the elle-bee flea

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sure, it was a bit unnerving when my alarm woke me from my slumber yesterday morning at an hour i don’t even arise on a workday for, but after a quick splash of cold water on my face and a visit to starbucks, i was prepped and ready for this early morning adventure. so i jumped on the five northbound en route to orange county and prayed that a 5:45 a.m. departure time would spare me the usual road congestion.

turns out prayer really works, guys. as does the fact that no one in their right mind is driving on the freeway before 7 a.m. on a sunday morning. but regardless of the early hour, i was excited to make the trek because yesterday was the day my dad, step-mom, sister and brother had set aside to take a family trip to the long beach flea antique fair. i’m pretty sure no one calls it an “antique fair”, so let’s just call it the long beach flea, mmk? great. glad we got that settled.

if we’re really being honest here (and i believe it to be the best policy, second only to the nordstrom return policy), the original idea to take a pilgrimage to the long beach flea stemmed from this blogger’s posts on instagram showing off her nearly monthly flea-marketed treasures. so when the concept came up to finally transform my extra unfurnished bedroom (lovingly referred to as the “dance party room”) into a make-shift office (for when i finally become a real life carrie bradshaw, complete with the amazing shoe collection), we figured that there was no better place to embark on the search for a perfect desk than the funky flea market. when i finally arrived to dad’s at 7 a.m. on the dot, we gathered the troops, took a pit stop to sidecar donuts for a surge of sugar and caffeine, and made the 30 minutes or so jaunt northward to the long beach veterans stadium.

one walk through the gates and we were instantly hit with a feast for the senses. the sheer number of vendors and their wares is a tad overwhelming at first. so we concocted a game plan. we’d scour the perimeters first, before weaving our way in and out of the interior aisles. ready, set, flea!

y’all, they have everything. i mean, tables, and lamps, and estate jewelry, oh my! collectibles and clothing and sporting equipment and enough chotskies to fill an episode of hoarders. but really, things that you may not have even realized you needed are posed and ready to entice you into taking them home. case in point -the flea’s abundance of animal heads. oh yes, that was plural. there you are, just walking along, minding your own business, and all of a sudden, BAM. buffalo head. and then all you can think of is “wow, that would be a really great conversation piece for the office/could totally keep me company while i write my darling articles.” unfortunately, before i could start dreaming the heart-to-hearts bartholomew (his name, obviously) and i would share, i noticed the big blue “SOLD” sign on his right horn. apparently not only does the early bird get the worm, it also gets the buffalo head. we could have had it all, bartholomew.

anyway, aside from the fact that i’m clearly not over losing bartholomew, the buffalo head in and of itself is actually an integral part of this story. turns out i wasn’t the only one taken with its ruggedness and grandeur (it was half the size of my little brother) because not even ten minutes after passing bart did i check instagram and find this:

buffalo head

ASCOTFRIDAY IS IN THE BUILDING (except it’s not really a building as it is an open-air over-sized garage sale). another chance to accost a blogger in their natural element, scare the living daylights out of them, and then blog about it? lightning really does strike twice, doesn’t it? but as she rounded the corner and headed in my direction, i clammed up (i know, that never happens). maybe it was all of the people around me (i didn’t want to cause a scene) or the fact that the venti iced coffee still hadn’t worked its magic, but as my opportunity to introduce myself and tell ascotfriday just how great i think she is (because i really do think she’s fantastic) came and went, i simply settled for silently ogling her pint-sized frame and gorgeous naturally wavy locks instead. come to think of it, the ogling was way creepier than if i had just gone up and asked for a picture. luckily the ogling was done from behind the security of my dark glasses. bottom line, she’s just as pretty/cool/hipsterychic in person as she appears to be on (computer) screen.

anyway, after i calmed down from my pseudo-celebrity sighting, the five of us spent the rest of our two and a half hour-stay examining trinkets and baubles in hopes of finding a diamond in the “let’s call it vintage” rough. while M and J both scored a few gems of their own, dad, S and myself came up empty-handed. though i did come very close to purchasing these cute light-up initials:

SN letters

(i didn’t even arrange them in that order, the S and the N were just chillin’ side by side). now that i think about it, i actually really regret not purchasing them. ugh. but no desk (wah wah).

however, while nothing tangible came home with me yesterday, i did walk away from my adventures at the lb flea with a few things in tow. the kind of things not so visible to the naked eye -the things like quality time spent with my family, the joy that comes in exploring a new locale, and the inspiration to construct a desk of my own using saw-horses and a refurbished front door (yay for father-daughter projects).

and of course, the blogger sighting and my beloved bartholomew.

so thanks for a really fun sunday, lb flea. i’ll be back soon. for more treasure-hunting. okay, and maybe some blogger-hunting, too.

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