Tuesday, August 11, 2009

"Endless" Yard Sale

Alright, here's Kristy's take on the World's Longest Yard Sale.

Thursday was brutal. After driving/riding in a car all night, and not getting much sleep, all I wanted to do was get out of the car for a bit (not that we weren't having fun in the car or anything). Our first stop was at the Waffle House. You can't go down south without at least one stop there. It was VERY local in there. The farmer guys sitting behind us were discussing guns when we sat down, and the waitress knew them all by name. Our waitress called out our orders to the cooks, which I hadn't noticed were short order cooks right behind the checkout. It was kinda cool. I don't think I've been called sweetie or honey that many times, by the same person mind you, in my life. After we left Waffle House, we decided to fill up with gas. I went in to use the restroom, and thought I was going to die. That was one of the filthiest, creepiest bathrooms I've ever been in! Ew! Thinking about it makes my skin crawl. As we were getting on the road, we were wondering where all of the yard sales were. This was answered as we got to the top of the crest of the hill. There were yard sales, and yard salers, everywhere! The traffic had stopped, and there was a line of cars trying to get onto Hwy 127 from the interstate. We had to stop at one of the first ones we saw. There were a bunch of people set up in areas right off of the highway. I couldn't believe the amount of Confederate flags! I know I'm in the South, but com'on people, you lost the war over a hundred years ago. Get over it! As we got out of the car, there were a few people who asked us where in Wisconsin we were from. Turns out they grew up in Wisconsin, and were going to be staying in the same town we were that night. We stopped at a few more places along the road, and decided it would be best for all involved if we
headed straight to the hotel. Some of us were tired, and some of us were car sick and tired. After sleeping/resting for a few hours, we headed to a local pizza place/pub for dinner. Nothing beat the down home food that night!

Friday was a fun day. We knew kind of what we were looking for when it came to the sales. We realized on Thursday that the HUGE places (where there were many vendors) had antique dealers and people who do craft fairs. We wanted real deal yard sales, where people were more likely to haggle with us. We found a couple like that on the way to our next stop for the night. At one of the stops, there was a little dog that had come down from the house near the sales to see all of us. He kept following us, and I of course kept petting it. At one point an old lady shooed him away as I was calling him to keep playing. I thought this was why she was glaring at me, but it turns out she was glaring because I was walking around the sales with a book (Cooking with Miss Piggy) from her sale. I also got excited when told a shot glass was only $1. I may have said, "You've got yourself a deal!" to the guy selling it. Everyone thought it was the funniest thing. We ended up getting to the town to turn off to get to our hotel for the night at about noon on Friday. We decided to stop at a fairgrounds of some sort to see what was all going on in there. It was nice because it was covered, and we wouldn't get as hot under there. We found some things, but didn't buy much there. I wanted to get a Confederate flag throw for our apartment, but decided against it. Erika found a kitty that was being given away at one stand. She couldn't take it though since everyone was allergic. Sue was able to haggle with someone for a Cookie Monster clock for our kitchen. I got a little overstimulated, and had a laugh attack, to the point of tears rolling down my cheeks. My sisters then were almost laughing as hard as I was, but they were laughing at me. That night, we stayed in a hotel that was in the middle of corn fields. We went to dinner at a real down home place. People in there were wondering who the people were from Wisconsin, and then stared at us. We weren't doing anything to draw attention. The only thing that could've brought us attention was my "Great Lakes, Good Times" Wisconsin T-shirt. The food was pretty decent, and at the right price.

The rest of the weekend blurs together. It got REALLY hot and humid down there. At one sale, I had to go back to the car because I was getting lightheaded from the heat and all. A nice slush from Sonic rejuvenated us, and we were back to yard saling. We kept eating at down home places for meals. No one really looked at us at the other places. We made friends with some waiters who had lived in Wisconsin at one point too, or lived close enough to Wisconsin (and were Bears fans...Boo!). We didn't tend to find many treasures, but it was fun looking at all of the things that were out for sale. On Sunday we started looking at some of the sites I had found online. We started with the Dixie Cup water tower, and went on from there to the World's Largest Mortar and Pestle, Big Bone Lick State Park, and a random castle we passed. I'll be posting pictures and descriptions on my blog that I have for those types of things at tackytraveller.blogspot.com. We saw a lot of things that day.

