Friday, September 6, 2013
The Hedgehogs Take Pennsic (Slippery Rock, PA)
After the 24 hour drive from Austin to Pennsylvania, April and the hedgehogs finally made it to Pennsic. Pennsic lasts for two weeks - the first week is called "Peace Week", and the second week is called "War Week", since that's when most of the battles are fought. Hedgie and Buttercup are a bit worried about getting anywhere near large armies in heavy plate mail carrying swords (rightly so!), so they have nothing to report on the actual fighting.
They did, however, provide cheering and moral support while April set up her tent.
It's not an authentic canvas pavilion, but it'll do for now. Just big enough for a musician and her hedgehogs.
The next morning, April donned her handmade linen cotehardie (dress) and handmade linen veil, grabbed her instruments (bowed psaltery, bodhran, flute, and pennywhistle) and hedgehogs, and headed out to play music for the masses.
Hedgie and Buttercup would like to credit their extreme cuteness and congeniality as the reason that April made the front page of the Pennsic Independent -
After several hours of playing, Hedgie took Buttercup on a tour of his favorite places. (He's been to Pennsic twice before, but this was Buttercup's first time.) He showed her House Hedgehog (the Latin on the tent translates to "The Hedgehog Can Not Be Buggered At All") -
as well as the TARDIS (which leads into another encampment) -
Pennsic is run by the Coopers (who own the land). The Coopers run the convience store onsite, as well as Penn Market, which moved from the food court to the big barn this year. April was thrilled to notice that Penn Market had a whole section devoted to organic foods -
Each year, Pennsic has a theme. Since this was Pennsic 42, the theme made itself readily apparent -
This sign happily provided by Vogon industries.
The official site medalion. If you can't quite make it out, that's a bowl of flowers that says "Don't Panic".
One of April's favorite places to play and hang out at Pennsic underwent ownership and a name change this year. Kafe Merhaba (formerly Your Inner Vagabond) provides coffee, tea, other drinks, and light snacks in a big shaded tent with tons of straw-stuffed cushions. It's very easy to forget that you're in a tent in a field when you're lounging on cushions and sipping an iced coffee.
Did I mention it was Pennsic 42?
Hedgie and Buttercup meet the Merhaba camel. "We found a camel! Can we keep him?"
This year, the food choices were much fewer than last year. (Here's the menu.) There were some vegan options, but they were a bit out of April's budget - $4 for a small bowl of mixed olives or a small bowl of mixed fruit and nuts. April's favorites this year were the drinks (which they gave her for free after she'd played a set - bonus!) April started out trying a Yemeni espresso with ginger and orange blossom water. It was sweet, perfectly spiced, and delicious!
The hedgehogs beg for coffee. "See? It's just our size!"
April's other favorite drink was an iced chai. When she first got there, they told her they had no non-dairy milk, so she had several chais with no milk at all. On the last day, they proudly told her that they had almond milk, so she was treated to the most amazing drink ever (at least, that was what it seemed like after a long day playing music in the heat!)
One of the other awesome things about Penn Market was that they sold freshly baked bread of all sorts. Each day, there would be day-old bread for half price. On the last day, they offered buy one, get one free on all the remaining bread, so April bought a bread bed for Hedgie and Buttercup.
The hedgehogs get comfy. The dipping oil was given to April free from one of the ladies who worked at Penn Market.
April took down her tent and packed everything up (with the cheering and moral support of the hedgehogs), and prepared to embark on her first trip to Canada!