Sunday, April 22, 2018

Girls Just Gotta Have Fun--Marburger Farms

DEBORAH CROMBIE: In spite of the chaos of the last couple of months, I did get in a little road trip R&R, when I was still a little wobbly from the bang on the head. My daughter and my oldest (I mean as in since we were in third grade!) friend and I made our second annual pilgrimage to Round Top, Texas, home of two semi-annual antiques fairs that bring buyers and dealers from all over the country. Last year we went to the official Round Top fair. This year, we went for the Marburger Farms fair, a week earlier, and I think even bigger now than the Round Top fair. Check out the Marburger Instagram feed.



We stayed in Brenham, which is about halfway between Houston and Austin, at a lovely place just off the picturesque town square. The first afternoon we explored Brenham. It's the home of Bluebell Ice Cream



and a lot of cool murals.


The first thing we discovered was--you guessed it! The book shop!



An hour later, here I am with my friend Franny and my loot.



Then we discovered Brenham at night.



Seriously, it was very cool.




In a Larry McMurtry sort of way. And very, very quiet.

It was bluebonnet season, by the way, and the wildflowers were gorgeous. Here's Kayti among the bluebonnets planted beside our hotel.


The next morning, it was off to Marburger Farms! This is the first thing we saw, which doesn't look all that impressive until you realize that there are more than half a dozen of these tents, and that they are huge, and filled with stall after stall after stall of STUFF.



 Here's just one vendor.


 And a stall I discovered with English pub signs--and the vendors turned out to be fans! But I still couldn't afford a sign, even if I'd had a place to put it.



Here Kayti and I are getting photo bombed by some guy in a red shirt.



And, now, for my finds.

In the very first tent, I came across these Royal Doulton bird plates. They looked like they were hand-painted, and I adored them.




Here they are in my dining room so that you can see all four.





Here's the stamp on one plate.




And then look what I found on another!



Does that look like a signature and a date to you? 1755???? That would be amazing!! I definitely have to do some research.

And here's my other treasure



a gorgeous 1920 Arts and Crafts ceramic pot. I can't quite make out the artist's name on the tag, so am going to have to do some research on that, too.

There was lots more shopping, until we were very hot and very tired. We gave up about four, just as the thunderstorms rolled in. Back in Brenham, we had some great Mexican food, and maybe a margarita... or two. And the next morning we got up and drove back to Dallas.

Great memories, and I hope we can do it again next year! 

REDS and readers, do you have any special "getaways" in your life?











29 comments:

  1. Wow . . . what an exciting trip. And your found treasures are simply gorgeous. I can see why you enjoy going on this excursion each year . . . .

    We don’t have planned getaways; most of our trips are to visit family and spend time with grandchildren. It’s truly something we cherish . . . .

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  2. I enjoyed my trip to Brenham last year, although I went for the antique roses rather than the antiques. I don't think I have any one particular place I want to go year after year, but I do like to leave time each year for a getaway to some place I've never been before. Last year I had both a trip to Brenham and a long drive to North Carolina. The year before that I spent a weekend in Santa Fe. The year before that I drove back roads to Kansas City. I have no idea where this year will take me, but Galveston keeps coming up in conversation . . .

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    1. We had a fun road trip to Kansas City a few years ago! Gigi's sister and my friend Franny both live in KC, so it works well for us to make the drive together. It's about eight hours from Dallas to KC.

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    2. And I've been twice to Brenham now and STILL didn't get to the rose emporium. This trip, the weather did us in.

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    3. That trip to Kansas City was fun! I seem to remember picking you up in the pouring rain, trying to cram all manner of pillows and quilts and poofy things into the Mustang's tiny trunk, and then locking my keys in said trunk when we stopped for lunch in El Dorado. Good times! We should do it again!

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  3. We got away a couple of weeks ago, road trip. First stop was the Corning Museum of Glass, and if you are at all a fan of art glass, this is the place.
    https://www.cmog.org/contemporary

    Then we made a visit to Lancaster, PA, and Amish country. It was splendid, all those beautiful farms, a six mule team pulling a plow, uncounted horse and buggies, and best of all, a family of seven children, aged 1-10 maybe, all in bonnets or hats, shopping at the co-op with their mom and dad. Their buggy was the Amish version of an SUV!

