Friday, October 29, 2010

Southern Road Trip: Dallas, Texas

Originally we had planned to do the road trip right from Virginia to LA, but we soon saw the cost of a rental car to be returned all the way back and decided instead for Texas to be our turn back point in the loop we travelled. Caleb has life long friends from Texas, that used to study in New Zealand. We spent about 5 days relaxing in a real house (hotels are annoying sometimes) and enjoying the lone star state. Again I wish I had more photos to share, but I was always in a hurry and forgot to!

The house was just out of Dallas in an area called Denton, which is a lovely college city full of amazing thrift stores. The antique stores here were Caleb's favourite full to the brim with western style antiques that I'm sure he would have carted home with us if he could! I found two more pairs of roper boots while I was here and thrifted my feet off.
 Top: Thrifted, Kiapoi, New Zealand
Bag & Belt: Thrifted, Rangiora New Zealand
Skort: Thrifted, Auckland New Zealand
Boots: Vintage, Minx, Athens, Ga

On the first night we were there we went out to a club (that I have forgotten the name of) but it was huge by New Zealand standards and so much fun. I'm sure cowboy themed bars may seem tacky to a lot of Americans but it was such a novelty to be in Texas, in one of these places. The place had a huge stage with a live country band playing. People  were dancing around a circular platform in the middle of the room that went right around the bar. I tried a couple of times, but I am forever clumsy and kept messing up.

A few nights later there was a barbeque for Caleb's return and all his old friends came around, had some drinks and for the first time in my life I played this crazy card game called Pit. An hour of shouting later it was time to head to the observatory. Some students once a month open up the telescopes to the public for free and talk about space and what you can see that night. It was amazing. I had never done this before and I have always been fascinated by the stars. The brightest star was amazing and we saw Jupiter too! Quote of the night was 'Turn that cellphone off, you are ruining my night vision'.

On one of the last days we were there we went to a southern style all you can eat restaurant called Babes. The best fried chicken, mashed potatoes, green beans, gravy and sweet tea (addiction during camp). I see where southern food gets it's amazing reputation from. It took us a few meals to finish all of that off. We were having such a good time that before we knew it, it was time to say our goodbyes and head back towards Virginia. As we were leaving there was a crazy storm that was flooding Texas and tornado warnings were all over the news. It was exciting but a little scary, especially when the windscreen wipers wouldn't go fast enough to be able to see! Only two more stops to go on our Southern summer road trip.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Southern Road Trip: Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana

 We were pushed for time after staying longer than we expected in Georgia. Poor Caleb had to drive us from Atlanta to Louisiana overnight. I was a horrible person and kept falling asleep. Luckily Dave Ramsey was on all night over the radio, so Caleb had a little company. I woke up at different times during my sleep to the most lovely scenery. I wish we could have had more time in each of these states, but it was Texas the next morning or bust!
I honestly don't remember much of Mississippi, but Alabama had us debating on whether it was worth it or not, at 3am in the morning, to go pay a visit to 'Montogomary Flea Market'. We thought it may be somewhat just like a mini mall! However, it was too dark for nice pictures, plus we would have to go right out of the way, maybe next time!
Anberlin Singlet- Warped Tour '08
Velvet Shorts- Thrifted, Christchurch, New Zealand
Shoes-Thrifted, Asheville, NC

Louisiana was beautiful! I would have loved it even more than I did if the heat and humidity had been not as ruthless, but still such a pretty place. I only got one photo of me the whole time, because I was silly and was convinced I looked (and felt) gross. We took the back route, instead of the interstate, to see all the little rundown towns of our horror movie dreams. We first arrived in a lovely little town, that I of course can't remember the name of.

We waited there for a side of the road junk store to open before digging through the loveliest treasures, amongst an insane amount of 80's arcade machines. We left with a belt buckle for Caleb and nothing for me. I had to start watching my spending at least a little! Later we drove to a town called Breaux Bridge, LA, after roadside promises of 1000's of Antique dealers lead us there. We didn't really find anything like that. We did find a cute little town with lovely old buildings and creaky floors (I actually thought we would fall through at one place) and a junk store with 80's wrestling figurines.

The nicest lady at Minx, in Athens, GA had talked about how great the vintage was in Louisiana, especially Eunice, that was out next stop. We didn't find terribly much apart from a few thrift stores, until the last one, where I found my dream boots, my first pair of roper fringe toe boots that just so happened to be in my size and were $1! It was definitely worth the trip to nowhere for me! On the way out we took some pictures of the sad but beautiful run down parts of Eunice, that I thought existed only in the movies!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Southern Road Trip: Atlanta + Athens, Georgia

We were in the Atlanta area for 5 days! The longest we visited anywhere. I decided, instead of 5 posts I would condense it into my favourite parts.

The thrifting was incredible! I have never been to so many huge thrift stores in my life. There were rows and rows of pretty dresses to hunt through, I was in absolute heaven. The vintage stores were just as good! Rag-O-Rama was my personal favourite. I'd say I went to around 30 stores, possibly more just in this state! On the third day of our thrifting overload Caleb and I were walking into a thrift store just as someone was walking out, It just so happened it was Rhiannon of Liebemarlene Vintage! I was a little shocked, so my mouth running about a mile a minute and with my accent I'm surprised she understood a word I was saying! She really was the loveliest girl though and had the cutest outfit (of course). It was just so strange as Atlanta is such a big city and her blog, for about three years now has been a top favourite of mine!

