Today we had planned on going to the beach. All week it has been sunny and warm. This morning when we woke up it was dark, gloomy and raining. Time for a road trip! We hopped in the car and took off over a bridge and down a highway. When we passed an establishment that was newly built called The Hip Hop Soda Shop I lamented out loud that they must have gone broke before they ever got up and running. The teenager states matter of factly, "That's because everyone is buying that sugar free junk."
We drove aimlessly through a few different cities. One city we passed is a well known carnie town where many of the old time circus side show folk settled including, the Lobster boy, Melvin Burkhart (the Human Blockhead), Percilla the Monkey girl, and a number of little people who starred as Munchkins in Wizard of Oz. Al and Jeanie Tomaini, (the giant who married the “half girl” ) were considered to be the founders of the community and were known for their hospitality and friendliness as well as their restaurant, bait shop, and marina. Together they operated “Giant’s Camp”, offering southern style food and drinks to the local residents. Both Al and Jeanie are deceased leaving behind a daughter named Judy. Judy has a fascinating site full of carnie lore. Check it out: http://www.sideshowworld.com/thstgod-jtrs.html
We stopped at any thrift store we came across (no matter how scary) and found the Forget Me Not candlestick below for 80 cents:
The tiny cream and sugar set for $1.01:
To top it off the teenager spotted a pink Barbie "lap top" in a plastic bag with 4 stuffed animals which we donated back to the thrift store. The lap top cost $1.99 and works perfectly. What a find!
Sometimes you have to look a little harder when you are surrounded by dilapidated mobile home parks, junkyards and stinky phosphorous plants but there is always beauty to be found. Like this:
We found a large nursery in the middle of no where with a huge selection of Orchids and containers of lady bugs which fascinated the boy. (Fortunately, I caught him before he was able to "free" a container full.) The employee who helped us actually lives in our city but drives an hour or more to this nursery for employment. She told us how the nurseries in our area are cutting back hours to almost nothing and how she had to go where she could find full-time employment. I left there with two hardy day lily plants, a weird color of lantana, creeping rosemary and a thankfulness to be employed close to home. Today our city looks a little better to us and our house seems like a mansion. We actually had such an interesting time we've decided to hit the road at least once a month with no destination or plan in mind. Next time we go north east!