Jul 162011
 Saturday, 16 July 2011  Posted by at 08:40 travel No Responses »

Day 1 (Thursday): Up at 5 am for a 7am flight. It made sense when I booked it, but can’t remember why it made sense. Flight was uneventful except for this awful teen romance movie which ended in the main character being hit by a car. I guess they were trying to follow the Titanic model.
Landed at Logan, and caught the T to Government Center and wandered down to Fanieul Hall. Had several hours to kill with our bags so we took a trolley ride around the city. The driver was very knowledgeable and gave A a good base map of the city and gave me a refresher.
After we headed back to Quincy Market and grabbed some lunch. Rowan arrived, so we ditched our bags in her car and wandered the North End. We wandered through The Old North Church, but not the Old North Gift Shoppe, and Copps Hill Burial Ground. Had some fantastic Cannolli and Tiramasu cause well it’s the North End.
T’d over to Kenmore where I showed A and R my old apartment building. Then spent some time wandering through the Victory Gardens.
Headed to China Town for w very tasty dinner at Pho Pasteur then walked up to the Commons where we watched a toddler frolic with a puppy before heading back to the car and Rowan driving us to Abington and Kelly & Alastair’s place.

Next morning, Alastair gave us a ride to commuter rail and we met Rowan at the aquarium. We wound up getting City Passes and spent the morning in the Aquarium and seeing them perform surgery on an eel. Then we walked back to Quincy Market and had lunch at Durgin Park.
The trolley ride came with a Charles River Cruise so Rowan bought a ticket and we enjoyed that immensely. The gentleman giving the info had excellent patter, and I did not know Google Earth will give measurements in smoots.
We then headed to Coppley and strolled through the farmers market before heading to the Pru and spending a few hours enjoying the views at the sky walk.
Walled some of Newbury St and then took the T out to Brookline and had a sushi dinner. The unagi was tasty but did make me hope the eel at the aquarium survived the operation.

Wandered a bit of Copley then took Rowans car with us back to Abington as parking is better there. Got to Abington and fell asleep immediately.

Aug 242010
 Tuesday, 24 August 2010  Posted by at 13:22 events, SCA, travel Tagged with: ,  No Responses »
Event Date Location Likelihood
Sacred Stone Baronial Birthday August 27-29 Blacksburg, SC Possible day trip
Tournament of the Golden Rose September 4 Apex, NC Probably not
Battle for the HMS Raven’s Cove September 18 Richlands, NC Possible day trip 
MATO III Beyond the Silk Road September 24-26 Apex, NC Highly likely – possibly camping
Coronation October 1-3 Blacksburg, SC Possible day trip 
War of the Wings V October 7-10 Booneville, NC Highly likely – possibly camping
Unevent December 5 (?) TBD Peer Up!
Twelfth Night January 8 Morehead City, NC Highly Likely, Capitain!
University February 5 TBD Probably not 
Ymir February 18-20 TBD Highly Likely, Capitain!
Nottinghill Coill Baronial Birthday February 25-27 Bennettsville, SC Possible day trip
KASF March 5 TBD Possible
Coronation April 2 TBD Possible
Jul 152010
 Thursday, 15 July 2010  Posted by at 10:05 pets, travel 1 Response »

Monday morning, Sunneva calls. She had taken Tracy to the vet and we should expect a call from the vet.  We are in Florida visiting my folks, Disney, and NASA. We are set to fly home the next day on a direct flight. The vet calls, and Tracy has another urinary blockage. Through the day and several phone calls attempts to catheterize him fail and there are two options left – another more intense surgery, or euthanasia. Adam & I discuss it and decide that it is time. The vet will keep him comfortable and our flight lands at 5 on Tuesday, enough time to get to the vet and say our goodbyes. Worst case they will keep him on pain meds and express his bladder and we will be there first thing Wednesday.

Tuesday we pack and go online to check in. Wait, why does the boarding pass say the flight leaves at 5:40 and not 3? Quick call to the airline and confirm – flight is delayed. Call and reschedule our ride to the airport, finish packing, and hang with the folks some more including a lunch of leftover lamb shanks from Flakowitz.

