Friday, October 17, 2014

Piper's First Road Trip and Flea Market Adventure

I meant to get this post written right after our return from the road trip we took weekend before last, but I didn't...bu I am now.  Truth be told, besides my usual business, I've been trying to catch my mom up on watching The Walking Dead so I can begin the new season already!  Just 9 more episodes to go and she'll be all up to date.  Although I have already seen all previous episodes, she insists we watch them together and refuses to watch them alone, like I did, in bed, on the laptop, after the wee-one had gone to bed.  No, she's not a scarred of the zombies, she just likes the company and the conversations that go along with watching the show together.  In other words, she likes to continually ask me what's going to happen next since I've seen it all before.  And she continually gets shot down because she has to wait just like I did to see what happens next!  But yeah, besides taking up a lot of my free time, that really has nothing to do with the trip we took the other weekend or this post, hehehehehe.  So, on to the point...

My dad got a wild hair up his bum and decided we should take a little overnight road trip to go flea-marketing.  Flea-marketing is something we have always enjoyed, and add a bonus overnight stay and who can resist, right?  So, we packed up our gear, headed out early Saturday, well early for us that is, and hit the road for some fun.  We actually didn't travel all that far from home, just a few hours at best, but part of the adventure was letting Piper enjoy staying in a hotel room, her second time only for such a treat.  While this time we weren't in a five star joint, it was still fun to watch her light up with the prospect of being somewhere completely new.  And surprisingly, she also handled the driving pretty well.

We have yet to take on her on any long trips for fear she would act like a wholly terror in the car. You just never know what a toddler is capable of while on the road until you try, so this was also a test to see if she would enjoy the car ride, scenery, eating out, and behave in an acceptable fashion as to not make us want to leave her at the nearest truck stop.  Needless to say, she was a little angel the whole time!

She never complained during the whole trip, even when eating out she acted relatively respectable. We've had a few issues lately where we've tried eating out at times when she was just too worn down, and we ended up having to get our food to go.  I am not one of those parents that will just sit there and let my child throw a fir or cry while others are trying to enjoy their dining experience.  It's my responsibility to remove the tired toddler from the restaurant and just suck it up.  It's par for the course when you have a little one and you can never predicted when a smile can turn into a very loud complaint, which usually stems from exhaustion, teething, bad timing, etc.

She did not eat like this for a change!
The first place we dined is a Southern staple, Western Sizzlin'.  Now, when you are out in small-towns in the South, your dining choices become very limited to mostly fast food and maybe a chain or two mixed in with some mom and pop places, if they are still open.  We figured this choice in restaurant was a safe bet.  Lots of food choices for her (salad bar, all the other food bars, desert bar) and she could eat free.  Piper loved having all those choices, but surprisingly her favorites came from the salad bar. Actually, that's not that much of a surprise since she loves raw veggies.  Cucumbers, pickles, tomatoes, cottage cheese, various fruits...those were her go-to items.  She tried other things, but those things always make her happy.  I tried to get her to eat a frog leg, but that she wasn't quiet ready for just yet. I'm glad she stuck with the more healthy selections that she's used to eating, good girl!

After eating, we went to the hotel room for the night as the flea markets in the area close at 5 and we didn't have time to shop until the next day.  Piper loved staying in the hotel room.  She especially enjoyed being rolled back and forth across the floor and spun in circle in the desk chair.  This was like her own little amusement park ride.  She also did very well using the big potty, yay!  We ran off an forgot her potty chair, but luckily I keep a padded one that fits on big potties for public restroom use in her diaper bag.  She used it like a pro all weekend and actually took her first poop in the big potty, a feat that I am very proud of!

Working on her first big-potty poop!
Nothing is sacred around these parts!
Telling us all about it!
Even when she poops she's adorable!
After a fun night playing in the hotel room and cuddling in a remarkably soft bed, it was time to set out on our shopping adventure.  But first, breakfast!  Since we hadn't run across one of these in forever, we ate at the local Huddle House.  Once again, Piper was on her best behavior, for the most part, as it was her first time in a booster seat instead of a high chair and she was very curious about all objects on the table.  I tried to get her to eat some french toast with strawberries on them, but she only picked at these and opted for her usual eggs instead.

After breakfast, we hit our first flea market.  We decided it would be best to keep Piper in her stroller as flea markets can have a lot of breakable items laying around, along with a lot of sharp and dangerous tools, but she didn't mind being cooped up.  She enjoyed all the sights and people watching, and people admiring her, too.  This first market is where we found her a few children's books, one of which was from my childhood and I could not remember the name, only the exotic artwork of strange birds.  I had actually been ransacking my brain for over a year or so trying to find or remember the title to this book.  Low and behold I pulled it right out of a massive collection of books in one booth.  It's in horrible condition, but for $1 I purchased it anyway and can now search for a better copy online since I have the title and author.  It was kismet, for sure!

We also found Piper an awesome purple Hobby Horse, which she adores!  And for myself, I have this desire to discover odd and/or old board games.  As luck would have it, I found one title Awkward Family Photos board game.  Oh yeah!  It was still in it's plastic wrapping and I cannot wait to play it with my nieces next time they stay over.

Totally freaking awesome, right?!
We all managed to find something at this market, but soon it was time to leave and head to the next one.  We had spent so much time in the first one that we almost didn't stop at a second because Piper fell asleep in the car cuddled up with her new horse.

Sleeping with her new Hobby Horse!
Luckily, she awoke just as we came across one on our way home that looked rather interesting.  I am SO glad we stopped at this one.  Number one reason, they had vintage clothes!  I bought a wonderful, velvet vintage Cloche hat ($25) and perfect condition Guess winter coat ($30) along with a very nice long, black skirt that will go perfect with my sweaters this winter ($6).  My mom also found a few items she liked in the clothing department, as we are both addicted to vintage and/or retro clothes at a bargain.

Besides the clothes, I also found Piper an adorable hand-painted wooden and wicker kids chair.  She loves her new chair and drags it around the house.  She also likes to sit backwards in it and topple over backwards on purpose.  She definitely knows how to amuse herself.  I'm thinking we got something else, but for the life of me I cannot remember what, which means it probably was not mine or Piper's.  But all in all, I was very happy we decided to stop at this shop as it was a hidden gem!

You can barely see the chair, but she is sitting on it!
After this final shop, we headed home to rest before beginning the new week.  Piper was a doll and behaved the entire ride home.  I consider the trip a success story of her ability to handle longer road trips.  I so want to take her to the aquarium in Dallas, so that will most likely be where our next adventure is heading.

And as for now, I'm wrapping up this adventure so that I may be ready to write about the next one occurring tomorrow...the Pumpkin Patch!  It's the same one we visited last year, which you can read about in my post Pumpkins, Pig Races, and Hayrides...Oh My!  It was a great adventure last year, but this year Piper can walk!  I imagine she will be running wild and I'll be snapping pics.  We're taking her cousins Larkin and Haven with us.  In addition, my friend is going to be there with her family and little boy who is about a year older than Piper.  I imagine they are going to have so much fun together as Piper very rarely gets to play with kids her own age.  So definitely stay tuned for that post, as it should be a awesome!

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And if you stuck with everything, here are a couple more pics of Piper with her new Hobby Horse taken at home!

She's a cutie-patootie!
Now go and enjoy your weekend, and as always, thanks for stopping by!

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