Sunday, August 31, 2014

Flea Markets

You never know what you will find at a flea market. One-of-a-kind clothing, antique furniture, trendy plants, sweet treats, pooches, and more! There's something for everyone.

Last year, I went to the Treasure Island Flea Market with one of my roommates. Treasure Island Flea happens the last weekend of every month from 10am to 4pm and is the largest monthly gathering of artists, collectors, designers, crafters, and food trucks in Northern California.
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Food trucks!
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The average attendance is 15,000. My roommate and I were there to window shop and maybe purchase a cake stand or two; she's a collector and avid baker. We walked around for a few hours, ate yummy garlic noodles from the food truck An the Go, and I even bought a hat.
Me being excited about my hat purchase.
(via my instagram: marnofosho)
Overall, it was a pretty relaxing experience. However, I learned this weekend that attending a flea market is very different than working at one.

Yesterday (Saturday, August 30, 2014) was the Vallejo Yacht Club Ida Tyler 24th Annual Flea Market from 9am to 3pm.
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The market takes up half of the yacht club parking lot. Members and non-members of the club are welcome to purchase spots to sell goods. It's pretty tame compared to Treasure Island Flea. Grandma and Grandpa are members of the yacht club so, Grandma bought a spot to sell stuff this year. She has been preparing all week from sorting through clothes, cookware, figurines, and other miscellaneous goods in her house (she's a low-key hoarder) to baking batch after batch of her famous brownies. She even repotted some of her plants to sell.
Grandma has the greenest thumb I've ever seen. Her condo is surrounded by succulents, cacti, vegetables, and flowers. Almost every homemade meal at Grandma's will include something she grew, an onion at the very least. Most of the plants in my parents' backyard were grown from the stems and seedlings of Grandma's plants. Every time I try to grow something, it usually starts dying before I even get to see more than a leaf grow. Despite my black thumb, I was inspired after seeing all of the terrariums at Treasure Island Flea last year.
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I tried making one of my own. I planted three little plants in a mini fish bowl. I was pretty proud, but it didn't last very long before one of the plants in it turned completely brown, shriveled up, and died. Next time, I'll remember to just give the poor thing to Grandma so it stands the chance of surviving.
My lil terrarium friend before it died.
(image via my instagram)
Friday night, my mom and I helped Grandma load everything onto the bed of Grandpa's truck for the next morning. A lot of walking back and forth and walking into people and walls. Also, potted plants are surprisingly really heavy. Definitely heavier than my sad little terrarium. Sure, the plants themselves are light, but then you have to factor in the pounds of dirt there are at the bottom of the pots. Then the dampness of the dirt because of course they were freshly watered. Basically, my workout for the week was complete. There were so many plants that they didn't all fit in the bed of the truck! We left the truck overnight at the yacht club and then loaded up Grandma's car with the rest of the stuff to take over in the morning.

I don't know how early people usually arrive at Treasure Island Flea, or any other flea market for that matter, but dang! People are really serious about beating the crowd and the heat in Vallejo. People walked up as early as 5:30 in the morning. Now, I don't know this first hand because I slept in a little, but by the time I got over to help at 9:30, half of the plants were already gone! I think this was due in large part to most of them being succulents. Succulents are very "in" right now, if you didn't know. Grandma is super #trendy.
Some of the few plants left when I got there.
(image via my instagram)
Being the trendy lady Grandma is, it wasn't very hard work getting people to buy her stuff, but trying to keep up was another story. People were loving the plants, they were hearing about the brownies and putting them on hold, and old people looove figurines. Between the plants and the brownies and the occasional sale of all of the other stuff, I was working up a sweat. It probably also didn't help that it was 87 degrees out. I was a five foot two ball of sweaty sweat.

Around eleven, my mom and I left to get smoothies to cool down. By the time we got back, all of the brownies were gone. No exaggeration. Not even a crumb was left. All I was thinking was good thing Grandma thought to save a plate for me at home.
Me, hiding in Grandpa's truck with my smoothie.
(image via my twitter: marnofosho)
One thing that flea markets have in common: dogs. Dogs everywhere. Unfortunately, I am allergic to almost all cute fluffy creatures, but boy, do I love watching them do their thing. Flea markets are always a great place to do this. Treasure Island Flea had dogs running all around on the grass. People even brought frisbees and toys for their dogs to play with. The Vallejo Yacht Club Flea Market had much calmer dogs on leashes. Dog stalking 101: Know where to go. Old people love flea markets and usually own dogs, so places with old people (AKA flea markets) almost always have a few cute pooches walking around.

Here is a series of photographic proof that old people love dogs:
Puppy love.
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A whole family!
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Therapy dogs are THE best.
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At three in the afternoon, the vendors started packing up. Many of them donated their unsold goods to charity. The Vallejo Yacht Club Flea Market was a success. Grandma sold almost all of her stuff and made over $400. I made twenty bucks and got a free smoothie. Pretty different from my trip to Treasure Island Flea where I spent $30 on a hat and about $10 on food. So far, living with Grandma has saved me a lot of money compared to living on my own. Sometimes I even make money just by helping out!

Next on the to-do flea market list: Take Grandma, Grandpa, Taco, Pancho, and some dog toys to Treasure Island Flea.