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We came, we saw, we sewed. Next year, if we go, I would teach (lead?) one class only. It was just too busy to enjoy other classes and prep for my own, so it’s a rational decision.

 It was fun to see the same people again, to meet friends made a year ago. And it was really fun to see costumes and costumers. It’s a different world. And while I’m not saying that re-enactors don’t have fun, or a sense of humor, one finds that the sense of humor is a little…different…and that sometimes, a weekend of all women is a fine thing to have. In two weeks, I will be part of a weekend of mostly men, and I will look back at the air-conditioned hotel nights and hot showers with real longing. (Having just realized that I am about to spend two hot sweaty nights camping and then drive home to New England from New Jersey with a load of stinking kit in the car, I am seriously questioning my sanity. But, onward, to Happy Father’s Day in the miasma of New Jersey.)

So. The conference was smaller this year, but still busy. We skipped the crepes (prep!) and the tea, as my friend cannot eat wheat, and that was OK. I made significant progress on some required overalls, and that was amazing. (PDF files of the classes I taught are on the Dress U Handouts page above.)

On Saturday, my mother took us to dinner at a Thai restaurant in Haverford, which was delicious, and such good company! Ever evangelistic about her hobby, my mother gave us both plants to take home.

Before dinner, we had tried to go swimming in the hotel’s silly pool (it is a curious shape). The pool was nearly at its capacity by volume of guest with an exuberant extended family playing hotel pool volleyball with three inflatable beach balls. After my friend was hit on the head the third time and glared at, we decided to leave.

Glaring and staring continued on Sunday when the Golf Guys arrived. We rode the elevator down with a possible father-and-son duo after dropping off the iPad and projector so we could get some dinner before we donned tiaras. Golf Guy the Younger stared hard: that was the filthiest look I’ve gotten in a long time, and I have a sarcastic teenager at home. He seemed offended by my green silk bonnet (I know, I used almost slub-less dupioni and not taffeta for my Anne Carrowle bonnet) and the notion that I was hoping to get it rained on. Golf Guy the Younger stormed out of the elevator ahead of us, while Golf Guy the Elder held the door, smiled, and said, “After you.” He was the original owner of the thick white leather belt that held up his mint condition mint-blue polyester trousers, possibly purchased with the leather belt. The meatiness of the leather belt reminded me of the thickness of the bayonet belts worn by the Second Helping Regiment, belts which are probably of an age with Golf Guy the Elder’s belt.

Golf Guy the Younger found costumed women so horrifying that he would not even take the door we held for him, though GGtheE attempted to speed up to catch the door. At the Outback Steakhouse (ugh, but handy and with a gluten-free menu and cold beer), more staring happened. It was full of tables of Golf Guys, as weird as the day we drove home from Philly when there was an Eagles-Giants game at the Meadowlands and were surrounded on all sides by cars full of men. Not until we saw men with painted faces did I realize we were headed for a football game, and up on the skyway part of the NJTP, small sedans crammed with large men with blue faces were a sight to behold. We weren’t re-enactors then, but if we had been, I would have put on every uniform hat in our car.

So we had the usual conference mix of meeting people, learning things, and shocking the locals, interspersed with a trip to the Exton Mall for a power cord lost from the projector case by an errant colleague and a couple of tiaras. We were sparkly this year, but had to announce that we had stolen our mistress’s jewels, as the excuse for wearing paste with peasant clothes.

Next year, CSA is in Baltimore at the same time…time to look into train tickets. But now, packing and loading the car for a drive back in the rain. And just like last year, we’ll take 287 instead of 95.