Monday was a good day, just because we knew that we were going to be getting home. We just made a few stops on the way to see some roadside oddities. A bulk of those oddities were in the Chicago area. I didn't know how many weird things are so close to home! Let me tell you though, Chicago drivers have now been bumped up to the top of my list of crappy drivers. I don't know where they go for driver's ed, but from the way many drivers were driving, it seems like the school was in the back of some guy's van. I think we were all ready to cry with joy when we saw the city of Madison city limits sign on the interstate.

All in all, I think we all had a blast. No one killed another person, who was traveling with us, and no one really snapped at anyone. I know I can't speak for the others, but I know I had a good time spending time with my sisters and Erika. I don't know if I need to spend that much time with them anytime soon though...

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Summer weather has hit the sales

We ate dinner last night that billed itself as "country cooking done right and they were right, the food was pretty good, but it was the atmosphere that was the best. We walked in and it was a tiny little southern diner and there were two other couples there (both couples were easily in their 70's). As soon as we walked in, both couples started whispering about us, and we heard "Wisconsin" numerous times. They could tell we were from Sconnie because of our license plates and because Kristy was wearing her Wisconsin "great lakes, good times" t-shirt. We ordered and another couple came in and was talking about the folks from Wisconsin. It was like being in Mayberry!

More to come later today or tomorrow.


Friday, August 7, 2009

A Different Culture...

So this is Jen's take...

The drive down was rough... Took a long time, and not much sleep. But we made it!

And our first stop was appropriate. Ate breakfast at Waffle House! Took a picture of it with my phone and emailed it to my boss. Apparently, it's now his wallpaper. He LOVES Waffle House. Where else can you get a tasty breakfast for 4.50? And where else would the gal helping you call you sweetie and then proceed to yell back that the hashbrowns you ordered were to be "scattered, smothered and covered"? Oh, and also where else would you would see a bunch of locals, one of them in overalls, talking about guns while the gal who served you called them by name?

Finished breakfast and got on the road. And the road was packed. This was where interstate 40 meets up with hwy 127. Stopped not far down the road just to see what everyone was looking at. Tons of awnings up, and lots of overpriced junk. Apparently, this is where everyone stops off interstate 40. After we were farther from the rest of the tourists, the sales were better.

We're finding that there are a lot of antique dealers who set up their stuff as "yard sale" stuff. But they're still priced as antiques. Fortunately, in and amongst these people are true yard sale tents / awnings. We're starting to learn that anywhere people are posting "yard sale areas for rent" usually have a lot of antique dealers. The smaller sales are the true yard sales.

Finding a lot of unusual stuff. And glad we didn't bring a trailer or car topper! We would have bought a lot of junk if we had. One thing I'm seeing a lot of is guns. HOLY COW. Guns everywhere. And old guys talking about displayed guns. And examining them. And seeing if they are loaded. Took a pic with my phone of just a lone rifle sitting on a table. Both for sale. WOW. Also, along with the guns are knives. All kinds of them. Folding knives. Hunting knives. Survival knives. It's just a different culture than what I'm used to.

Yesterday (Thursday), none of us found much, but we were still trying to figure out where the antique dealers were. Today was much better. Sue and Kristy found some "treasures", although, I haven't found much. Which is ok. I don't collect much - I'm here for the experience. The only thing I'm looking for are fun drinking glasses for Lydia, Myra and Reyna. So far, if I needed any Kentucky Derby or Coca Cola glasses I would have had many to pick from. Not much else, but we'll see what the next few days have in store.

The people are also very friendly. Sometimes too friendly. The gal who checked us into the hotel last night was way over the top friendly... Suggested a restaurant to us. And went on to tell us all about it and how it's the only place she'll eat. And seriously said "I trust them so much I'd let them do surgery on me if they were able to". Really??? I mean, I love a good recommendation, but this was a bit over the top.

