Once upon a time, there was a magical kingdom in the hills and valleys of the York of New. Legend had it that many magical things could happen here, if only one could find the way. Our Heroine read about the legends, spoke to many who had seen the kingdom, and yearned to go herself. Many years had passed, but Our Heroine was never able to leave her small village to travel the great distance; the distractions were many. There were offspring to lead, festivals involving music and uniforms, great itineraries to juggle, and other folderol.

One day, when the youngest offspring made ready to depart, Our Heroine had a flash of inspiration. Consulting her astrologer who went by the name of “Kitchen Calendar” and counting her coin, she realized that at last! her dream was within reach. So she planned and dreamed and read some more.

The great day came. With her trusty Hero beside her, Our Heroine made off for the faraway mountains and the magical area known by one and all in the Court of the Ravelry as Rhinebeck. Lodging with her great friend, the Earl of Hampton, she arrived on the evening of Friday and observed with great delight many of her people gleefully sharing their craft and discussing the great events about to happen on the morrow. She lay her head upon her pillow and dreamed yet again.

When the great day dawned, Our Heroine was breathless and not just from the mighty wind that blew across the land. Such colors! Such textures! Such rich aromas wafting across the tents and amid the trees! Such wonderful people in the magical land! Even the very animals possessed a regal sense of being! With her hand firmly clasped in her Hero’s, Our Heroine walked slowly among the booths, shyly deciding to enter her first. Shyly.

Shyly didn’t work. Our Heroine soon became aware that these magical treasures must be seized upon first sighting, or they would be consumed within seconds with none to replace the empty spot! (Our Hero wisely decided to wait *outside* the tents.) Perusal must be done quickly, and decisions made instantly, or hearts would be broken.

Eleven skeins, two sets of stitch markers, pins, bumper stickers, earrings, and two chicken pot pies later, Our Heroine told her patient, exhausted and grateful Hero that perhaps it would be time to return to the Inn to rest. After all, they would be going out again to the Prince’s Ball from the Court of Ravelry!

Driving the carriage back to the magical area, Our Heroine felt dizzy with anticipation and delight. Would she really get to see the Prince Code Monkey? The Princess of Smiles-A-Lot? The Delightful Head Lady in Waiting of Goodly Rainy Days? There is the site! There it all awaits, under a magical tent! Alas, what is this? Drive our carriage on a goodly distance and return by modern conveyance? Why thank you, kind coachman!

Behold! A goodly amount of the kingdom has gathered in this massive area! And here comes the conveyance, that wasn’t a terrible amount of time to waste, was it? What a good show! We’ll be on promptly and soon carousing with the other wonderful visitors!

Forty five minutes and ten frozen digits later, Our Heroine received word from a reliable messenger that the Bags of Goods were indeed gone, and still more carriages of modern conveyance would need to arrive before any mingling were to be done. After a quick consult with Our Hero, they wisely decided to depart for a Friendly-er place and consume much food and laughter.

After revisiting several areas on the morrow, Hero and Heroine indulged in Chops of Lamb, Donuts of Cider, and tasted many fair wines and cheeses in Ye Olde Foode Pavillionne.

Highlights: Seeing all the friends from Union County Crafters. Meeting Princess Sandi of WiseHeart. Spotting among the commoners the royalty of Queen Knitspot, Queen Knitter’s Review, and the ever lovely and mysterious Ladies of the Gryphon.
Lowlights: Not going to the Prince’s Ball. Not realizing until I got home (for crying out loud) that I was in line at Spirit Trail Fiberworks behind the Queen of Grump herself! It was such a silly thing for me to have missed, but there it is.

when all is said and done, I consider myself to be one of the Luckiest Ladies in the Land.