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Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Home at last!

What a great trip we had!  This was so much fun!  I would absolutely do this again.  But, it was sure nice to get home as well.  I am spending today unpacking, trying to find homes for my treasures and re-inventorying my purchases (also laundry, etc)  I promised pics, so here goes:

I got four suitcases and two train cases, never paying more than $4 ea
 I love this little pewter child's plate that I bought!
 I bought spindles and loads of spools of all sizes and shapes.  I got a great buy on the shoe stretchers for only $4 for the pair.
Three sifters

Some Christmas bulbs
Some spoons, a couple of amber baby bottles and some crocheted doilies
                                        This is a lap quilt that I picked up for a meager $3!
 This quilt was only $20 and I picked up two rotary phones for $6 ea (wait till you see what I am going to do with these!)
Five Graters

I loved these two little wooden cats!

Smoky was curious just to see what I brought home.  You can see the enamelware pans, baby shoes, small cabinet, coffee pots, silver tray, kitchen utensils, etc.

And more pot lids, salt and pepper shakers, wooden sconces and rolling pins.

For eight days, car rental, hotels, gas, food, admission to Graceland, out of pocket, not including purchases was around $1100 each.  I only spent $200-250 on all the things that I bought.  I think that is a pretty reasonable vacation!  If you want to do this next year, here are some things I learned:

It is hot.  And I mean really HOT.  Take water and stop often for cold drinks.  Bring sun block and rain wear.  Shoes need to be comfy and well broken in.  Many of the places were muddy and I heard some people complaining about mud getting in their sandals.  Pack some snacks.  If you don't want to eat from the barbeque vendors that are at most of the locations, you will find restaurants are few and far between, with long lines and crowds. Most locations have porta-johns, that are hot and stinky at best.  Take some butt wipes with you as well as hand sanitizer.  We also found disinfecting cloths useful.

Before I left for the trip, I purchased a pull behind shopping cart.  You know the wire ones that fold flat and can hold a couple of shopping bags.  Well, I used it once and decided it was too much of a hassle.  It was hard to navigate through the booths and the mud.

We did research.  Sue was much better at this than me, printing maps, state info on attractions and lodging, and lots of info on the sale itself.  Sometimes there is not great signage, so all that info helped.  And use your cell phones.  We were able to find lodging at the best prices at nearby locations as well as navigating to restaurants and attractions.  Hotels were relatively inexpensive and with one exception, we were pleased.  Check out Pinterest for tips and suggestions on the best shopping locations and things to bring.

For the most part, vendors were pleasant and expected and rather enjoyed negotiations.  Sometimes I found that I could not negotiate the price that I wanted, but I would explain to the vendor that I am going to repurpose this item and then resell it, so they would either come down to my price point or explain why they couldn't.  Treat the haggling as a game and have fun with it.  It was also fun for us to ask questions.  If we didn't know what something was or how it was used, we asked.  It was very entertaining.

I think part of the reason that we enjoyed ourselves so much is that we didn't set any limits.  We didn't have a particular item we were "needing" or a specific budget to adhere to.  I guess if I had been buying furniture or big ticket items, that might have been different, and I might have felt some frustration if I didn't get what I wanted.

My last and best advice is this:  Do this with someone you care about, someone that you share likes and dislikes with, someone you respect.  My sister and I are different, but have similar values and travel well together.  Make it fun!

Well my friends, off to the grocery store and to finish my laundry.  Have a great week!


  1. Wow, wow wow! What an adventure. I would love to do this with my daughter next year. I live in Virginia and just to travel the Tn to Oh section would be a treat. Thanks so much for your tips and pictures of your purchases. With your post the last day, I was worried that it might not be worth the trip. But today's post changed my mind. ~ carolynk

    1. Carolyn, You will love this! And you live so much closer! I hope to be able to do this again!

  2. I've always wanted to try this trip but can't seem to talk anyone else into it! Glad you had such a great time and found some really great "treasures"!

    1. You would absolutely enjoy this! It was on my bucket list and I am so glad I went!


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