Sunday, March 26, 2017

Girls Go Antiquing

DEBORAH CROMBIE: What could be better than a road trip on a gorgeous spring day? How about a GIRLS road trip! 

And, even better, how about a girls' antiquing road trip?

That's what I'm doing tomorrow, with my daughter and my BFF, who has driven down yesterday from Kansas City for the adventure. (And when I say BFF, I really mean BFF. We have been best friends since we were in THIRD GRADE!)

So, the three of us are setting out at 5AM tomorrow morning for Round Top, Texas, for the huge twice yearly antiques fair that turns a spot in the road (population 90) into a destination. Round Top is iconic, and I can't believe I've never done this before.

Here's one of the big tents:

 And some of the stuff in the Americana tent:

I am little more inclined towards the Continental Tent--except for the quilts in the Americana tent.

And anyone who knows me will testify that I have weakness for quilts. Do I need more quilts? No, but that's not really the point, is it? It's the outing, and the adventure of it.

It will take us (fingers crossed) about four hours for the drive. (Round Top is about halfway in between Austin and Houston.) It's going to be a gorgeous day, and--fingers crossed again--the Texas bluebonnets will be blooming.

Once we have spent the day walking and shopping, we have dinner tickets at this really cool venue called Rancho Pillow,

where dinner is being catered by our very own favorite place right here in McKinney, Patina Green and chef Robert Lyford.  After that, assuming we are still are our feet, we are going to enjoy staying at a fab self-catering cottage in the Texas Hill Country, with a hot tub (which I expect we will need) and an amazing breakfast.
On the way back to Dallas on Tuesday, we plan to stop at the Antique Rose Emporium in Brenham, Texas (swoon... and that should be a whole other post) 

and then at the Magnolia Market at the Silos in Waco. For anyone who has ever watched Fixer Upper, this needs no explanation. 

I have no doubt that guy road trips are just as special (I've heard enough camping stories from the hub.) So REDS and readers of either gender, what's your most fun road trip?

Or road trip fantasy?

And what would you look for if you were going to Round Top???


  1. This sounds like a fantastic adventure, Debs . . . I’m sure you’ll have a wonderful time!
    Over the years, we’ve been on a few road trips, off in search of Precious Moments . . . invariably we’d find more than we expected and bought less than we might have, but checking out the secondary market was always a great deal of fun.

  2. Oh, man, I know you three will have a fabulous time! Here's hoping your antique quilt mojo keeps working for you. Debs has some kind of permanent quilt blessing that kicks in every time she hits a garage sale or antique shop. Where I would search far and wide for old quilts, and not find anything below the $200 range, Debs can take her dog for a walk around the block, stumble onto a garage sale, and walk out with an antique Double Wedding Ring for $25. I'll be excited to see what she comes back with this time.

    But for me, I'd be planning to load up on roses. The Antique Rose Emporium should be in full bloom, and I'd probably drive home with more than I could plant in a year.

    I love road trips. One of my favorites was the time I'd just bought my first Mustang, and Debs and I drove from Dallas to Kansas City where I met my sister for a further road trip to Hermann, Missouri, and Debs stayed behind to get up to heaven knows what mischief with her BFF. I picked her up for the trip home in a pouring rain, and spent entirely too many drenched minutes trying to cram all the quilts and pillows and suitcases and goodies she'd bought into the Mustang's trunk before we both drowned. Then managed to lock my keys in the trunk when we stopped in El Dorado, Kansas for lunch. It's always an adventure when you take to the road with Debs.

  3. I have never been on such an adventure! I'm trying to think about why that is…

    Let me ask you though, what do you do with the quilts? I guess last time I was at a big fleamarket, in Lenox Massachusetts, I ended up with all kinds of exotic olive oil and balsamic vinegars. Oh, and some incredibly cute plaid mittens! Which I have never worn… And so it goes-- I have found that sometimes things that seem adorable at sales seem like clutter when I get them home.
    But having sold books at various events, I feel some connection with the sales people who are trying to get you to buy something. I recognize that hopeful look on their faces!
    Have Fun! And bring me something, as we used to implore my mom… well, at least we expect a full report.

    1. Hank, it's probably because you're too busy! Road trips mean taking one's time to get from Point A to Point B (and so on), stopping along the way. If you're hopping a plane or a train it's much harder to do such a thing.

      I'm thinking you need to consider a more leisurely approach sometime soon, don't you?

