April 19, 2009

Arizona Part one

What a change in scenery can do for mind and spirit .... the week before our trip to Arizona the weather here on the East coast was gray, cold, rainy and dismal. Matched my mood just fine, although some of that bad feeling may have had something to do with being sick for four days and not even sure if I was going to be able to board the
plane for a five hour ride with The Three Year Old.
But we made it! And was it ever worth it!!
This was my family's first trip to AZ ... we had a blast!

So that I don't bore you to death with picture overload, I'm going to break this into two post ... the first one being my shopping trips and second being dedicated to family.

Let's go!

I really thought I had myself prepared for tons of junking on this adventure, I had spent a few days doing research and gathering info on where I would find all the good flea markets and swap meets...and let me tell you, I found a lot! I even mapped them out from my hotel and printed out driving directions,etc.

Yup. You guessed it.
In my dash to the airport at 4am EVERYTHING pertaining to flea markets was left behind!

So ... my first stop at the very fancy hotel was a trip to the concierge desk to ask the very pretty blond, tan,trim,dressed to the nines, and well manicured from head to toe ... Miss. Concierge "Can you tell me where I may find a good flea market?"
blank stare ... silence ... more blank stare
Had she never been asked this question before?
Miss. Concierge finally replies, "There is a very nice shopping plaza off Tatum Street. I'm sure you'll find what you're looking for there. Would you like me to print out directions for you?"
blank stare ... silence ... more blank stare ...this time from me to her.
Does she not know the difference between an upscale "plaza" and a "flea market" ??
No, she doesn't, so I further explain what I'm looking for ... I want to rummage through boxes of someone else's junk, I want to try on someone else's old cowboy boots, I want someone's deceased Grandmother's old costume jewelry. Yeah, I thought she was going to faint, too. After she composed herself she was able to direct me to some yard sales "in a very nice section of neighborhood just up the road" ... I let her print out a map to the yard sales and continued to press for the true flea markets. FINALLY, she said "Well, there is a swap meet in downtown Phoenix, it's in a really bad area, you know pick pockets and all ...
{insert pause and she actually whispered this}
... it's d o w n and d i r t y ..."
I'm thinking YES! Now we are getting somewhere ... I gather my info, thank her, go back to my room to get The Man and The Three Year Old, and I'm off!

First stop Sunday yard sales ... we followed the big yellow signs ...

weaving our way through the nice neighborhood ...

and drove straight past the only sale in the entire development ... The Man did slow the car down enough to snap a picture out the window. Thanks, Hon.
This really wasn't going to be my day.

We found one sale a few developments over, they had toys ... very excited to find something to keep our son busy for the rest of the afternoon while we went in
search of the "d o w n and d i r t y" flea market. This sale also supplied us with fresh homemade lemonade, made with lemons from their very own tree in the backyard ... how cool! Wish I could have one of those!

Onto the highway ... 30 minutes to Phoenix.
At the cutest vintage truck that past us ... I think it was of the Volkswagon genre, must have been a repair truck for a washing machine company, still had the original ads handpainted on it.
Wish I had one of those, too!
Just managed to snap a picture as we were exiting for the "d o w n and d i r t y" flea!

We made it!
But I have to admit, I'm thinking this is
"d o w n and d i r t y"?
The market is fully under cover, each spot is clearly marked, there is an admission charge,the vendors were kind and polite, AND an amusement park for the kiddies! Oh, and not a pick pocketer in sight!
Miss. Concierge has obviously never been to a "d o w n and d i r t y" in Jersey!
{Love ya Jersey!!}

We start to walk ... I can feel my adrenaline pumping ... where's all the boxes to dig through? Where's Grandma's jewels? Where's the cowboy boots?

Nothing. Except rows and rows of power tools.
Ugh! Nothing looks uglier when you are searching for rhinestones ...

