1995: My first Pennsic, aka Sweatsic. It was 98 and humid the entire week. We went every day to the swimming hole, and I've never gone swimming at Pennsic since. Still, one of the best Pennsics - I think the first one almost always is.
1996: Stayed in a nice yurt, bought my first harp. Still under 21 and sober.
1997: Yurt Guy broke up with me in July, after pre-reg and before Pennsic. He was decent enough to stake out a spot for me in the camp and put up a pallets-and-painter's canvas tent for my sister and me - and the future Dear Spouse, as it turned out. Falling in love again makes a great Pennsic. We evacuated the site when the stormclouds started spiraling around and got the last hotel room at the Super 8.
1998: Dear Spouse's household returned to Pennsic and we camped with them. On the Serengeti. Ugh. I expected more lovey-dovey times with my dear, but he was carousing with his mates. This was not cleared up until late in the trip. Combined with evil hot weather - not a good year.
1999: I wasn't supposed to go - I had a new job as a grad research assistant. Showed up, got told my boss was on vacation and nobody had any work for me. Packed and on the road in two hours, surprised the hell out of the Dear Spouse. Good year - we arranged to do our own thing for most of the day, met up for meals and had a nice balance of "me time" and "us time" with all expectations on the table.
2000: Dear Spouse couldn't go, so I camped with people from the gaming store. I had a good time showing my new friends the Pennsic ropes.
2001: Did we actual stay in separate encampments? I camped with Mugmort on the peninsula in the lake - they were our neighbors from 2000 and the original inhabitants of the campsite. They liked my harping and invited me back. I can't remember if the Dear Spouse came and stayed with his household or what. It was a good year for food. I think this was the year it was cold and rainy most of the week. Better than '98! I stood guard at Atlantian Royal wearing a colander as a helmet and holding a crab mallet. A passing knight gently rapped me on the head and declared, "Needs more duct tape."
2002: Pennsic was a much-needed escape from home this year. It was also a turning point in Mom's illness - she was sick but alert when we left (and she and Dad went to the Poconos for their own escape) but sick and bedridden when we came back. Was this the year we camped with Storvik? I overheard someone in the common tent complaining about the newbies; she apologized to me, saying, "But not you, you're fine." I blinked and told her I was a seven-year Pennsic vet.
2003: Started working for The Man in July, had to skip Pennsic. Bought an iPod instead. Still have it.
2004: I think this was the year that Dear Spouse decided that he needed a break from Pennsic. In an effort to synch our Pennsic clocks, I stayed home too.
2005: Yay, back again! I think. Strangely, it's the more recent years that are fuzziest. With the Dear Spouse's household. But I don't remember anything special about this one.
2006: This was a scholarly year. I took oodles of awesome classes at Pennsic U, and we went to a lot of great bardics. I always found it too hot to drink a lot at Pennsic; there were a few nights when I tied some on after I turned 21, but I was mostly sober this year and happy about it.
2007: We decided not to do Pennsic with a four-month old Spud. But the Dear Spouse ended up going solo for an overnight trip, to see his boon companion receive a well-deserved Pelican.
2008: Saving our pennies for Hawaii! Yes, The Man is paying for a good bit of it, but extra hotel days and the Dear Spouse's plane ticket are not included. Dear Spouse is not so keen on camping with the Spud, either, although I hope we do it someday. Unlike him, I plain like camping and don't want to abstain from it for 5-7 years.