Sunday, July 5, 2015

A Trip To The Flea Market

We live about 1/2 hour from one of the largest flea markets in the U.S.  Back in the 80s it was a must day trip for us.  We would go leave at about 6 A.M. to beat the truck traffic and morning rush hour on the highway.  We always stopped for breakfast along the way. It took ALL day to walk through the vender tents and believe me many items caught your eye.  My Go-To sterling silver jewelry guy had a shop and you could buy authentic Indian made turquoise pieces and other hand tooled items.

I recently read an article on Yahoo that talked about flea markets and how they have become a place to buy cheaply made Chinese items.  One Dollar Store booth after another.  Then it listed the 10 best flea markets in the U.S. and included Shipshewana.  I can only wonder when the last time the reporter had visited.  There are VERY FEW "flea market" booths remaining.  It has become booth after booth of dollar store items..many booths that are merely an extension of the shops you can find in the Shipshewana Downtown shops.  They even had bouncy houses set up.  And Camels! It was hardly worth the walk through each aisle.  I found a car telephone holder for $6.00 that Terry has wanted to buy.  I bought him a T-shirt that says "Don't Bother Me I'm Only Talking To My Dog Today".  Very appropriate when Terry gets ...testy with me.  I also found elbow braces for him. He has lost all cartilage in his left elbow and wears a brace all the time. They were only $2.00 each so now we have spares to switch out when it needs to be washed.  We skipped a lot of aisles due to repetitive shops.  Terry pooped out and waited in the car for Laurie and I to call it.  That's it.  All I bought except....

Plants.  I love the part of the flea market that sells fruits and vegetables.  But I can't resist the venders that bring perennials to sell.
They are always healthy and unique varieties.  I bought three different varieties of day lily, all beautiful shades of red and very dark red.  I especially love the one named Chicago Cherokee.  Dark red with yellow center. Heck, I would have bought it just for the name, lol, in honor of the Blackhawk win.

There were so many other plants to choose from, but this year I am especially drawn to Day Lily and Asian Lily.  I'll be planting later today.

When we left the flea market, we were starved.  Laurie and Kyle wanted to stop at Das Dutchman Essenhaus for lunch.  It is a tourist attraction area by itself with lots of Amish artisian shops on the campus. The restaurant has menu dining, but also has a buffet.  I am not a huge Amish cooking fan.  I think it is bland so it's not my choice of dining.  The food is good, but a bit costly.

It was an enjoyable day and worth the visit if you are in the area.


  1. I had to laugh, we used to do the same, get up early, stop for breakfast heading to Nashville, Tn, the last time we visited it was like you said. Cheap things everywhere. Nothing like it was.

  2. Sounds like a very special holiday weekend for you all!

  3. Yes I remember when this was a fabulous flea market-with rows and rows and rows of fabulous antiques-too bad it did not stay that way. the Essenhaus is our favorite place to eat there in Shipshewana the last time we went was the year before my Mom's demetia got worse and she needed to move off her farm and across the street from my brother so he could help her--good memories for sure. we always stopped at the big amish package food store and I would mail back a big box of dried fruits and nuts and other goodies

  4. I am totally jealous! The flea market and the Amish shops... heaven indeed! :D
    Beth P

  5. I was so disappointed with the flea markets in CA... I'm sure you've heard me complain. Your right they are totally overrun with cheap stuff from China... uugh.... I like a flea mrkt that has nice mix of things ... some antique booths , some arts and craft booths .. sigh i guess they are all gone because i don't even find them in AR. ... Our town of Rogers has a ton of Flea Mkt indoor stores.... I usually don't find anything i'm interested in.... and walk out empty handed... sometimes i wonder why i Hugs! deb

  6. These days, sometimes even craft shows exhibit 'imports' of the cheapest kind. Very frustrating for those trying to sell quality items.

  7. too bad it couldn't have stayed the way it was. I think garage sales have taken the place of flea markets as far as what they have to offer. We like to hit ones where the whole community is taking part, more bang for your buck that way! Glad you got out and had fun with your family at least. Those day lilies sound gorgeous, I only have one common orangy variety that was here when I moved here (nearly 40 years ago). They thrive wherever I stick 'em.

  8. Our local flea markets sure aren't what they used to be either. Although,like you, I have been able to find some nice plants that aren't too expensive.

    I hope you share photos after you get your plants in the ground.

  9. I so agree.........flea markets here are also selling the cheap pre ordered things. We went on what was supposed to be a 60 mile flea market/garage sell a few weeks ago. It was such a big disappointment. There were only about 5 places along side the road to stop with nothing but clothing and junk.........nothing vintage or flea market worthy. I have always wanted to try Amish food........did not know that it was bland. Here's wishing for better flea markets in the future!

  10. When I showed my horses, we had a five day horse show and would always end up heading to Shipshewana for their big auction and to buy pies!!! Amish do make the best pies! I'm lucky we have a great (and huge) farmer's market about 15 min. from us. I love all the fresh veggies and fruits and there's an amish family who sell their pies and cakes!!! YUM!!! You brought back memories for me of that sale...thanks! Last time I was there was 1989!! Sold my last horse when hubby and I got married in '91 (he sold his boat too! ha)


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