Fall for me is big yellow school buses trundling down foggy back roads; wet football games and windy band competitions; huge grasshoppers launching themselves through my weedy garden, fresh cider at Hugus Fruit Farm and road trips.
I'm not talking about a scrounging-change-from-the-furniture-so-you-can-go-party-with-your-buddy-three-hours-away road trip. No, I'm talking about a Big Girl road trip. For me this usually starts by grabbing a good friend, some good chocolate, a full tank of gas and lots of water. With county maps and cameras in hand, we head for places known and unknown in search of antiques and photo ops. One year we found a tiny shop, the size of storage shed, on a back road in Jackson county: white-washed, clapboard siding, little window boxes of bright orange and purple mums and what turned out to be the most gorgeous glass collection we'd ever seen, glistening colorfully in the early Fall sun. The photos were good that year too - a beautiful church cemetery, autumn leaves, abandoned houses huddled in stands of goldenrod and iron weed...
This year I'm already daydreaming about the Fall Road Trip, but I'm adding another kind of antiquing excursion to my Fall agenda. It's the kind of antique show that 'everyone else' gets to go to, but never me. It's a Big Antiques Show ... Mega-Junking Venue ... Phantasmagorphic Collector’s Fantasy….This year I am (drumroll please...) going to go to the Country Living Fair in Columbus, Ohio. September 16-18. There's no excuse not to – it’s an hour up the road, I can find the place easily, I don’t need to worry about reservations; I have no excuses!
I just love Country Living Magazine and have wanted to attend the show ever since it started. It sounds so dreamy - set in the old Ohio Village, surrounded by antique buildings, Indian Summer and loads of antiques, arts and crafts and great creative people, I can't think of a better girls' day out.
Southerners can catch the fair in Atlanta, Georgia – October 21-23.
What kind of antiquing road trip destinations do you wander off to in the Fall? Is there a Big Show that you have only dreamed of going to?
There is a big show in Texas that covers several towns: Texas Antique Weekend. Covering half-a-dozen small towns between Houston and Austin, I imagine that a multi-town antiques show must be a lot like a progressive dinner: you get to enjoy lots of goodies but you can keep moving in case you get bored, the food is bad or the place smells like cats!
Taking place in March and September, the last Texas Antique Weekend of 2011 is coming up soon: Preview Weekend, Sept. 21-28 and AntiqueWeekend, September 29-October 2, 2011.
Are you in the mood for lots of beautiful bling? How about the Miami Beach Antique Jewelry & Watch Show?! I get excited just thinking about all those timeless treasures in a place as romantic sounding as ‘Miami Beach’! Wouldn’t be a hoot to go with a few girlfriends and dress up like the Golden Girls?
Catch this glittering spectacle at the Miami Beach Convention Center, October 14-16.
Then there’s the largest outdoor antique show in the world – the Brimfield AntiqueShow, held since 1959 in Brimfield, Massachusetts. Three times a year thousands of dealers descend on this small town and sprawl across picturesque New England fields. I saw an aerial shot of this fest and it is truly overwhelming - if only I lived in Massachusetts!
The last Brimfield show of 2011 is September 6-11.
If you don't live close to any of these biggies, there are lots of websites that list Antiques Shows – here’s a few to get you started:
Fall is a time to gather - for many of us that means attending auctions and shows, traveling highways and byways in search of that special find. Why don’t you gather a few girlfriends (the one with the biggest vehicle gets to drive) and make a road trip to one of the Big Ones?