Well, I just returned from the Promised Land, the land flowing with milk and honey. That's right, they drug me back from Texas by my toe-nails.
My friend Dawn and I caught a red-eye flight to Dallas-Ft.Worth last Thursday, and drove a rental car to go visit our friend Gina and her sweet family. She just had her fourth baby a month ago so we figured we'd torture her by dragging her and the baby across Texas, and crash at her house for 3 days. It was a wild and crazy trip!
It started off with a 3 1/2 hour drive from our mountain to a little airport at 11pm where we were scheduled to fly Ghetto Airlines. We had a last minute panic because they wanted to charge me $80 to take a suitcase. (Learn a lesson from me and read the fine print, people.) With 2 minutes to spare, my brother drove to the airport and I made a dramatic luggage change which involved exposing my undergarments to the world in the middle of the airport. I had to make a cut-throat decision about which of my 5 pairs of flip-flops were the most important, and I threw everything that wouldn't fit into the carry-on bag back into the suitcase and gave it to my brother to keep for me. Dawn and I then sprinted...yes, sprinted...through the airport, past security, and outside where our Greyhound in the sky awaited us. We were the last ones to board the plane but we lucked out and got a 3rd row seat. Water was $3.00, peanuts were$2.75, and soda from a can was $3.00. Rip-off, anyone?? We elected to fast for the 2 hour flight, and survived just fine.
We arrived at Gina's front door by 6:30 am and slept for a few hours to avoid delirium. After we woke up, we changed clothes and went shopping.
You see, at home, Dawn and I suffer from something called, "Sick of Walmart but there's no other place to shop for a 3 hour radius" syndrome. Gina lives in the magical Shopping Wonderland, and we were drawn to the outlet mall like a fish drawn to water. We ate exotic foods that didn't come from Mc Donald's, and we found rock-bottom prices on stuff for the men in our lives.
Then we spent the evening relaxing in Gina's living room while catching up on life. Her husband brought us all cheesecake from The Cheesecake Factory. The perfect end to a perfect day.
|Dawn, Me, and Gina with her baby|
On Saturday, we woke up bright and early to make the drive over to Canton for the World Famous Canton Trade Days. Gina told us it was a huge swap meet where you could find anything you could ever dream of, but her description just didn't do it justice. It was the most amazing shopping experience I have ever had, bar-none.
Let me break it down for you:
- Over 7,000 vendors (Yes, I said seven THOUSAND.)
-Three days each month
- Over 200,000 people shop there each month in this small town of 5,000 people.
- Here's the link so you can put it on your bucket list: Canton Trade Days
We were overwhelmed when we saw tour buses and cars full of people lined up in fields while we were still a mile away. We decided to eat lunch in a little corner coffee shop/bakery in the iconic downtown Canton. I decided to walk on the wild side and had their famous "Nut Job" hamburger which is a bacon cheeseburger with peanut butter on it. It sounds gross, but I can assure you that it was phenomenal!!!
After we were fueled up, we found a parking space and proceeded to navigate our way through a portion of the booths. We were so overwhelmed by the vastness of the place that we kept having to pick our jaws up off the ground. I don't think we even got through a fraction of the vendors. I tried to take pictures, but my lens just didn't do it justice. There's no way to capture the scope of this place.
Here are a few of the things I purchased:
One of these rustic Texas signs made from pressed tin. I shipped it home in a box, and I think I'll hang it in my living room to remind me of Texas.
I got a pair of these genuine, artificial cowhide flip-flops bedazzled in fake Swarovski Crystals and conchos for the low, low price of $16.99. You have to wear sunglasses or you'll be blinded by the bling. It takes a LOT of gumption to pull off something so tacky. When they break or go out of style next year, I won't have any of the guilt associated with their $89.99 counterparts found at the western store.
I also got a pair of these ultra-comfortable and squishy flip-flops for a mere $5.00. Before I get any Texas A&M hate mail, I'd like to point out to you that I made my selection based on size availability, not school preference. The only flip-flops I refuse to wear are those of Arizona State University.
Because of my already overstuffed carry-on bag, I was forced to leave the vast majority of the treasures in Canton for another trip. I'm 92.6% certain that I've convinced my husband and kids to drive back there one day with our truck and stock trailer. I figure that next time we go, we can load up the front of the stock trailer with treasures, furniture and tack from the Trade Days, and we could buy a little longhorn calf and put him in the back of the trailer to add some eye-candy to our pasture back home.
A girl can dream, can't she?!
Alright, back to my post.
On Sunday, we went to church with Gina's family, ate a nice lunch, and went to Charming Charlies for cheap fashion accessories. I love that store!
Then it was time to drive back to Dallas and be violated by airport security with friskings and x-ray pictures of our bodies. Can you imagine what it would be like to look at pictures of people's bodies all day long in a secret airport room? It makes me blush just thinking about it.
Our flight was delayed, and every restaurant in the airport was closed. We ate a dinner of over-priced vending machine snacks, and boarded our cheesy plane for the flight home.
After driving 3 1/2 hours, I finally crawled into bed at 4:30 am on Monday.
It was a grand trip, filled with laughter, green fields, Northeast Texas beauty, spectacular shopping, and some of my favorite friends.
It was definitely a trip to remember!