Sunday, July 24, 2011

Flea Market Adventure

Saturday morning, I started thinking about Sunday morning flea marketing.  I also was thinking that I needed a change of pace.  The weather report seemed favorable enough and the calendar agreed that I had an opening (probably the only one for a while) so I decided to make a journey to the Elephant's Trunk Flea Market in New Milford, Connecticut.  I had read about it numerous times in various magazines that I read, and all reports were favorable and encouraging.  Their own site claims it is the largest regular Sunday morning flea in New England with over 300 dealers each Sunday.  It sounded like a good adventure.  I thought about inviting a daughter or friend along, but when I thought about it, what I really needed was a little solitary time.  Since school let out, I haven't had any alone time, and lately I'd been craving it, so no invitations were made and I headed off alone on Saturday evening to make the three hour journey there where I planned to stay in a local, well rated hotel that I'd been able to book a room in on line right before leaving. 

The trip down was pleasant, with my GPS navigating me with his consistent little bit of a naughty attitude.  I listened to a favorite movie on the way down played thru my ipod and some inspirational music.  I made reasonable time (despite my GPS's attitude) and arrived in good humor.  At check in, I discovered they did not have my reservation that I'd made on line and tried to give me a more expensive room.  Fortunately, since I had my confirmation print out, they were forced to honor my original booking and price.  The room was quite nice, surprising for a little local hotel.  All was well and I enjoyed some television in bed.  Shortly after turning in for the night the hotel fire alarm went off!!  Let me tell you, that gets your blood pumping especially since it was my first time traveling alone like this.  Turned out to be a false alarm, but the adrenaline rush made getting to sleep again very difficult.

After a short night's sleep I awoke feeling surprisingly refreshed and set off to the flea for the 7am opening.  ( I chose not to go at 5:45 for the dealer's early hours and pay an extra $20 admission).
Yeah.  Here I go!

The market backs up to a beautiful hill.  There were indeed lots of dealers, but alas only about 1/3 to 1/2 of the usual number.  I heard people in the entrance line grumbling that there had been only this many last week as well.  They were speculating that the heat was keeping them away.  Only problem with that theory for today was that although it was quite humid, it was not hot.  It was only about 75 and was the same when I left town at 1:00.  Just my luck, I finally get down there and it's a small turn out.  Drat.  There were happy things to look at, however, it turned out that I couldn't afford most of it.  Seems this flea is too close to New York City, and people with more serious money, to have the kind of prices I am used to.  Here are some of the happy, but free things I saw today both at the Flea and nearby as I was driving around town.

Several of the dealers were selling plants.  These sunflowers just made me smile.

THIS, I absolutely LOVED!!  I spoke with the lady using it.  She had pulled the old stroller frame out of a dumpster, painted it and added the crates and linens and bike basket to create a one of a kind flea marketing cart.  Well it won't be one of a kind for too long if I can get my hands on a stroller frame anytime in the near future.  I gotta make me one of these "sweet rides."

Saw this sweet, well maintained farm house on the side of the road.  It just says, "New England".

And here is my dream truck.  Ohhh I just love this truck!!  I'd love to go flea marketing in one like this.

SO.....despite the lack of sleep, lack of dealers and lack of reasonable prices, I did bring home some goodies.  My car was full, not with quantity but with bulk of larger items.

The wooden file crates on the left need to have the funky 70's contact paper removed and a new paint job.  The metal cart will get a fabric liner made for it and be a fun flea marketing cart to sell.  The little spindled two-tier table will get a coat of cream paint and a distressing.  The wire basket will get de-rusted and sold as is.  The two hosta plants and lettuce seedlings are for my gardens.

The two vintage hats will most likely end up in my personal collection.  They are in fantastic condition.  Wish I could wear them out somewhere like our vintage predecessors did.  The vintage towels will be for sale.

The little vintage purse is for me.  Vintage bags are back in, so I'll be toting this baby to church next Sunday.

These vintage boxes of bluing may be for me.  I haven't decided yet.

My largest purchase of the day was a big white cupboard, which you won't see in this blog.  It was still in my car when I took these photos as it was too big for me to get out alone.  It is quite unique, but needs LOTS of work.  I'll show you photographs of it soon. 

 All in all, I'm glad I went.  I was disappointed with the overall flea, but it all worked out fine.  I spent some time at the Flea and found some treasures; took myself out to a nice breakfast at a quaint dinner where I poured over a new magazine I'd brought form home; went back to my hotel for shower to freshen up; found a church much like my own here and took in a service, where I liked the pastor and his message very much; and listened to two more movies on the ride home.  In all, it turned out to be a relaxing and rewarding day.

Would I go back and try it again.....???   Probably not.  Even with more dealers, it is still too expensive for my pocket book.  But it was fun and good to meet myself again in the quiet hours of it all.  Take care.

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