On the Trail for Antiques w/ Pick & Grin
The summer selling season was over. This year seemed consumed with flea and antique markets, plus we conducted more estate sales for clients than any other summer. We felt the need to relax.
Pick: How about a week in Florida, it’s warm and beaches are empty. Our choice is always to go in early fall. It proves to be a great time to go, when summer travelers are back home, children return to school and the arrival of Snow Birds is still a month or more away.
Grin: And the great seafood restaurants will not be crowded. Plus we could drive and shop along the way.
Pick: Do we ever go anywhere without stopping & antique shopping?
Grin: Not since you forced me into marriage, 40 odd years ago.
Pick: Well, yes, It has been 40 odd years. You plan the route down and I’ll make arrangement to rent a condo for the week.
And so I started by digging out the “Travel Guide to Antique Shops & Malls” published by Antique Week, which came with our subscription of their weekly newspaper. Our plan was to take a route we had not traveled “to see what we could see.” I also had their phone app, downloaded to my I-Phone.
Pick: I searched for a rental in Redington Shores, at a complex we already knew from a previous visit. I was set to start looking at “a route less traveled”, at least by us. With the help of a real paper map of the eastern half of the US and the section maps photo copied form the Antique Travel Guide, all laid out on a table, we went about trying to create a list of malls and shops to find the greatest treasure of the century, our Monet Moment.
The A.W. Travel Guide provides listings of stores by sections of the states, on our chosen route, along with informative advertising for each store in alphabetical order by city. I did find the copies of the section maps I photo copied somewhat difficult to page together, and align to my route, so I used a big folding map to highlight our total route and selected shops we wanted to visit along the way.
I must tell you, it is the phone app that was most impressive. Easy to use and free to download, it conveniently offers a very simple set of screens that allow you to select the radius in miles for your search, up to twenty-five miles distance. All stores registered in that distance are shown, and with a few clicks you will see each stores listing and the distance and direction from present your location.
Select a shop and the address and phone number comes up. That phone number can save you from traveling to a store on their day off or after hours. The next screen is a map of the store location and travel time. Touch the address on screen and a route map comes up. How cool is that? All this to decide whether a detour from your route is in your best interest, or continue on with your original route plan.
From our experience, the shop owners or staff of stores listed in the guide deserved our visits. All were well run shops, clean and well stocked, with staff helpful in finding and showing items we were looking to purchase. They listened to our stories of the hunt and shared their insight on what is selling in their area and the general condition of the antique market. Oh! And we were told where to get the best lunch in town, and the next shop we should not pass up.
Did the guide and phone app prove successful in finding great antiques? Well, our trip home was hastened by the fact that we could only buy stir sticks, nothing else would fit in the back of our van.
As always, good hunting.
Pick & Grin