This penultimate part of the vacation was originally going to be a lot like the others, where Dominic and Luna get a tour guide and Luna's journal-like narration guides us through the land. Two things made me change their trip to the Winter Archipelago. One, they've already been there and the Shadow of Siegfried storyline had you, the readers, there for a long time as well. Two, it was something that I read while I was in Maine.
In a magazine that one of my friends had brought to our vacation spot, I read about this gathering of a group of friends up in snowy Vermont, where they brought fine food to a cabin and cooked it on a wood-burning stove while gathering maple sap and home-making their own maple treats and dishes. The whole idea felt so cozy, and combined with how cozy I felt in Maine that week, I decided to scrap the tour guide idea and just have a similar gathering of three in Milov's hideaway cabin.
Oh. Milov's ridiculously high ponytail is actually my own. I tied it up that high in Maine one night while I was helping to cook dinner and my friends got a kick out of how funny I looked. Thus, I decided that that was what Milov did with his hair while he was cooking and serving food.