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1. I'd missed seeing my friends. I was happy the moment Niki and Richard picked me up and I was glad to get out for a while. It wouldn't have mattered too much where we went as long as it was out. At the same time, I found myself wishing there was more centrality to the event so that I could have seen Melody more, and I missed the big group we used to gather for the trip.

2. I don't need Faire as an excuse to get dressed up any more. Since I've been dropping weight and changing out my old clothes for newer ones, every day feels like a costume opportunity.

3. I don't need Faire to feel pretty or young or flirty, either. Honestly, the whole vibe of the place has changed so much that it couldn't really provide those things for me. It's not as carefree any more (and I suppose neither am I). I get as much notice (if not more) walking down the street nowdays.

4. The food is still savory and different enough from standard fare. It's interesting to attend Faire now that I'm counting calories, but I did pretty well overall. If anything, it's tempting to spend all your calories on the various yummy brews they have at the various booths.

5. There's plenty of good food outside of Faire, too. We had a great closing meal elsewhere because it got way too cold to sit outside on the picnic tables. An amazing rack of lamb will make me deliriously joyful to be alive at any rate, but paired with good company, it leaves me feeling all warm and fuzzy. And full.

6. It's better to be too cold than too hot, but only to an extent. The day was cloudy with some sun and a bit cooler than normal, but I had a warm shawl, so it wasn't that big of a deal. Until the temperature started plunging, that is. After a while, too much cold will drive me away as quickly as too much heat and sun.

7. Sometimes you can hear God chuckling in your direction. Just as the cold was becoming unbearable, I started getting cramps and feeling my period coming on. It seemed to take forever for my painkillers to kick in, and did I mention I had no supplies of my own in a place that doesn't really seem to offer them? (Thank you again for the help, Niki!)

8. I would rather save my cash for an outing to a farmer's market or street faire (like the one I pass in Culver City as I head to work some days), or for a pilgrimage down to the fashion district than for the Renaissance Faire. I will find better deals on goods that I can use in more instances - and I can still find markets that make me feel like I'm shopping in a different world than I normally do.

9. Ten years ago this May, the primary romantic connection of my life thus far was sealed at the Renaissance Faire. That day was as magical and amusing as the Faire was ever bound to be - and I'm glad for that. I wouldn't change a thing about it and don't expect to top it. Wherever romance leads me in the future, it'll be elsewhere.

10. This will probably be my last Renaissance Faire trip for the foreseeable future, and I'm okay with that.