My husband and I rarely get actual, honest-to-goodness vacations longer than a weekend. In fact, neither one of us have been on any kind of a long distance trip since before we got married almost a decade ago. So when we had the chance to carpool with some SCA friends of ours to the fabled An Tir/West War in Gold Beach, OR — which just happened to coincide with our wedding anniversary — we said YES! 🙂
And the fun began.
We met up with our friends on Thursday afternoon and thus commenced a kamikaze 12-hour drive full of cameraderie, inappropriate humor, laughter, and frequent stops for a certain preggo bard. The gate attendants at the site welcomed our road-weary souls at a whopping 2a.m — a fact that still impresses me. And I have never been so thankful for our non-period “instant tent” as on that night. Even though the nylon and modernity does detract a tad from the medieval ambiance, you really cannot beat having your tent up in less than a minute with your bedding and stuff all stowed and ready for the next morning in less than fifteen minutes — even with the minimal light as given by a hazy moon and a low campfire.
The morning dawned bright and waaaayyy too early, but nothing beats hearing the muster call of the King ringing through camp: “Fighters of An Tir! To Your King! We march to WAR!”
Unfortunately, a 2a.m. arrival is hard on a gal, and I found myself napping in the tent a good portion of the day. But I did manage to make it to a few of my husband’s melees (melee = multiple opponent combat for rapier fighters) and see him having a good time. 🙂
The evening was filled with music and dancing in the streets, as there was a roving medieval band whom my Baroness/Crown Princess (her elevation is in two weeks) commandeered on their travels to entertain our camp for a while. I snatched up my guilele and did the wandering minstrel thing, too, for a time, until my legs decided they’d had enough. It made me smile when I ran into my Queen and she was excited to see me and the Baby Bard In Progress out and about. And I hovered near the campfires, listening to stories, sharing songs, and meeting new people as I went. It was fabulous. The moon rose over the cedar hills and the heavy ocean mist rolled in, obscuring the world outside until I was a mere bard afoot IN the middle ages.