Yesterday I joked on the phone with Lilya about finding the ship in the dark. She planned to find them easily because, “They’re the loud group” and I reminded her, “Everyone’s loud at war.” And I suggested, “It’s not like you’re going to see masts and sails and know you’re at the docks.” I was wrong. The group next to us actually brings a huge mast and sails, a wooden dock, ropes, and other dock-decorations and sets them up in camp. Sadly they weren’t up last night when I was looking for them, but they’re up today and look amazing.

The “Coffee Bar of SPLEN-dooooor” was a huge hit this morning, although there weren’t really that many people in camp. I actually had to go “hawking my wares” with the neighboring camps. They, of course, were very grateful and I seem to have made best friends with the little 5 & 6 year-old girls who were happy to have hot chocolate with marshmallows for breakfast. There were even some adults who were thrilled to have marshmallows for breakfast, too.

The biggest task today was to go shopping with Lilya and Dillon, since their garb was mostly trapped in their truck [a long story involving a brother, a boat, and no brake fluid on the boat trailer] in a shop somewhere. Since Lilya will be doing my vocal coaching, we’re doing a trade. We found an amazing wool tunic at Ceridwen’s that was so perfect for Dillon, and then after looking at the entire site and finding almost nothing for Lilya, at the last stop we found a treasure trove. There was a choli and pants in silk noil, the thinest linen blouse you’ve ever seen, and the perfect Turkish coat in a flannel lining and a heavy embroidered outer fabric. On walk about we also found a purple and silver metal-thread head wrap.

So they were dressed for the weekend (since Lilya had the sari I gave her last weekend for when it was hot, the new coat for when it was cold) and we could just enjoy whatever we wanted. Lilya had a friend out from Utah (who also knew a mutual friend of ours from Oxnard that had moved several years ago) and she was a blast to hang out with too.

Lots of shopping and some wonderful food court stops later, we were relaxing around the camp for the rest of the afternoon. It was really hot (we are near the Mexican border!) but it wasn’t completely unbearable, and Catriona brings a shaded kitchen when camping, so we all sat around there, relaxing and chatting.

I did take the time to do the afternoon announcements as my volunteer shift for the event, and had a lovely time going camp to camp, delivering the announcements right up close, without shouting. Several people were impressed at my heralding shift, since they’re used to either (a) being ignored and no one comes all the way out where they are or (b) heralds just stand on the road and shout, and never come right up and talk conversationally. And in a brewers’ household, I was offered the yummiest lemonade I’ve ever tasted, since I had to decline the alcohol (“Sorry m’lords, I’m on duty right now.”).

Dinner was on our own this evening, so those of us who didn’t have household dinner arrangements wandered back to the food court where I had the yummiest custom food ever. There was a muscled, slim, good-looking man in a kilt serving Corned Beef and Cabbage who was very sweet and allowed me to substitute chicken for the beef and still get all the veggies that looked so good. It was the most generously portioned meal I’ve seen sold on site, and the yummiest chicken I’ve had in forever. Hats off to Tamlin’s!

Finally, Lilya was planning to sing at the Royal encampment some time that evening, and while we were waiting for everything to get started, we hung out at Duke Edric’s encampment for a while. They were serving “Turkish Coffee” (for real!) and it’s given me some ideas about getting the same for future events.

And I finally got to chat with some folks from Isles that I’ve met in passing and never got to know real well. Ximena is just facinating, and I can’t wait to get to see them at other events in the future.

When everyone finally went over to Royals, there were other bards performing first, and I was just exhausted and frozen. So I begged off and went back to camp for my cloak, but just couldn’t make myself trek across the site *again* for the performances. Instead, I joined the White Star (the ship’s crew) around the campfire to listen to stories and songs and sagas, watch the captain get *way* too drunk on rum, and then collapse in bed for tomorrow.