We get to the airport at 4:15 and check in and told the flight is now 6:30. Bad weather in the northeast is wreaking havoc with all the air traffic on the eastern seaboard. We go to the bar and wait and watch as the flight slowly gets later and later until finally – canceled. We go stand in line with a hundred and fifty other people and finally are told they can get us home on a direct flight Friday arriving at 5, or on a change over through JFK on Thursday at midnight. Two options pick one. We choose Thursday at midnight, are given a hotel voucher and a voucher for a single meal – yes, we are stuck two extra days but they only give one meal voucher – we are told to submit the receipts for the remaining meals.

We get to the hotel and I call the airline. I am told they can get us home tomorrow (Wednesday) if we can get o West Palm Beach. Its a 2:20 flight, arrives at JFK at 6pm, and then there is a flight from JFK to Raleigh at 10pm getting in at midnight. We feel its a race against time and take the flight with no idea of how we are going to get to PBI from the hotel, but its 10pm we are hungry and that is tomorrows problem.

We order pizza and I go across the street to the gas station and grab some wine. They have a nice wine selection but not a single cork screw. I trudge back to the hotel and ask for a cork screw and am told they dont have one. They suggest the other hotel next to the gas station. I go back across the street where the nice bar tended opens my wine and gives me glasses. And I am not even staying there. She gets a nice tip.

We wake up and I call my cousin. No sooner are the words describing our situation out of my mouth and he says that he is on his way.We watch TV and talk about Tracy and I tell Adam I can almost feel him nuzzling against my glasses. We cry. Charlie, my cousin, gets to the hotel and we load up the car and are off to West Palm. I ell Charlie that if he ever needs a kidney I would help him hold down one of his brothers so we could get one. He laughs and tells me he doesn’t drink that hard anymore so he probably wont need one but if he does he will let me know.

We get to West Palm Beach airport, say goodbye to Charlie, and go check in. We go to the gate and, of course the flight is delayed.

We go get some lunch at the Chili’s in the terminal. I look at the menu and dont see the El Presidente. I ask and am told that despite it not being on the menu, they do have it. I order one and Adam says “I’ll have the same.” A few minutes go by and the bar tender brings us an El Presidente and a Sam Adams. We get that cleared up and Adam orders a cheese steak and is told they dont have that any more. So, we accept that the menus are useless and move on. Food comes, and we are asked if we want another round. We say no, and the waitress replies “ok, two more Presidentes coming up” OK, menu is useless and the wait staff doesnt listen. Great. We finish eating, pay and get back to the gate.

The flight finally boards takes off and lands at JFK about an hour late. Not too bad as we had a four hour layover ahead of us. We find the gate, wonder around browsing the shops, read, get some less full of fail dinner, and head back to teh gate. Flight is delayed.

They finally board us and we sit on the plane. Finally, a flight attendant comes on and announces that she lives in Raleigh and is trying to get home. The flight crew is one attendant down due to other plane delays and they are checking to see if she is legal to work this flight so they can get us off the ground. Adam looks at me and comments that he will believe we are getting home when the plane actually lands and we get off and get our bags.

The plane finally does land at about 1:30 and Wystric is there, G-d bless him, to pick us up.  He takes us home, we go and get Garbo from Charlotte and all four of us – Adam, Hepbrun, Garbo and me – collapse on the couch together and fall asleep.

We wake up at around 8:30 and head over to the vets. We spend some time with Tracy saying goodbye and let him pass gently into the night. The last thing he does when I hold him is nuzzle my glasses leaving a big streak across the left lens. I drive home and type this up and still have not cleaned my glasses. Goodbye, buddy.


Oct 262009
 Monday, 26 October 2009  Posted by at 14:02 Blogging, life, misc, travel, work No Responses »

Lots of traveling this month… three out of five weeks. Sorry to everyone who has left me voice or email and not gotten a response. Hopefully I’ll catch up in the next week or so… I am scheduled to be back home late Wednesday. Have to write up my travel experiences, especially in New Orleans.

Oct 162009
 Friday, 16 October 2009  Posted by at 04:32 events, geek, life, misc, people, SCA, travel No Responses »

There is a Sheetz just off I-40 in Mebane (exit 154) that we stop at when we are headed west.  Its about 35 minutes from the house, gas is about 10 cents per gallon cheaper then by the house, and and its a good place to use the bathroom, get a drink or breakfast, etc. We also usually stop there on our way home as well, as its a good place to gas up and not leave the car on empty when we pull into the drive way. This past weekend, we did enough traveling that, though our My Sheetz Card, we got two free drinks and discount gas twice.