I can not believe my eyes .... I turn from rows of ugliness to witness this!
The Man has found HIS FAVORITE {note tee he's wearing} ... Steelers gear,
next to MORE tools ... this is so NOT fair.
Can we please leave now and go to the next swap meet in Mesa?

Forty five minutes later ... we're here!
This place is even nicer than the last one ... they sure do it up in Arizona!
This was the largest market I have ever been to, it was HUGE. I lost track of how many isles of vendors, I ALMOST couldn't do the whole thing ...

but I managed, I think I got my pep back after finding some treasures for me ...
like the jewelry below!
Hey, now that I'm taking a second look at these photos I spy a pin in the lower left corner that says "Mother". I totally missed that one ... would have definitely snagged it for a special piece of jewelry to be made. Darn.

YES! This is just what I've been waiting for ... rows and rows of leather Cowboy boots and broken in Levi's ... LOVE, LOVE, LOVE 'EM!

Looky, looky a pair that fits! A little negotiating and these babies are coming home with me!
The cost? Okay, it's too good not to share ... $15 buck-a-roos! Woo-hoo!!

Shopped the rest of the market with them on, I had myself convinced they were going to be my "lucky" boots and guide me towards treasure ... yeah with the price tag still on. Dork.

They did lead me to a few more small items. I thought this was pretty cool, A vintage rouge compact- Coty "Air Spun" rouge in {get this} "magnet red".

My thought is to ditch the makeup and make a cool locket out of the compact, it appears to be brass? Not sure ... but thought it would make a unique necklace. We'll see.

Here are my other finds for the day ... small treasures, but treasures just the same. Oh well, I guess I'm lucky I didn't have to worry how much it was going to cost to ship everything home. I could wear my boots and ALL of my other finds could fit in my pocket, I mean carry-on.

Now get this, talk about ironic ... after my slightly disappointing day of flea marketing while on vacation, the first thing I want to do the day after I get home is go to my local church thrift store that just happens to be open on Saturday.
I see a pretty pink rim of a plate with
gold fleur de lis buried in a small pile of dishes ... I remove the dishes on top and I kid you not this is the plate before me, I swear I closed my eyes for a moment and opened them again, yup a very pretty, vintage Arizona souvenir china plate.

I do believe in "signs" but, I haven't figured this one out yet ... what is the message here?
If I haven't lost you yet, stay with me ... this what I think my message/sign is:

I was feeling gray and depressed before my trip to Arizona and really went searching in the hope of finding some sort of peace, and I did. I brought that feeling home with me. But when I found this plate IMMEDIATELY upon my return, in the same church thrift store I last wrote
about ... was someone trying to tell me my peace was here at home all along, that I didn't need to travel so far to find it?

Who knows. Ironic though, don't ya think? I do.

To be continued ... part two: Fun and Family in the Desert Sun!


  1. Ahhh...there is NOTHING like a good flea market. It's the best treasure hunt out there. My husband won't even go anymore...I have worn the poor guy out ;)

  2. Love the boots! Go Gypsy girl, I'm so jealous....well, maybe next time....who knew you didnt have to go to Arizona to get a souvenir plate. Love it!

  3. daaaaarliin (like my Texas twang? ).....next time you take a trip and wanna see and endless highway of "shops" some inside some outside, some inside spilling outside; all the cowboy boots, "estate" jewelry ( I use the term kindly )and all the vintage goodies your little heart desires! Just pop on down to Fort Worth, Tx. They're on every corner in these parts, then hit hwy 377 south and you'll find one about every 5 miles. Happy Trails!!!

  4. Hi there! In perusing the blogs I've stumbled upon yours and have SO enjoyed reading this post about Arizona. I live in Arizona, and I'm laughing as I read this about your "concierge", were you in Scottsdale?? So funny! Unfortunately, we here in AZ don't have the cool flea markets that the east and midwest have, and that's such a bummer for me! I'll continue reading about your saga here, So funny!

    Margo at http://piecesoflifeetal.blogspot.com


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