Luckily, not everyone is that bad. And everyone is decent. I'm having the door held open for me a lot. Something I noticed - particularily today. And it's kind of nice! Not that it doesn't happen at home, but it's, well, natural here. And churches everywhere! As Kristy would say, you can't swing a dead cat without hitting a church here. Oh, and the Lee's Chicken restaurant for lunch(where there were fried gizzards and livers - YUCK), and Dairy Queen we stopped at had the 10 commandments on the wall! How crazy is that?! Something I wouldn't see back home.

The scenery is gorgeous as well. Such a beautiful area of the country. Reminded me of northern Alabama. Winding roads, farms (crop and animal), low mountains, rivers, and a lush environment. New and really nice houses among the trailers and delapitated shacks. Small towns in the summer heat. Hot and humid, and everyone is movin' kinda slow. But that's ok - I'm on vacation.

Oh, well, Sue, Kristy and Erika have some fun stories, but I'll let them tell them. For now...


Wow, we are in the South!

Did you know that Hwy 127 is very twisty and turny in certain parts, especially the ones around Jamestown, TN? They are and due to the motion sickness that followed I was not able to post last night.

The trip down here was uneventful. Kristy drove from Madison to Bloomington, IL and then I drove from Bloomington until about 50 miles outside of Nashville. That was a bit of a long haul, especially since I had 3 people snoring around me. At about 330am I started hitting fog which was not cool, but all in all we made it OK.

We got off I 40 where Hwy 127 intersected with it (I have no idea where) and stopped at a Waffle House for breakfast. Now I've been to Waffle House before in northern Alabama and they were friendly and it was a bit...local...but it had nothing on this Waffle House! We walked in and it was clear from the start that we were "not from around here." Everyone just kind of looked at us and we found a booth in the back. The good 'ol boys next to us were discussing guns at one point and farming techniques at another time and one of them was a big, older guy wearing bib overalls. The waitress called us all sweetie and "what do you want to order, darlin'." The food was good and I don't know the last time I paid $3.57 for breakfast.

We got back on Hwy 127 and I was a little disappointed that there were no sales...until we got to the other side of the hill. Traffic was at a standstill and there were sales on either side of the road. That's pretty much how it went yesterday. We would go and get to a bunch of sales and then drive for awhile before we hit sales. We cut yesterday a little short because we were all tired and I was getting a migraine. We got to the hotel at around 300pm and napped, then we got dinner at a local pizza joint and by 830pm we were back at our rooms. Since I drove through the night and had taken migraine medicine, I passed out by 900pm.

Today we got on the road by about 900am and hit the sales. There weren't quite as many sales today, but they were better sales. Yesterday we ran into a bunch of flea market/antique dealers and they wanted WAY too much for their stuff. Today we mainly went to local yard sales and we found some treasures. We're looking forward to going to a local BBQ buffet for dinner.

I've been surprised at some of the items for sale. I've seen TONS of guns and rifles for sale! I guess I thought their were laws against that, but maybe there aren't. There have also been numerous confederate flags, pipes (used and unused), inappropriate racial art and banjos/guitars. The people are fun and their accents are thick enough that I can barely understand them. It's been a really fun trip so far.


Wednesday, August 5, 2009


It's finally the day we leave for the garage sale!! Kristy, Jen and I are picking Erika up at 700pm and driving from Madison to Jamestown, TN. It'll be interesting, as we will be driving all night and then hitting the sales right away tomorrow, but I pull all-nighters a lot during the school year, so I think I'll be fine, it's the others I'm worried about. I'm nervous as I am packing just enough clothing for each day of the trip to save on room in the car, but the few times I've done this in the past something has happened where I have needed more clothing. Oh well, I guess that's what Target and Walmart are for.

Since there is no way we'll be able to cover the whole sale in 4 days, we are starting in the middle in Jamestown and then working our way back north. We are stopping in Somerset, Ky; Lebanon, Ky and Georgetown, Ky. We will figure out where to stay on Sunday night once we're on the road again. Kristy (of course) has come up with a long list of roadside/tourist/"world's largest" things to see on the route...I'm sure we will have a bunch of interesting pictures.

Garage Sale Sites: