Girlfriendology wrote a great blog about exploring your own city. It was full of great suggestions, and it only took me a ten months to follow her advice. But finally, gal pal Peg and I went to the flea market.
Now, this is not just any flea market. This is the huge one that seems to take up most of three counties. It is by no means the largest in the country or even the state, but it’s the largest one near us and we’d been talking about going for over two years. Inspired by Girlfriendology, we set out.
Turn the Map Over
We’ve passed the flea market more times than I care to count, so of course neither of us thought directions were necessary. “Is this the exit?” asked Peg. “No, I’m pretty sure it’s the next one,” I answered. You guessed it—we drove right passed our turn. Three miles later, we turned around and eventually found the gate.
We paid our admission and received a map of all the different buildings. While Peg proceeded to navigate to a parking space, I perused the map. “OK, we’re at the North Gate, so that means we’re here.” I said, stabbing the paper. Peg turned off the engine and said, “No, we’re at the South Gate.” After that, we shoved the map in my purse and decided to wing it.
Even though we’d heard about this place for years, neither of us really knew what to expect. We just opened our eyes and ears and dove into the experience. I found a HUGE concrete worm I just knew had to go in my garden. And we found local made horseradish mustard—yum! If I had made a shopping list before we went, I would never have either item on it! And I would have completely missed out.
I knew the flea market was big, but I did not realize how big. We walked approximately 9 g’billion miles together. [A “g’billion” is a precise measure I just made up that you get by taking the number of possible linear feet times the number of people you have to walk around plus the number of miles you have to walk to get to the closest ladies room minus the number of empty spaces in the parking lot all multiplied by the shoe factor which is a figure based on whether your footwear is made for walking.) Note: events like this are not the place for spiky heels.
Many of the vendors we found offered extra savings for multiple purchases and with two of us we were able to take advantage of the buy-one-get-the-second-half-off kind of thing. The mustard we bought came in a really big jar, so we bought one and split it later. Perfect girlfriend collaborative shopping.
The most important part of the day was the time we got to spend together. Being able to catch up on our lives, talk about the good stuff and the challenges, share ideas for the future—well, that’s what being friends is all about, right? Because in between the purses and the jewelry and the garden gnomes and the thousands of other things, the one thing not for sale was friendship.
What local adventures have you and your girlfriends taken?
Judi is Chief of Local Excursions at Girlfriendology.com. She is still smiling at the memories of her weekend venture to the flea market with her gal pal. Her goofy cement worm is settling in nicely to her garden.
Flea market photo from Flickr