Friday, June 27, 2014

The Great Outdoors

Garage sale season is in full swing. Everywhere you go, there are garage sale signs. We still prefer estate sales and that is what we pursue but we don't discount garage sales. We use them as filler in between stops. Sometimes, as we cruise slowly past a garage sale, we can tell, even from a distance, that there is nothing there of interest to us and we pass right on by. We are much more likely to stop when we see a few old items sitting on a table and then loads of boxes nearby. You just never know what you'll find. We also like to stop when we see that it is an older person having the sale. What treasures is he or she parting with? Again, you just never know!

As we prepared our list of potential stops, there were none that stuck out but plenty that hinted of possibility. We compiled a list of ten potential stops. It was a great mix of indoor estate sales and "vintage" outdoor garage sales. The term "vintage" may be overused but it is hard to ignore the word...and we didn't. With a list in hand and a full tank of gas, off we went

Our first series of stops were easy. There were three located within the same town and the one that sounded most promising was in that cluster. We decided to go to a "vintage yard sale" first. There were no pictures to tell us what "vintage" meant but we just couldn't ignore the word. It was an outdoor sale, as we expected. There was another garage sale across the street. We went to both and found nothing. 

All was not lost though...we saw a Bagel Store just down the road from the sale and decided that it was time for breakfast. The food was good and it had this cool carousel horse mounted to the wall. Bonus...there were scary clowns on the carousel top!

With our stomachs full and our hearts set on finding treasures, we moved on to our next stop. This was the one we felt showed the greatest potential. It was run by a tag sale company and the ad pictures did point toward this being of interest. It's only downside was that this was the second day of the sale.

The basement was packed and there was an attempt to keep it orderly and neat. This sign was posted prominently on the basement wall but...

...too late! Monica was digging through the rubble...we both were! It took some time but we left no box and no piece of furniture unsearched. 

There was an Indian mounted to the wall with an arrowhead backing. Rob thought it looked like one of his people had been swallowed by a fish! While the basement was the area where we spent a majority of our time here, there were other rooms to search on the main floor and we did leave with some records, books, Christmas items and a few other things.

The next stop on our list was still within the same town but we were not sure exactly where we were going. The ad listed just the street name and that we should then just "follow the signs". We hoped there would be signs...and there were...two of them. There were two sales being held on the street and both were in the great outdoors. We were not sure which one was the "60 years of stuff". No problem...we would go to both. The first stop had a sign that they were an "antique garage sale". We figured that this must be the place. There were a few old things here but it certainly wasn't "60 years of stuff". There was nothing here for us.

The second one, from a distance, looked like a typical garage sale but it wasn't. It was an estate sale that had some things outside and some things inside. This was the "60 years of stuff". The people were very nice and we looked through the items on display in the driveway, the things in the garage and the items inside the house. We walked away with some records, a cool book about The Beatles, a record rack, a sweater for Monica and some other things...and a hose. Our garden hose sprung a leak two weeks ago and we have been keeping an eye our for a replacement. We found it here plus a couple of spare sprayers for the hose.

Our next stop was a moving sale defined as "vintage". As we pulled up, we could see it was another outdoor sale and there was another garage sale directly across the street and the results were the same for both...there was nothing.

Onward we traveled to the sale that mentioned Heywood Wakefield furniture. This sale was also held last Sunday and we did not know how much would be here but we figured that if they have Heywood Wakefield furniture, they probably have some other cool stuff too. They did. It was an outdoor sale run by the owner and there was not a lot on display but we did find enough to make it a worthwhile stop. We left with a great table, some records, some costume jewelry, a creepy Santa and a jewelry box.

The afternoon was hot and we decided that we only had one more stop left in us. We chose the one that was only ten minutes away.  It took us more time to get there than it did to look at what was for sale. It was a bust.

Here is what we did find today:
Some records

A few more records

Some Christmas records

Some books

A small jewelry box and some costume jewelry for Monica

Some Christmas items

Some old packages of pipe cleaners, a curtain rod for our bathroom, a portable fan and some festive Aloha coasters

Some vintage cake toppers

A pair of old hose nozzles

A vintage sweater for Monica

An old record rack

A vintage table for behind the couch. It matches two other tables that we have! 