    We ended at our favorite place in the universe, the home of our friends Tim and Victor. A weekend of plentiful food, wine and love, what's not to like?

    The big trip this year will be to England, and, I hope, France, although Julie has a yen to go to Norway. So who knows. Next May my granddaughter is getting married in Managua. Her fiance is Nicaraguan, and all his family is there. That will be quite an adventure. I pray the current political unrest will be settled, but who knows about Central America.

    Deb your purchases are beautiful, and I'm so glad you got a chance to unwind and rest up after that godawful tumble. xox

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  4. What a fun trip! One of my favorite getaways is the annual Wicked Cozy Authors retreat. We gather at the start of summer in Maine at either Barb Ross's or Jessie Crockett's summer home near the ocean. We write, we talk business, we brainstorm plots, we drink wine and gossip, we eat seafood, and some of us go for long walks. Since our homes range from Maine to Virginia, it's a treat to spend in-person time together.

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    1. Coastal Maine is on my bucket list. The retreat sounds divine!

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  5. Happy to see you seem to feel better after your fall and happy you so enjoyed your road trip.
    Your pictures are fabulous. How thrilled you must have been at the English pub signs and at finding so pretty things.
    As Gigi, my trips are different from one time to the other : so many things to discover.

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  6. A trip to Brenham - did you take the tour of Blue Bell? No? It's been years since I've been to Brenham, but I used to work for the state as an auditor. One year, I audited Blue Bell (I know - someone had to do it). It involved spending about a week there and I got to see every aspect of the ice cream making process. Plus taste some. I know. Someone had to do it. LOL

    I've never been to the antique shows in the area, but would like to at some point. We get away several times a year to Ruidoso, NM, and enjoy it thoroughly. A bunch of people are always surprised that there are 'real' mountains in southern New Mexico. Anyway, we'll spend some time there later this year and then we're taking a trip to Oregon in July. My husband is an avid golfer and we've been to Bandon, Oregon twice before for him to play at Bandon Dunes. They have Scottish golf there and it's about as close to the Scotland type course as you can get in the US. He loves it. I walk all over the place there (lots of walking trails) and the views are amazing. Really looking forward to it. And I'm trying to do one mystery conference per year. I'll be at Malice later this week. And next year - Bouchercon in Dallas! I think my whole mystery book group wants to come to that. Oh, and glad you're better after your awful fall and accident. Whew!

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    1. Kay, we didn't get to Bluebell. Our hotel provided little complimentary cups of Bluebell vanilla, but Kayti was the only one who actual got around to eating one.

      Aren't Scottish golf courses fabulous? I did several with my parents, years ago.

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  7. Aren't road trips the best? Especially with a cherished daughter and/or girlfriend or two.

    Last August my husband and I went to Northern Michigan for a week, which was so much fun. We stayed with my daughter and her family, who have a second home between Traverse City and Charlevoix, and then drove up to the Upper Peninsula for a couple of nights to stay with Steve's childhood friend and her husband. Their mothers were best friends, and the families spent part of every summer at the "cottage" on Les Cheneaux (the Channels), so lots of reminiscing going on.

    We went back to my daughter's, and also visited two lavender farms, one on each side of her place. I bought lavender honey and lavender soap, and we ate lavender cookies and drank lavender tea. And I basically just wallowed in purple and the heady fragrance of my favorite herb. My dream at one point was to own and operate a lavender farm, you see. I could still, although time's a-wastin'.

    If you ever get the chance, Lavender Hill Farm, way up north on the way to Mackinaw, has a barn full of drying lavender, separated by type, and rolling hills of exquisite flowers, especially in early August. Their gift shop is incredible, too, with the widest range of products using lavender I've seen.

