What do you do when things aren't working out?
You start over. And that's exactly what I did.
Luckily, I didn't have to start over completely. Everything was still set up and ready for the Pen Tool. The one thing I do enjoy about doing it the "old-fashion" way is that I have full control of the directional handles at all times and the ability to make adjustments as I go. Although I'm pretty comfortable with the Pen Tool, I had never vectorized a script like this without using the Width Tool (Let's grow old together
and Without a box there can be no outside the box thinking
were created using variable widths). It was a challenge in the beginning, but I knew my perfectionist-self would push me to get things right in the end.
Taking breaks, especially while vectoring, was very important throughout this step. I was able to see things with a fresh set of eyes every time and make the proper adjustments without settling so quickly. For instance, I noticed the swash on the stem of the 'P' was a bit long. I shortened it and enlarged the entire letter to fill in the gaps. I also adjusted the swirling swash of the 'T' cross-bar as well as the letter-spacing and other minor tweaks.
I spent about a good week just revising directly in Illustrator. It wasn't until all the subtle revisions were done that I noticed how weighted the thinner areas felt. It didn't feel sophisticated and elegant enough. So, to make the overall weight appear "lighter," I thinned out the strokes even more. You can see how much my original trace differs from the final.