This was the first  time this year that we went to more outdoor sales than indoor sales. We typically like the indoor sales better. Seeing rooms that were untouched in the last 50 years or more is exciting and we always let our minds think about what life must have been like for the people who once resided there. We also like to dig and, when we are lucky, walk into basements and attics that have not been searched in many years. Garage sales and yard sales are always staged and that removes a little bit of the excitement from the sale but that's okay...we still like them. Treasures can be found anywhere...and the greatest treasure of all is simply to spend this time together and share our excitement together ...hand in hand. 

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Swimming With The Fishes

Monday, June 16th...a work day under normal circumstances but not for us. We took a vacation day! We have been trying to make sure we use our vacation days to make sure that we have at least one extended weekend each month. Our day in June had come!

We decided to go to Atlantis Marine World Aquarium which is located about 45 minutes from our house. When it first opened, in 2000, it was simply an aquarium but it has expanded into so much more. The weather was beautiful and the aquarium was a place we really wanted to visit so off we went!

Our first stop was always going to be breakfast. The Star Confectionery seemed like a perfect place. It was just down the road from the aquarium

It has been around since the 1920's and serves breakfast and lunch every day. They have a soda fountain and make their own ice cream.

You can eat at the old counter if you want but we chose to sit in a booth. Since it was still morning, we skipped the ice cream and went straight for the breakfast! It was great!

On the way down the street, we saw this great old neon cocktail lounge sign. We stopped to take a picture especially since it next door to The Salvation Army!

Although the day was not about saling or thrifting, you can't ignore obvious opportunities! We found two Christmas records to take home with us!

Just moments later, we arrived at our destination...

Atlantis Marine World! 

There was a truck with fake sharks...

...and a fake whale in a fake pool.

There were also real creatures outside. This seal was swimming towards us

Monica loved the seals but she thought they looked like giant slugs!

Once inside, there was a lot to see. The butterfly exhibit is only in its second year and you can walk around freely amongst the butterflies and moths

There were lots of plants and flowers for the butterflies and moths to enjoy. They were all over the place!

These giant moths were pretty fond of oranges

A close-up of a giant moth

There were really beautiful butterflies...

who were also pretty fond of oranges!

Just outside the area that had all the fishes, there were tanks with manta rays and 
skates who were very friendly...especially when Rob was feeding them

Rob made a big splash with them!

There were turtles too!

Next, it was time to see all the fish and Monica was ready. This is a close-up of the pattern on the vintage fish shirt that Monica wore to the aquarium. Very appropriate! 

We knew we were getting close because there was a giant fake whale...

...and a giant fake shark...

...and a fake deep sea explorer! 

We got to the giant tank and thought "You maniacs! You blew it up! Ah, damn you! God damn you all to hell!" And, uh, then we remembered where we were and that neither of us were Charlton Heston!

There were big sharks in that tank!

Big AND mean looking! 

There were lots of other fish with far better dispositions...

...and more fake sea creatures with no dispositions at all!

We met undersea royalty! Monica is posing with Neptune.

Rob posing with the goddess of the mermaids

The aquarium was not about aquatic life and butterflies. There were so many more interesting characters to see!

We saw The Penguin...

...and all of his penguin cronies

We even saw Batman (bottom left) along with his friends the hedgehog and the sloth

We saw lots of colorful parrots

Lots of them! 

We saw an otter...

...and we saw monkeys. Some were very diligently guarding their temple...

...while others were deep in thought

All the while, Dr. Zaius kept an eye on all of the monkeys

We had a really fun day togetherat Atlantis Marine World and we learned so much!

#1 - Sharks do not always have to be feared

#2 - Some fish are very frightened by our presence

And #3 - Some fish wear the same facial expression as Edward G. Robinson

After a long day at the aquarium, we went to Snowflake Ice Cream, just a few miles up the road. It has been around since 1953 with just two owners during that time. Monica practically ran inside. It was hot and we were thirsty! 

It was a perfect day off and, although we weren't exactly swimming with the fishes, the magic of the day sure made us feel like it.