A’s mom was in for a visit, and we took her to War of the Wings. This was her first SCA event and A wanted to make her a dress, so he made her a gorgeous Italian Ren. Unfortunately, the camera batteries were dead so I didn’t get a picture. *sigh* (Oddly just as I typed that I got a low battery warning on my laptop… weird timing.)

A & I agree that this was the best WoW we have been to. It seemed to us to have run smoother then previous years. I still think Sacred Stone is suffering from a lack of experienced autocrats, especially for the big events, but they are just breaking their stride on running a really large event.

Roan rode with us. Given what happened last year, this is a bit brave of her. (OK, so neither she not I blogged about last year… odd… so here is the story…) Last year, Roan had just moved to the area, and WoW was her first event in kingdom.  She had been coming to K’Berg meetings for a while and was just getting to know the Kappellenberg crowd, but had not really met many people from the barony. After the three hour marathon court from hell, we headed to dinner. Girard & Guenievre had riden with Lukas and I, and I believe Witsric & Sunneva were in the caravan as well. Roan was in a car by herself and only had Guenievre’s cell number. I missed the turn off to head to I-40 and the GPS started us on an alternate route. That turned into a neighborhood. That turned into some country roads. That turned into a very narrow dirt road. That ended at an  abandoned shell of a farm house. Roan says she was thinking ‘they seem like nice people – I dont think they lured me out here to kill me.’ Anyway, we turned around and headed back the way we came and finally made it to I-40. Fortunately, this year did not include such an adventure.

So, on Saturday we hit the Mebane Sheetz twice – once going to WoW and once on the way home.  (You remember Sheetz, right? This is, after all, a post about Sheetz…)

Our original plan had been to stop for dinner on the way home, but thanks to Marion we were stuffed with roast beef and pork (ok, every one but I was stuffed with the pork…) so instead we stopped at a Chilis for desert. We were going to stop at Red Robin, but we didn’t find it until after we left Chilis as we had given up trying to find it before due to signage fail, if you consider a lack of signs to be fail. I do.

On Sunday, we headed to Ikea. They don’t have any in Kansas City (the closest one is in Dallas…) so A’s mom had never been to one and really wanted to go. So, we took the Santa Fe as Roan again ride along and wanted to get a book case. We again hit Sheetz both coming and going. And, of course, we spent more at Sheetz then we planned on. The only thing big we bought this time were two Idbyn bar stools (which are not on their web site…) We did buy some kitchen towels, new cutting boards, and other small stuff. Its a good thing there is not an Ikea in Raleigh or we would be much poorer.

Garbo, in the mean time, has a great weekend, thanks to Letia and especially Rohesia she got to spend both Saturday and Sunday wrestling with Jeffrey. She slept all of Monday.

Aug 132009
 Thursday, 13 August 2009  Posted by at 12:47 events, SCA, travel Tagged with: , , ,  No Responses »

As A does not get his schedule until the week before,  we were not sure when we would be able to leave for Pennsic.  This left planning up in the air somewhat, but then he did get his schedule. Closing on Thursday the 30th, off from Friday the 31st through Saturday the 8th. Opening on Sunday the 9th. This meant we were not going to be able to get on the road until Friday and we would need to leave Pennsic the following Friday. Not ideal, but it would work.
About a week before Pennsic the AC in my car failed.  I added a can of refrigerant and within three days it was out again. Brought it to the dealership and $600 later they replaced the low pressure hose. Two days later, no cooling. Brought it back and another $500 and they replaced the high pressure hose. Things seemed to work after that.

Friday morning, I wanted to be on the road by 7:30/8. We actually got on the road by 10:30. Before we actually managed to leave the house, Girard calls me and says its been raining for three days, Roxeter Road behind camp is closed, and we will need to carry everything from the car over the foot bridge into camp, and to get ready for a wet war. *sigh*
The ride up was basically uneventful.  We stopped just past Summersville at a Walmart to buy more refrigerant and recharge the AC. (The dealership called me to ask how satisfied I was with the service – any guesses how I answered?) We also went through The Slowest McDonalds Drive Through In The World â„¢ – took us thirty minutes to order, get a ten pack of McNuggets and two sodas – and they only gave us one straw, so we had to turn around and go back to get the second one.  We made one other stop – to find an ABC store.

