Antiques and Bluebonnets

bluebonnet_field_at_dusk__credit_larry_urqhart__med04With Maggie home for the Easter holidays, we headed out to Warrenton, Texas to try our luck antiquing the fields.  Emma and I have gone for both the fall and spring antique fairs in the Round Top/Warrenton area for years.  (See my posts on the fall fair and a focus on Marburger Farms.)  On this visit it is preview weekend so the Round Top shows, Marburger, Big Red Barn are not yet open.

bluebonnet_highwayI find the fall shows to be bigger, but just slightly.  In the spring you have the advantage of the fabulous drive out to the area with the fields and highway easements covered with Texas wildflowers like Bluebonnets and (red) Indian paintbrushes. Even if you never find the tents, you’ll love the journey.  Many people make this an annual pilgrimage.

The road was backed with shoppers and vendors heading in both directions.  Warrenton, Texas.©Jean Janssen

The road was packed with shoppers and vendors heading in both directions. Warrenton, Texas.
©Jean Janssen

We try to go midweek to beat the crowds.  However, we worked around Maggie’s availability and with Good Friday being a holiday for so many, the fields were full of people and the road was crowded in both directions.  In addition to the shoppers, you had vendors coming it to set up for the for the shows opening early the next week.

We parked near the Campbell building and made our usual stop to see Robin Lindberg-aka, the Queen of Heirs– and Beth Brown: Both show fabulous estate jewelry in a range of prices.  We also had to start with our clothes-trying-on-marathon at Cottage Gatherings-a two-hour event.  Maggie slept the whole way out and woke in time for the shopping.  It can be pretty intense.  “I was not prepared for this” was Maggie’s reaction.

This shopping is hard work.  At Cottage Gatherings at the Campbell Building in Warrenton, Texas.©Jean Janssen

This shopping is hard work. At Cottage Gatherings at the Campbell Building in Warrenton, Texas.
©Jean Janssen

Phase 1-Campbell building shopping-completed, we headed out to the fields.  Our breakfast stop had already had to be modified as it was Good Friday and we were not eating meat.  That meant no bacon, egg, and cheese biscuit or sausage kolache in the morning.  Lunch was an even bigger challenge.  There are food booths everywhere along the road, but few choices if you are not eating meat.  (I wasn’t up for the baked potatoes just across from the Campbell building and the Upper Deck-a favorite spot-had a really long line.)

The Junk Gypsy is a Warrenton mainstay and the inspiration for the HGTV television show.  Note the longhorns on the grill with the koozies on the tips to protect the unsuspecting passerby.©Jean Janssen

The Junk Gypsy is a Warrenton mainstay and the inspiration for the HGTV television show. Note the longhorns on the grill with the koozies on the tips to protect the unsuspecting passerby.
©Jean Janssen

Most of the shopping is set up in tents that cover the open fields or sandwiched between the few buildings in town.  Pedestrian bridges cross the ravines which separate the fields, the construction of which is a testament to the biannual shows’ importance to the local economy.  We did a little browsing along the way and ended up at Casa Mia/Texas Pizza Wagon along the south side of the road.  They have a portable brick pizza oven and offer a wide variety of generously-sized individual pizzas, salads, and sandwiches.  I added mushrooms and fresh basil to my cheese pizza, selected a drink, and got out for $10.50.  Emma and Maggie shared their pizza, but added a large bag of kettle corn to their lunch.  (Kettle corn is plentiful during the show weekends.)  I would recommend this lunch-with or without meat.

"Although

Maggie is moving off-campus next semester so we were looking for some inexpensive things to decorate her apartment with.  If she didn’t have to drive or ship it all to Pennsylvania we could have really loaded her up.  She found “ready to  hang/use” items as well as some that are more “project” pieces.

It seemed like everyone had their dog with them when they came out to Warrenton, Texas. ©Jean Janssen

It seemed like everyone had their dog with them when they came out to Warrenton, Texas. Also note the airstream trailer and tee pee. You can step up shop in anything here, the more creative the better.
©Jean Janssen

I bought a beautiful platter and Emma got a few things as well, but we absolutely wore Maggie out.  This power shopping clearly takes training and Maggie has to learn to pace herself to keep up.

I couldn't justify this purchase, but I really liked it.©Jean Janssen

I couldn’t justify this purchase, but I really liked it.
©Jean Janssen

Robin has a wonderful apartment in the Campbell Building so at some point Maggie packed it in and took a nap.  Emma and I used the opportunity to visit with vendor friends we have made over the many years we have been coming to the show.  The atmosphere also changes as the day wears on.  By 3 pm it seemed that at least every other person’s favorite accessory was a koozie with a cold beer.  This is Texas you know and besides that it is “always 5 o’clock somewhere.”

Some of the vendors close around 6 pm; others stay open until later.  That said, I have never seen a vendor close down as long as they have shoppers looking at their special finds.

People watching at the Campbell Building in Warrenton, Texas.  (left to right) Beth Brown-holding Queen of Heirs mascot Peaches-Maggie studying the crowd and Emma texting.@Jean Janssen

People watching at the Campbell Building in Warrenton, Texas. (left to right) Beth Brown (holding Queen of Heirs mascot Peaches), Maggie, and Emma.
@Jean Janssen

With the Campbell building closing, we sat outside on the infamous red adirondack chairs and did some people watching.  People watching is reason enough to come to the Antiques Fair.

After closing, we made the short drive to La Grange, Texas for some of our favorite Tex-Mex at Las Fuentes.  Cheese enchiladas always work on Lenten Fridays.  We got the skinny of the show’s activities from a vendor perspective from Robin, Beth, and Robin’s niece Laura who spends her spring break working the show with her aunt.

Doesn't matter where you go; there is always a souvenir tee shirt. ©Jean Janssen

Doesn’t matter where you go; there is always a souvenir tee shirt.
©Jean Janssen

It was a special treat for Maggie since at 21 she can now join the “legals” for a margarita with her Tex-Mex.  Of course it wasn’t her first libation for the day.  She had found blender drink offerings among the Warrenton tents.  (I suspect this was the reason she needed that afternoon nap.)

On the drive back to Houston, Emma announced that it was Maggie’s job to stay up with me as I drove back.  (Apparently it was now time for Emma’s tequila nap.)  I had wisely limited myself to one jumbo margarita.  It was all highway in from La Grange and we made it in good time.

I am now actually posting this several days after our visit.  The show is in its second week and more venues are now open in the nearby Round Top area.  After yesterday’s preview, Marburger Farms opens for regular admission shopping today.  Stop by and see Dolan Geiman and his work.  I commissioned a wonderful original “Westie” piece for Boris’ Bar Westie as a Christmas gift.  It never made it to the bar; we continue to enjoy it in the den.

Natasha tackles Warrenton, Texas

Natasha tackles Warrenton, Texas

More to come on spring break in Michigan, early April in Georgetown, and Asia in the middle of the month.  Boris and I leave for Singapore, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, and India on April 15.  In May, Rocky and I dive Belize.  Join Natasha for more travel…

About travelbynatasha

I am a retired attorney who loves to travel. Several years ago I began working on a Century Club membership achieved by traveling to 100 "foreign" countries. Today, at 49 years of age the count is at 82. Many were visited on land based trips. Some were cruise ports. Some were dive sites. Most have been fascinating.
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