This past Saturday was the Kingdom 12th Night Event (actually close to the actual day of 12th night, even) up in Lansing Michigan. The husband and I took a half day off Friday for travel time, it’s just over a 4 hour drive. We got lunch at our favorite local diner, packed up the car and hit the road a bit later than we’d hoped but still… we were ready for a nice easy drive. Ha! Silly us! We hit major traffic in downtown Cleveland that didn’t let up until we were way on the west side. And it was good that I was driving as I had a pair of sunglasses in the car (suspect the sun glare may have been responsible for the slow down, actually. It was very bright!)
We had a bagel for dinner on the Turnpike and smooth sailing up to Michigan where we hit an inexplicable scary traffic jam on route 23 north (Like… the speed limit is more a gentle suggestion there apparently, folks were zipping past over 80 mph and cutting in and out of the heavy traffic… yeah.) When we got to the hotel I needed a brandy or something! Opted instead for visiting the hotel work-out room, which was nicely apportioned. Wish I’d brought a swim suit because the hotel hot tub would have also afforded much needed relaxation. The exercise did the trick though and I slept like the proverbial baby that night. (Really liked the hotel, the Staybridge Inn, about 12 minute drive from the site. Would totally stay there again!)
Leisurely morning, breakfast, got dressed, headed toward the event site. Slightly miffed at the husband that we did not stop for coffee at the Duncan Donuts near the hotel, but in the end it was good we had the extra time as he’d accidentally written down the address as in Lansing, instead of East Lansing. (There is a 200 Grand River in both cities, by the by.) Oops, thankfully our GPS was being cooperative and got us to the proper address once we’d realized our mistake. There was then the parking adventure… lot of one-way streets around the site and the adjacent parking lot was full. With “Across Grand Avenue” as our only direction, we did eventually find a small parking lot and left our car in it… and when we got to the site again I was relieved to discover it was indeed a legitimate place to park where I was not going to be ticketed or towed. *whew!* (The parking lot they had meant to send us to, it turns out, was another block down.) We got checked in, got the hubby to the Tournament of Arts room and I went back out to get coffee at the Bigby’s coffee shop that was right next door! Ah, my coffee at last. ❤
The Tournament of Arts was a new concept this year, based on the Tournament of Chivlary our SCA Kingdom holds every year where the Knights hold the field and teach and train fighters. This one the artisians would be set up and we Laurels would circulate and dispense wisdom and advice (teach and train :)). Countess Serena organized it and paired us up so that entrants got a Laurel who was at least somewhat familiar with their art. I was scheduled with a nalbinding entry, a late 15th century costume entry and a soapstone carved ‘scroll’. Sadly the costume entry had dropped out which made me sad because I was very much looking forward to that one!
Before the tournament started there was a brief meeting with the Laurels to talk about how it was going to run, with a lot of us repeating ourselves, heh. And His Majesty asked we take a group picture, which was fun. 🙂 Then it was off to the races!
The Nalbinding entry went well, she was very enthusiastic and actually said she was glad to get me! Like, she knew who I was? woah. Anyway, it was a great philosophical conversation and I hope I helped her. My second slot was actually open because of the 15th century gown not making it, and I was excited for a chance to move around and see the other entries. I spoke to about four different artisans during that period. And I got to play with Conal’s lathe! So cool!!! Honestly, I think shorter time periods work better for me. Talking to people takes a lot of energy for me and I run out of steam quickly and need to move on. Third period I had a lady with a stone carving and I think we had a great conversation too, though I was starting to fade. I talked to a few other people after that as I made my way towards food, I hoped but… there was the Laurel meeting. I failed to escape for food before the meeting, alas. The meeting was not bad, as meetings go, and then I was free at last to find food! And I found my husband and we searched the site for food, and food was not to be had, alas. Lunch tavern had closed long ago and the only other food was at the two vigils (and I did not know either Pelican vigilante well enough to go raid their food!) and a small selection of sauces by Baroness Hannah in the display, we ate some of her samples and then went out in search of off-site food. Fortunately there was a “Beer Liquor, Pizza, Subs” type shop across the street where we procured an Italian sub and gobbled it down in time for court (barely!)
Hubby ran off to join Their Majesties so he could march into court with them as A&S Champion and I found a spot in the hall with good lighting to knit while I waited for court to start. I got a start on my new project which pleases me. I did have a moment of self-pity as the hall filled up, but no one wanted to sit by me. I managed to nip it in the bud though, I’m sure they just didn’t see me. So there.
After court we said our goodbyes, I saw people I hadn’t seen all day! it would have been good to stay and chat, but hubby wanted to hit the road before we were exhausted, we didn’t have a second night at the hotel. We made good time going home, with a very nutritious dinner of skittles and coffee drinks, heh.
On Sunday we were both pretty destroyed and so did not do much. We did go out to the mall to do a little walking indoors and check to see if that cute nutcracker at Dillards was now on clearance for 75% off… sadly their Christmas items were 75% off, but the nutcracker and his brothers were all gone. Foo. Shoulda bought it at 50% off. Tant pis.