We arrive at Pennsic around 7:30/8 and Calli looks at me from behind the troll booth and says ‘Go look at the map of closed roads and cry.” I reply with “Hi Calli, Nice to see you. Girard already called and gave me the heads up.” I should note that it stopped raining that morning and was nice all day both for our ride and at Pennsic.

The nice person checking me and A in finds A’s registration but can’t find mine. She comes back and asks if the spelling of my name on my membership card is correct and I confirm it is. Still, she cannot find my pre-reserve paperwork. Calli ponders why she is looking there for it and realizes that she is reading my middle initial and last name as one word. Crisis averted.

We head off from troll to camp, and are meet everyone who is there. A quick assessment of Roxeter and we decide its passable, and pull the car around and into camp. We get ourselves set up, do the storage shed run, and get settled in enough to crash out after a long day driving.

The week at Pennsic went by in a blink. Some things that stick out:

-    Wandering through the merchants and not seeing anything special that jumped out at me. I recall thinking maybe I have been playing and going to Pennsic enough that its pretty much the same and I don’t need or want much of it anymore.

-    Possibly the single funniest moment of the war and still makes me laugh thinking about it. I am hanging out in Vermine and I mention that Nia said to hug those she likes and spit on those she doesn’t. I think it was Theo who jumped in with ‘Hug or Spit? I hope you don’t run out of hugs or the choice will be Or Spit…’

-    MOLing both the Free Scholar’s Charity Tourney and the Atlantian 5-Man Melee. I love working both of those tourneys every year. And watching the Marshalls modify The Slightly Irritated Sea Bass into the Slightly Irregular Sea Bass provided immense enjoyment. I like that the MOLs had veto power over the team names – I think we should keep that as a general rule. They also need to clarify the details on the Free Scholar Tourney as several people I spoke to thought it meant you had to be a Free Scholar to participate.

-    The wandering beer wagon. So, we had all this left over beer and decided to load it into the wagon and take it to the Atlantian Social. Along the way we stopped and served beer to many a passer by – and many whose camp we were passing by. It was a very fun thing to do. In fact we are talking about making a wandering beer wagon a plan for next year.

-    Bog hopping, and why does the Blue Feather camp have a clock on their sign. Short answer, because they had space and why not do a public service and provide a clock. If only they would stop over heating in the plastic encasement. This all told to us by Caleb who turned out to be very fun. Glad we met him.

-    Having some of my worst garb used as an example of how to do things correctly. A wanted to go to a ‘What not to wear’ class and it sounded fun. Turned out to be a ‘let me critique your garb’ session and less fun then advertised. But the teacher was explaining how to miter trim and called me forward as my late period Pelican work tunic had mitered trim on it.

-    Running into Johann. Lost his (and Gryphon, Larissa, et al) phone numbers when my cell phone went crashing off the fifth story of the parking deck. Had no idea he would be at Pennsic – and up until four days before land grab neither did he. Hardly recognized him until he started speaking. Somehow I should not be surprised that he found Allison and began hanging out with her. Makes a lot of sense.

-    Making dinner for the camp on Thursday before Windmasters’ court. Lots of improvising and such but still a good meal that went pretty far. Definitely repeatable.

-    Finding the perfect coronet at Duchess Isabel’s store. Too bad it didn’t fit. Need to either email her my measurements or find someone to commission a similar style from.

-    The B double E double R U N with their Excellen-Gs.

-    Generally feeling relaxed and not on a schedule with no commitments aside from the two tourney MOLings.

This is the first war I can recall where by the end of it I was not ready to go home. Usually I get to the end of war week and I am done with Pennsic, but this year, for some reason, I did not have that. In fact, I wanted to stay another week.

The drive home was uneventful. We got on the road at 6:30 on Friday night. We crusied along talking and listening to podcasts and at around 1:30 we both were hungry (and you cant find anything open at that time) and I was too tired to drive anymore. We could not find where we packed A’s glasses, so we got a hotel room about 2:30 from home. We got up the next morning, took a long hot shower, had a nice breakfast at the Hampton Inn we were staying at, and was home by 1:30. By Sunday night all of the laundry was done and 95% of everything was away.

All told, a very good war.