  4. That sounds like so much fun! Got room for one more! (And what is a self-catering cottage? Do they leave you food and you cook for yourself?)

    My BFF and I drove from Boston to Indiana and back a few decades ago in my old Volvo sedan to pick up her grad school belongings so she also could move to Boston. We brought goofy driving hats, and talked through each of our family histories and our romantic escapade histories. We quizzed each other on the state capitals. We didn't do a lick of shopping except for gasoline, but we had such fun. It was epic.

  5. CAN I COME?!? I Love antiquing... Our biggie is the Brimfield Flea Market (3 times a year) AND I love quilts. I've loved several of them to death. Waiting for spring here in New England for the yard sales to start. The earliest are usually the best.

    1. I keep meaning to go to Brimfield, Hallie, and have never made it. Maybe in the fall.

  6. Sounds like a great trip. Enjoy!

    How sad is this? I think the last road trip I was on was back in college. Three friends and I stuffed into a compact car driving 17 hours to see a basketball game in Milwaukee, crashing for a couple hours, then 17 hours back. That was the trip where my friend from Connecticut learned how flat Ohio really is.


    1. How flat PART of Ohio is. But the foothills of the Appalachians start in Ohio, and Cincinnati is known for its seven hills, much like San Francisco and Rome. The northeastern part of Ohio was glaciated, so that part is fairly flat, but where the glaciers stopped the rest of it is all wrinkled up.

      Come visit me in Cincinnati, and I'll show you the best part of Ohio, Mary.

  7. What a grand adventure, Debs!! Antiques, quilts, antique roses, an overnight stay--I'm in! I have actually ordered roses from the Antique Rose Emporium! That stop alone would be worth the trip for me. Fondest memory of a road trip? The time my friends and I rented a van and drove from Columbus, Ohio to Kansas City for a pig roast--via Chicago and St. Louis. Visited the Chicago aRt Museum, Cahokia, saw the arch, read some great scifi/fantasy in the van's backseat because the guys insisted on driving. I had just turned in my diss., so it was the best, carefree get-away ever! Oh, and Mary, of course Ohio looks flat when you drive across the former Black Swamp. But ask Karen--the rest of Ohio is not the same. Drive south out of Columbus through the Scioto Valley for some wonderful sights! Or through the Cuyahoga National Park! Lots of great road trips!

    1. See above, Flora. We Ohioans have to stick together! :D

  8. It sounds fabulous Debs! Is the baby coming?? I grew up doing camping road trips with my family, usually pets came along too--cats, dogs, guinea pigs. Recently I've been itching to take a trip to the Eileen Fisher outlet in new York--but that's not nearly as charming as your destinations!

    1. We have a Nordstrom Rack, and they sell Eileen Fisher. We also have a lovely guest room. (smile)

  9. "And what would you look for if you were going to Round Top???"
    First I would look for Deb and company and beg to tag along.

    We have lots of places selling everything from junk to antiques here on the tundra, and it is a favorite trek of ours in the spring. I must admit we have no bluebonnets, sigh. No place but Tejas.

    I'd love to look for quilts, big Mennonite community in the Fingerlakes, but they are beyond my budget, some going for tens of thousands of dollars. The Mennonite community is self-insured, and this is how they fund their health care, their rebuilding of barns that burn, helping out their members in need, all of that sort of thing. Their quilts are works of art and priced accordingly. Most people use them as wall hangings, as they are much too dear to toss on the floor for the baby to play upon.

    So what I'd be looking for is old kitchen ware like potato mashers and juice squeezers, bake ware and old jars and bottles. While my kitchen is very contemporary, I find that a modicum of antique or even just old things add charm. Besides, it reminds me of my mother's and grandmother's kitchens, not to mention that many of the items from an earlier era are better made.

    And I'd look for treasures. Once I found a very old piece of glass that had Melinda etched on it. That is my daughter's name. We have a great bathtub Mary in the garden that I found another time, bought for the kitsch effect but who brings an aura of peace and tranquility to me. No, she didn't come with the bathtub.

    I already have a house full of old china, silver, glass, et al. I don't need one more piece of anything, so whatever I buy not only has to be carefully chosen, but it will bump something else off a shelf to go into a garage sale. Seriously.

    Have a wonderful adventure Deb!

  10. I've been on so many road trips, possibly more than 200, beginning with a trip from Hamilton, Ohio to Rockville, Maryland when I was 14. My aunt and cousins were visiting, and they took me back to Maryland with them. Aunt Phyllis was a fearless road warrior, even stopping for me to check out the roadside plants blooming so fragrantly (it was Royal Vetch, if you are wondering).

