Big day out

Mark and I had some fun on Sunday afternoon at DC’s Big Flea, a flea market I’ve heard about (and wanted to attend) since we moved here.  Sunday seemed like the perfect opportunity since Dr. Jay was out of town and a flea market isn’t exactly his cup of tea, especially when the weather is nice.  Mark gave me an hour and a half to look around before he started breaking down and wanting out of the stroller.  I thought I was prepared with raisins and goldfish, but we also needed a stop at the concession stand for a cookie so I could get in those last few aisles.  Here’s some of what I saw that made me smile:

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Wouldn’t those look great hanging in a kitchen?  They remind me of camping.

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Vintage kids toys are always a hit with me.

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This guy was just funny.  I mean, have you ever seen a gnome playing hockey?  And his name is Gil, inexplicably.

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One day I’ll own one of those trees.

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This sports memorabilia booth was great.  I thought these two Tigers pennants had great graphics.  Initially, I liked the second one better, but in the first one, the tiger is crushing the stadium.  Doesn’t get any sweeter than that. 

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Wouldn’t a set of these be cute in a little girl’s room?

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This photo turned out blurry, but I fell in love with this antique pine plank table.  It was gorgeous, though $1600 is well beyond my price range.

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I thought these oyster dishes were pretty interesting since I had never seen anything like them.  I’m not really into oysters, but a certain friend of mine named Ross could probably put one of these to use.

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This coat rack is so sweet, and probably pretty easy to DIY.  But what a nice green, right?

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Mark loved this bike.  It’s a kid’s size bike, though he’s still a few years away from this kind of riding.

And finally, the only purchase we came home with:

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I’m not sure how old it is (I forgot to ask) but it’s perfect for Mark’s room and I’m a sucker for UVA gear.  It was $36- think I paid too much?

WHAT I LEARNED

Driving home, I thought of a few tips that may help you if you go to a flea market like DC’s Big Flea.

– Admission was $8, but was good for both Saturday and Sunday.  Ideally, one would be able to go on Saturday and check it all out, and then go back on Sunday when the prices are cut and the sellers are more willing to deal.

– Bring cash.  I goofed on this and had less than $20 with me.  If I had had thirty dollars in cash, I’m sure I could have talked the seller of the pennant down.  But no one is willing to bargain for a credit card transaction.  Lesson learned.

– Have a plan.  In general, I was looking for three things- a rug for our living room, a small table for right by our front door, and a bean bag chair for Mark.  These are random items for a flea market, but I had no idea what to expect from this market (as evidenced by the photos above), and having a plan kept me focused while looking at the various booths.  That doesn’t mean I didn’t stop at the booth for vintage snakeskin purses, but I was able to walk away knowing it wasn’t part of the plan for the day.  Of course, I wasn’t able to pass up the UVA  pennant, but again, I love decorating Mark’s room so it was a nice surprise find.

– Kids are distracting.  I noticed very few other kids at the flea market and now I know why.

I had a wonderful time at DC’s Big Flea and would happily go back.  Though I didn’t score any major deals, I had fun looking at the variety of collections, especially the dog prints, vintage clothes and accessories, and furniture. 

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