, packed full of what looked like camping gear. Alas, I saw not one car with an SCA bumper sticker, but I am driving down on an off-time.

4:20 saw me driving through Buffalo, just in time for the start of afternoon rush-hour. An hour later, I was in the Pennsylvania welcome centre picking up a book of hotel coupons. Back in my car at 5:40, and reached the Quality Inn at Meadville about 45 minutes later. I probably could have driven all the way down to Pennsic today (I guess that it’s less than an hour and a half further), but then I’d need to set up camp while tired and cranky, and in failing sunlight. Best to have one last day of civilization and start Pennsic fresh tomorrow.

The Quality Inn is quite nice and (more importantly) cheap: with the coupon from the welcome centre, my room costs $50 a night. I was worried I’d be paying double that. Though the room is pretty much “hotel generic,” there are some nice perks: fitness centre, free hot beverages and cookies, free breakfast, and free high-speed internet access (wi-fi or a computer in the lobby). I took advantage of that last one, because I’m not at Pennsic yet and I couldn’t resist checking in.

Meandered over to the nearby Red Lobster for a mightily tasty dinner, meandered back, took a shower, and now I’m just killing time until bedtime. The toilet is one of those annoying ones that runs all the time, but I was all McGuiver (sp?) and fixed it with nothing more than a large plastic bag. Go me.

I’m so excited that I will be at Pennsic by this time tomorrow. The Universe made several half-hearted attempts to prevent me, but victory is nearly in my grasp.

Ok. That’s it for today, I think. If I’m lucky, the next time I journal, I’ll be at Pennsic.


Forward to Tuesday, July 31


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