    But the true stunner is the Cherry Point Lavender Labyrinth in Shelby, Michigan. It's free, and draws tourists from all over, with good reason. The labyrinth has a massive spoked wheel at its core, created from a geometric layout of herbs, arranged by type. There's really no way to describe it adequately, you just have to see it. http://www.cherrypointmarket.net/ for an aerial photo. They also have a gift shop, and a nice little seasonal restaurant.

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    1. Karen, years ago I went with my friend Kate Charles and her husband to visit the Norfolk Lavender Farm. The lavender had already bloomed and they were processing, and the smell was overwhelming. But I love lavender and have always wanted to see a lavender farm in full bloom. There are some here in Texas--maybe we should make that our next road trip.

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  8. We had a Chicago getaway long weekend in Chicago last month. I attended Murder and Mayhem and Jeffery Deaver's writing commercial fiction workshop while my husband experienced the delights of St Patrick's Day. I'm down-sizing, not acquiring, but the Doulton bird plates are lovely.

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  9. I love those bird plates, I hope you share your research results with us.

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    1. I've spent the last hour on the internet. The pattern is Royal Doulton Game Birds B, pattern number 1755 D. Many of the Doulton game bird patterns were bases on drawings made by Joseph Hancock, who was art director in the early 20th century. But I haven't been able to find out if these plates are Joseph Hancock, or when they were produced. Any china experts out there? I think it's going to take a detailed book on Royal Doulton.

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  10. I want the bird plates, too! What a great weekend. I'm realizing it's been ages since I was at a flea market. I can't go on a getaway until I finish my manuscript.

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  11. Great photos! You mentioned a bang on your head. What happened?

    A special getaway can be as simple as going to the park. We love it when the day is beautiful - not too hot not too cold.

    Happy Sunday,
    Diana

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  12. Great photos, Debs, and glorious finds! I looked for my markings books, but they seem lost somewhere in the double shelvings. I'm sure these days, you can find the information online. The colors on the deco pot are wonderful! Items you will enjoy for a long time to come.

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    1. My china expert friend says they might be re-issues, but also that she's never seen this pattern. And I have looked at a lot of English china over the years, and I've never seen anything like these.

      I LOVE the deco pot. I looked at it early in the day, but it was much more than I wanted to pay. But I kept thinking about it, and at the end of the day I went back to see if it was still there. I asked the vendor if he could give me a better deal, and he sold it to me for half price:-)

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  13. Sorry to check in late this morning! I've been babysitting. Such fun--French toast and playtime with Wren.

    The best thing about our trip was just the chance for the three of us to spend time together, and to have a break from daily responsibilities. And since my friend lives in Kansas City, we try to get together somewhere a couple of times a year.

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    1. wonderful to have a break from daily responsibilities. thank you for sharing this with us.

      Diana

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  14. Debs, What a great weekend! I love traveling with my mom, and in May we're doing a short Oregon road trip to Cannon Beach and Portland. There's something about getting in the car and just going that feels so liberating. Last week, I was in Arizona, and we took a day trip to the Grand Canyon. We made some stops on the way back to Sedona, and I got a beautiful Navaho pot with etching done by hand. Every time I'm in my kitchen, and I can look at it and remember our trip with fond memories.

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  15. I keep intending on going to Round Top for the antique/junque show but haven't made it yet. It would be pretty easy; my sister lives in LaGrange so it would be a day trip. Probably just as well. I'm afraid I'd buy something! In a day or two I am headed for my sister's place. It's time to pick dewberries so I'm going to toil out in the pasture!

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  16. Debs - what fabulous finds! Like Ingrid, I love traveling with my mom. She's quite the adventurer and we laugh a lot along the way. She's coming here in May to see the Hooligans perform and we're already planning some road trips, possibly down to Tubac or into Mexico!

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  17. Whenever I come across Royal Doulton, I think of Hyacinth Bucket and I smile big. What a find ...those are just stunning and now I have a severe case of plate envy, Hyacinth be damned!

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  18. Oh Debs, that looks and sounds like such a fun trip. I love antiques and vintage items, and if they're quirky, all the better. The Arts and Craft pot and the bird plates that you found are wonderful. I need to do this kind of trip with my daughter.

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