Hello friends! I am so excited to tell you about our trip to the Country Living Fair in Columbus, OH. This is an event my mother and I look forward to every year. It's the equivalent to creative paradise I am certain. Last year when we went, I was just recovering from my kidney stones, so it was a bit of a struggle to fight the crowds and brave the heat. But I had no doubt we would be heading back this year. And in fact I had spent weeks getting excited about it. When you spend 8 plus hours a day in a grey cubical, thinking about things like this, really can help you get through the day (sad but true).
So Friday morning we set off for Columbus with Starbucks in hand. We arrived just as they began letting people into the gate. We immediately hit the booth of JBS Mercantile, which was so beautiful it made me want to pass out. Really! Here is the hard thing about the fair, it is extremely crowded and each booth is very small. Last year I was so self conscious that I was taking too long to look at things, that I would move on before I was ready. Not this year, I stood my ground! And even though each booth was swarming with people, everyone was generally polite and patient. In the JBS Booth, I went through stacks of flashcards (which had to be the hot item of this years fair, every other booth seemed to have a big pile of them). I walked out with a few flashcards for me (and a few I surprised my mom with) and a vintage red cross hanky.
Just a few booths over was Folk, Funk, & Whimsy. Out in front of their booth was this perfect piece of architectural salvage. Now, I failed to mention, the thing I was looking for most this year, the piece I was really hunting down, was a piece of salvage to go over a doorway in my entryway. And here it was! Within the first 20 minutes of the show, I was completely content. I could have left at that point and it would have been a complete success in my book. Not surprisingly, we continued on.
I came across a booth that was selling cheap Mason Jars. I am obsessed with Mason Jars lately, but here is the thing, I like them because I think they are beautiful. I am not so much interested in their "value" or their age. I found unique colors...purple, green, and amber. They are reproductions, so they are not that old, but I couldn't care less, I still think they are lovely.
Our last purchase before lunch was amazing. I stumbled upon this vintage rusty grate that I fell so in love with. The vendors selling it had flashcards clipped all over it. Perfect, I thought, I just bought several flashcards that I can put on it for my display. There was also a beautiful crown jar my mother picked out and some church signage I got for my hubby. I went to pay and I started chatting with the vendor. He was the kindest man in the world, very talkative, told me he had found this grate. He then gave me a flyer and said he was doing a cooking demo at three and asked me to come see him. It was not until I walked away that I realized I had just been chatting it up with Cooper Boone. Wow...I was just about speechless. I immediately regretted not being one of those people...the kind that annoyingly ask if they can take a picture with you and act star-struck! Ahhh, the bitter taste of regret.
Anyways, the last booth we visited prior to lunch was very charming. I look over and The Country Living Magazine editor, Sarah Gray Miller, was taking pictures with her phone just feet away from me. Star struck again. Here was the odd thing though, you would have expected to see a smile on her pretty little face, however that smile was no where to be found. And I thought to myself, oh my goodness, if I had your job, even for five minutes I would have a perpetual smile. But then I realized that maybe everyone doesn't have to walk around fairs with huge smiles on their faces (but they should).
On to lunch. Mom and I got pretty wise the first year. There aren't a lot of food vendors, although, they are yummy, they are not worth standing in line for 30 or 40 minutes. So, Mom and I pack a cooler and eat in the car. We save money, save time, and have an excuse to empty our carts and go back for round two.
Round two. I hit up Bloomsbury Loft, which is always a favorite. They had a cute store in the Short North area of Columbus for awhile. It's hard to pick just one item from their unique collection, but this year I decided to go with a headband. Here is the thing, I NEVER wear anything in my hair. But, this was too cute to pass up. And believe it or not, that was my last purchase of the day.
My Mom treated us to the most delicious ice cream in the world...Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream! Oh my goodness, I got a flavor called Salted Caramel. I could have eaten the entire pint! Hands down, best ice cream I have ever had. And after my sugar buzz, I was ready to come home. It was the perfect day. I honestly wish we would have gotten a weekend pass and gone Saturday as well. We have decided to do that next year and I am looking forward to it already.
Now here is my secret hope...ready for this? The Country Living Fair also goes to Atlanta in October. It just so happens that my favorite brother (okay, my only brother) and his family live just outside of Atlanta...now let's put two and two together. All I need to do is convince my husband that this makes any kind of rational sense in the world and maybe just maybe, he might say okay???? Wish me luck on that! XOXO