Through some ironic twist of fate, we’ve almost always lived in small towns…Abilene Texas, Moore Oklahoma, Bossier Louisiana, Hope Mills North Carolina! There were exceptions…two stints in DC (land of terrorists traffic jams and blizzards) but somehow the military always sent us off the beaten path. Which means we’ve never been to a proper flea market. We’ve never experienced the joy of finding funnel cakes conveniently located yards away from stuffed alligators, locally grown tomatoes and Louis XIV paintings.
Saturday morning we headed to the Raleigh Flea Market. We took the scenic route through Fuquay Varina. The Flea market is hugely popular and Saturday was the first really nice day we’d had in a while so it was fairly crowded.
The first stop we made was at a booth that sells corn hole beanbags. We replaced his torn and broken set with a Carolina Panthers set…which he LOVES. But…they’re kind of heavy so i made him carry them. Then we bought two horns…
We’re not entirely certain what kind of horn they are. I Googled ‘exotic African animal horns’ and I’m pretty sure this is…not. I think it’s actually a Texas longhorn…horn. Either way we love them.
Our next stop was an antiques dealer. He had gorgeous chandeliers…most of them cost more than my car but a girl can dream. He also had some amazing paintings. But the real score was an antique golf club! Before 1920 golf club shafts were made of hickory wood. It was light but inconsistent and fragile so they switched to steel. Today it’s kind of hard to find good examples because the wood was so easily broken or the grips are missing or the head has rusted. We’re still searching for a second one so we can cross them and hang them.
We dropped our swag in the car and headed back for refreshments. This was my first opportunity to really look at the buildings. The flea market is held at the NC State fairgrounds. The main buildings were built in 1928 in the Mediterranean revival style. They’re awesome…and totally look out of place in NC.
Jim refused to let me buy a single dish all afternoon and absolutely put his foot down when I suggested we needed some kind of taxidermy in the living room. To be fair, the only two examples we found all afternoon were the very awkward looking alligator (as a Tennessee girl i can NOT have an alligator in my living room) and a somewhat deformed duck. I don’t think he was always deformed. Either his stuffing process went awry…or somewhere along the lines he was shoved into a storage unit and it didn’t suit him.
Then i found a sterling spoon bracelet at Free Spirit Creations. I’m developing a large collection of spoon jewelry….don’t know how that happened but I could write for hours about her lovely boutique and the unique treasures she had to offer!
Last but not least are the local growers with their honey and fresh veggies. The sun was beating down on the booths and you could smell strawberries and corn and vine ripened tomatoes all mingling together! We didn’t buy any…we were afraid the ride home would wilt them so the next time we go we’re taking a cooler with us so we can stock up on fresh fruits and vegetables.
It was…a lovely afternoon…and well worth the wait. I kept waiting to be disappointed…I’m a skeptic at heart…but the whole place is charming and exactly what I wanted in a flea market. I highly recommend it and we can’t wait to go back again.