Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Longest Garage Sale Vacation


I guess today is the day to get serious about my blog. My friend Kristi started her blog and from day one was meticulous about steady posting of articles and pics. Me…since I admire her perseverance I am making myself start…

My DH, kids and I just got back from vacation. I always think I am going to post my experiences somewhere so I can share my experiences good and bad. Mostly to save others from the bad and share the good.

We started out on the road this year bound for the longest garage sale in Corridor 127. It goes through 5 states, from Ohio to Alabama. We went to sales in 2 states, Kentucky and Tennessee.

Before the sale we went on several site-seeing adventures. I wanted to take my boys to see some state capitals so we went up through Oklahoma from Texas to Jefferson City, Missouri. On the way we made a slight detour to Ozark, Missouri. After driving for about 8 hours we stopped at an antique shop called Riverview Antiques. I had read a review on the internet that said the reviewer found some great things there. I was a little disappointed because it was just a large old building separated into different booths that dealers rent. We have these everywhere in Texas so it was hardly a find. So, if you are looking for a quaint antique store with lots of character and buried treasures, this is not the place to go. Down the road is Lamberts Restaurant, “the only home of throwed rolls.” We got there right after it opened which is the only way to go because it fills up fast and when we left an hour later there was a line all the way down the porch. I can see why. It was great and all of my boys loved the throwed rolls. The food is a little pricey for family fare but worth it. Your meal is brought in a full-size skillet piping hot in record time. We barely got one of the “throwed rolls” (piping hot and very delicious) down when the skillet arrived. We had chicken fried steak topped with mashed potatoes and lots of cream gravy, green beans, and cucumber and onion salad. This is a large amount of food and that’s not all you get. They have pass-arounds like friend okra, potatoes and onions, etc. Everything was great and hot and fresh. The only thing I didn’t eat was the salad, not because it was bad just because we make it different in Texas so I was not used the sweet dressing. The wait staff was great and very friendly and professional. They were rated one of the 10 best places to take an exit to good eatin by USA Today. We spent about $55 with tips for 4 people. Worth it! Go if you get a chance. There are 2 other locations, one in Alabama and another in Missouri.

From Ozark we drove to Jefferson City. We stayed at the Days Inn that night. It was clean and the staff was professional, friendly and helpful. We ate dinner at Zesto’s. A BBQ/deli type restaurant, also highly rated on the internet. It was OK. We had a Polish sandwich and chili dogs between us. The dogs were about as good as Sonic which I cannot stand. The Polish sandwich was not even half as good as Der Wienerschnitzel. We spent about $25 and did not order drinks. My youngest would not finish his…

The next morning we visited the capital. It is beautiful and all of the Missourians were very friendly. The capital has a lot of exhibits. My boys liked the antique guns and Daniel Boone memorabilia. The ceiling is so beautiful. The pictures just don’t do it justice.

We were able to park close to the entrance for about fifty cents for an hour. We learned a lot about Missouri history, it was free except for parking and we didn’t have to spend a lot of time getting to and from the sites. Highly recommended!

From Jefferson City we drove to Saint Louis. We wanted to see the arch on our way to Frankfort, Kentucky. It was very impressive as was the Mississippi River.

We stopped for a quick lunch at a local favorite called Hodak’s. They are famous for their chicken. We got there at 11:30 and it was already crowed. Of course, THE game was on (whatever game the Cards are playing – I am a FAN!) the TVs in every room. This is a loud homey restaurant with great chicken and great prices. For $28 plus tip we had more than we could eat. We waited about 20 minutes for a table in non-smoking and about 20 minutes for our food but it was well worth it.

From Saint Louis we went through Illinois and part of Indiana to Lincoln City, IN. My DS is a big fan of Abe Lincoln so we had to see his boyhood home memorial. Another bargain stop. We pulled into the parking lot which was free and walked about 300 yards.

The Lincoln Living Historical Farm is a working pioneer homestead with a cabin, outbuildings, split rail fences, animals, gardens, and field crops.

Rangers in period clothing perform a variety of activities typical of the 1820s.

We were one of about 4 families that were there since it was late afternoon so the rangers were very attentive to us, explaining how that in Lincoln’s day eight people had lived in a small one-room cabin like the one we were in. They had actually made a saw horse that day with only tools they would have used in Lincoln’s day.

Our next stop was Frankfort, KY. We stayed at The Best Western Parkside. The staff was not very friendly and was not able to give us a non-smoking room as we had reserved. That night we ate at White Castle. IF you have not been there you should try it. We ate there when we went to NY. They have very small burgers about the size of a small roll.

The next morning we got up early and went to the capitol. This was a very beautiful capital and features 70 iconic columns, decorative murals and sculptures of Kentucky dignitaries. Inside there is a First Lady Doll Collection, changing history and culture exhibits. Daniel got a limited edition Abraham Lincoln pin so he was happy with this stop.

Now we are on the road in the biggest garage sale in the country. It is on 127. I did not realize just how many people would be selling. It was amazing. Most of them were dealers.

When I started garage saling years ago I would just look for bargains. Now I am more discerning since you can end up with too much clutter the other way. We look for just what we need or use all the time. I do collect several things. On this trip I found 3 Lefton pieces. My boys call it bumpy glass aka hobnail. I collect the colored iridescent glass by Fenton.

My best bargains were at a Methodist church near Frankfort. The church had rented booths inside and out. They must have been very reasonable because a lot of these people were not dealers and had great prices. I found a piece of blue iridescent hobnail glass for $3.00. I also collect light green Depression glass and I found a pitcher for $8.00. There was a lady selling her scrapbook supplies there also and I bought stamps, books, and a rolling tote from her.

On the way out we got some homemade peanut butter fudge for 50 cents a piece from the Depression glass lady. One thing that I miss about a small town is the homemade goodies and potluck dinners. Anyway, time to move on.

There were so many sales that I begged the boys to let us skip a few or we were never going to get through Kentucky. I had not made reservations for a hotel for the rest of the trip because I was not sure where we would end up by nighttime. We did stop in Danville for lunch at the Red Rooster. The food was good, homemade and cheap. We stopped because it looked like where all the towns’ people ate. Back on the road we continued to stop at sales. Everything starts to look the same after a while. A lot of the sales are in a field with at least 20-30 vendors. It is not the same as going garage saling in your area. Most of the items are collectibles and are priced accordingly. It is more like the longest flea market in the world. It was very hot and there is not much shade but if you take it slow it is fun and you might find a treasure.

Our next stop was Pall Mall, TN. If you don’t know who Sergeant Alvin C. York is rent the movie Sergeant York with Gary Cooper. It is one of my favorite movies. He actually gets saved in the movie. Sgt. York is a WWI hero.

York's fame rose from his legendary exploits on October 8, 1918 in the Argonne Forest in France. Leading a small patrol, York was sent out to eliminate flanking machine gun fire that was halting the advance of his regiment. York found himself alone opposing a German machine gun unit. With rifle and pistol he engaged the enemy. The fight ended with more than twenty Germans dead. Then, the other one hundred and thirty-two soldiers, including four officers and thirty-five machine guns, became discouraged and surrendered to York and six of his comrades.

There were actually more sales right next door to the mill and park. We were so hot we decided to go swimming even though we had no towels. The water was ice cold which felt great since we were so hot from shopping. This was my favorite stop and it reminded us all how proud we are of our country.

Overall our trip was great and we learned a lot and only spent money on gas, food and hotels. And of course sale items. But we really enjoyed the free historic sites we visited. The only negative stop was on the way home we stopped at Cracker Barrel. The service was terrible, the people were rude and the food was tasteless. Don’t stop there unless you want some seasonal decorations. Thanks for reading about my trip. I will add more about past vacations. Hopefully we can share travel tips.

1 comment:

mom2iande said...

Great post about your trip...great pictures & stories about shopping, stopping, and places to eat. I love that picture of Keith where he looks very full! Fun to see!