    That started a love affair for me, right there. But sealing the deal was meeting Steve, who in the 70's and 80's crisscrossed the country by car on months-long lecture tours. Our "honeymoon" took place during the middle of his lecture tour in 1982. One of his stops was Las Vegas, so I flew out to meet him, we got married there, and then I continued with him for two weeks, getting as far as Ensinada, in Mexico.

    We just got back from driving out to Breckinridge for a week of skiing for him. Along the way, we stopped to visit relatives, and to tour the Denver Botanical Gardens, and to see the sandhill cranes (400,000 of them!) in Kearney, Nebraska at sunset. And I stopped at a quilt store in Hays, Kansas, too, but only bought a book and a cutting tool.

    When I traveled to consumer shows it was often with a girlfriend, and we egged each other on to write books so we could go to the shows as a vendor/teacher, and actually make some money for it. I have many fond memories of road trips with her, singing at the top of our lungs to stay awake on dark highways, and the hysteria of my first hot flash. We were in a brand-new car and couldn't figure out how to turn on the A/C. Finally, in utter desperation I ripped open the (snapped) blouse I was wearing. Which set us off, and we couldn't stop laughing for twenty miles.

    Don't invite me to come visit unless you mean it. I will show up! Have car, will travel.

  11. Debs, have a blast on your trip! Can't wait to hear all about it, because it sounds like way too much fun.

  12. Oh, this sounds like a trip I would love! I love road trips, and I love antiquing. And doing it with girlfriends is the cherry on top. The "hunt" is every bit as much fun as the actual purchase, I think. I don't hunt as much as I once did for a couple of reasons - #1 is the moving to a much smaller house. But the things I still find myself looking for are quilts and old white stoneware. Have fun! Can;t wait to hear what you find!

  13. I keep intending on making it to Round Top for the spring or fall antiques show. I really do. My sister lives near LaGrange so I could stay with her. We have been to the Antique Rose Emporium and it is lovely. As for road trips we have taken a couple with some friends of our in Ohio. We flew to Rapid City a couple of years ago and rode with them around the Black Hills and over to Little Big Horn. We had a blast. We tried another one a year later. We were driving from their place in NE Ohio east to Gettysburg. We were going to hit several civil war battlegrounds. We had to leave Gettysburg though when my father-in-law was hospitalized. So that trip didn't happen. We are driving from Houston to NE Ohio next month for a wedding. That will be fun, once we get through some of those flat areas. Delta country of Arkansas, I'm looking at you. And my sister and I are going on a road trip in late June to Deadwood, SD. She's never been and I almost had to twist her arm to get her to go. She's used to her husband making all travel arrangements. Here's hoping my '03 Jeep Liberty gets us there!

  14. I've never gone antiquing, and don't particularly feel the urge, but road trips always appeal. My husband and I have driven across the country twice, and we are planning a mini road trip in the southwest in a couple of months. After a crazy winter of work, travel, and family crises, we're ready to hit the open road (with good junk food)!

    Debs, have fun and definitely enjoy the hot tub!

  15. Love road trips!! This one sounds straight out of American Pickers - the girl version! I love all things 50's with a weakness for Fransican ware the Starburst pattern. Do share your picks with us when you're done!

  16. I went to Round Top with girlfriends years ago and my feet have never hurt so much in my life! You will need that hot tub, but have a blast! Share afterwards, please.

  17. Deborah, I heart antiques! I have no idea where that came from! One of my great grandmothers emigrated to the USA from the Old World and she just got rid of all of her heirlooms! I love collecting antiques! Another great grandmother kept an antique from the Old World and I still have it :-) Not sure what it is. Thinking of bringing it to an Antiques Roadshow if I find one.

    Road trips are fun! In my teens, I took road trips with my Mom, driving 8 hours from northern CA to southern CA. One of my favorite places was Solvang, aka Danish town and Christmas town.

    Once I took a road trip with friends from DC to Charlottesville, VA. I remember seeing beautiful scenery.

    In the UK, I took a road trip with friends from Edinburgh to see Glamis Castle, the childhood home of the Queen Mother. We had this really small car and we passed someone and her horse. She waved at us. I think they are used to people driving on these roads.

    Great post!

  18. Thanks for sharing this! I've never gone antiquing, but road trips always have their appeal. Especially when it's just you and your girls!