I was never into vintage shopping, antiquing or going to flea markets but I’ve always taken a look. I love that every item has a history in time and the previous owners’ lives. My feelings about “old stuff” started to change when this past Summer, I went to an estate auction up in Maine with my best friend. They were auctioning off things like a 200 year old dining set with 10 chairs for $1,000 or furniture that they just don’t make any more for nothing. At the same time, I was beginning to furnish my new apartment and realizing that these vintage pieces were worth more but selling for less than what you would find at West Elm.
I thought this was a great opportunity for me to flex my home decorating muscle and to mix some of my new home décor with cool vintage finds that have some history behind them. I’ve read about Elephant’s Trunk in New Milford, CT which is this amazing flea market that doesn’t just have people’s junk but antiques. My mom, who loves flea markets, and I decided to make it a mother/daughter outing. I never realized how hard core flea markets can be. They offered an early riser special where you can pay $20 to enter at 5:30am and get first pick. The flea market opens at 7am so when we arrived at 10am, I thought we were already behind the game. Three things I learned about going to a hard core flea market are: 1) Make a list of the things you are looking for this way, it’s easier to focus and be time efficient 2) Bring cash and 3) Bring water and a snack because you won’t want to stop when you’re in the middle of it.
For my apartment, I really wanted a coffee table that wasn’t a traditional table and a side table for my bedroom. The search began with a couple of promising pieces. I’m the worst at haggling but luckily for me, my mom is great at it. She also has no shame. In three hours, I found a cool Southwestern belt with real turquoise stones and silver, a mini-globe for my shelf, and a vintage steamer trunk. I thought the steamer trunk would be an awesome coffee table if I put a tray on top. The guy who sold it to me said that it’s from the late 1800’s with its original key. I was so excited about this purchase you would’ve thought I found buried treasure.
After hours of searching and bartering, we were starving so I found this cute brunch spot on the way home literally off the highway called Purdy’s Farmer and the Fish. They serve fresh fish and fresh vegetables from their farm. The restaurant and adjacent farm store is in an 18th century house that is so warm and charming inside. We decided to eat at the bar since the wait was over 2 hours which ended up being the perfect spot because it was buzzing with energy. Mimosas were flowing, peanut shells were flying on the floor, and oysters were being shucked every minute. We had East and West coast oysters, the farm salad, and I had the lobster hash which was the best thing I’ve ever had and my mom had the breakfast burrito. After brunch, we took our mimosas outside for a walk around the grounds which was gorgeous. There are wild flowers everywhere and the farm in the back creates the perfect back drop. It was the perfect way to spend a weekend day with my mom. In addition to eating an amazing brunch and scoring a one-of-a-kind trunk, I learned the art of haggling from a pro, my mom.