My birthday was during our visit in Atlanta. Caleb had a big surprise for me and ended up taking me to Six Flags. For a New Zealander,this is pretty much the best thing ever. New Zealand's one and only theme park pretty much consists of bumper boats and mini golf! I went on a ton of rides, the whole time reassuring a 6'4 Caleb that no, he would not get decapitated or fall out of his seat. We went to a restaurant after and stayed at a fancy hotel that night. It was lovely!
For most of the time we were there, we stayed in Marietta with the nicest girl from my camp I worked at over the summer. Marietta was the cutest place. One night we went to the most amazing Mexican restaurant. This was Caleb's first time in two years having authentic Mexican so he got two orders and finished the lot! Then afterwards we walked around town with the most delicious ice creams. Too bad I can never remember the names of the places we ate!

On the final day we were in Atlanta, we drove to Athens, GA. We were planning to go earlier in the week, but we kept leaving it too late. Athens was so very beautiful! I wish we had walked around the outskirts more and I had taken photos there, but I was too busy thrifting and vintage shopping, as usual. I went to the best vintage stores there. Agora was this wonderful crazily decorated place, with clothing and oddities crammed everywhere. We emerged after at least an hour, after debating whether we had room in a suitcase for a coke bottle phone, with a great discounted pair of roper boots for Caleb.

Next we went just down the street to Minx, where I found my favourite pair of ankle boots and a romper for $1! The lady who owned the store was super friendly, talking to us about her Louisiana childhood and how one time a lady came into her shop grabbed a whole pile of stuff, without trying it on and bought the lot. She later told her she was a buyer for Gap and they use the designs of the vintage clothes to make things for the store. How cheeky. Rhiannon had told us about a lovely place too eat, but silly me forgot to write it down so if there is a next time, it will definitely be high on my list!
After those two stores it was late in the afternoon so we were just going to head back slowly. Until I realised that the last store I wanted to visit wasn't in Athens at all it was back in Atlanta, just to make matters worse we had been in the area just the day before. We went as fast as we could back to Decatur to go to Kudzu, an antiques store. We got there with five minutes to browse and then the shop closed. At least I got to check it out!

Vintage Romper, Felt Hat, Culottes and both tops- Thrifted, Christchurch, New Zealand
Shoes: Asheville, NC

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Southern Road Trip: Savannah, Georgia

 I bet you already guessed where my next stop would be. It would be almost criminal to pass up a visit to such an amazingly magical city. As soon as you drive into Savannah it's like you are transported into a different time and place! Spanish moss drips from every tree winding around branches and coating streets. It is so romantic looking in the summer.
We only had half a day in Savannah, before we had to head off for my birthday plans the next day. So we got up early and headed through the city to Bonaventure Cemetery. Established in 1846 this was by far the oldest and most breathtaking cemetery I have ever been to. It sounds creepy wandering around an old cemetery, I'm sure it would be at night, but under the Spanish moss and the sunshine it was lovely to take a wander in. Taking in all the delicate sculpting work that had been put into the headstones and hearing the stories of how they came to be.

There was a plaque next to one in particular that interested me. It was a statue a famous artist had made for a wee girl called Gracie who was the daughter of the owner and a favourite of the guests at a local hotel. The artist had taken a shining to her so much that he created it just for her when she passed away. Famously she is said to haunt the graveyard at night. We did not see her of course, but this story did give me  goosebumps a little.

Floral headband: Thrifted, Christchurch, New Zealand
Blouse: Thrifted, Kiapoi, New Zealand
Culottes: Thrifted, Fredericksburg, VA
Shoes: Thrifted, Asheville, NC
Bag: Thrifted, Rangiora, New Zealand

We stayed for as long as we could before the mosquito's took there revenge and I looked down at my legs for the first time to two full legs covered in the pesky little things, even through my tights!. This revelation made me, for the rest of the time there, look a little crazy as I stomped my feet when I walked so they wouldn't land on me.This didn't work! I'm very allergic to the bites, so we sooner than planned, headed back to the safety of the car.
On the drive back, to see more of the quaint city, we were two seconds away from getting taken out by a classic southern downpour! It isn't like in New Zealand where the rain spits for 15 minutes, warning you to seek shelter, it just goes hey thereWHAM! and your drenched. It kept raining, so after a quick late lunch we drove around admiring the gorgeous buildings and then headed onto our next destination.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Southern Road Trip: Charleston, South Carolina Part 2

After the short lived, and uncomfortable rest, that made us devoted to hotels for a majority of the trip, we drove around and visited a few thrift stores we had spotted in the area! Perhaps we didn't go far enough out of the city as I only found a few things to take with me and it was all quite expensive!

We drove out to the harbour resort, acquired from a deal that gave us a discounted stay and a $50 Visa gift card for an hour of our time being shown around a hotel in the city. I was excited to go for a swim and relax before it got dark. It really was the most lovely hotel. It had a big pool, a spa, a man made beach, a long wharf that we later took a stroll down and the most beautiful view of the city from the balcony. I had never been to a resort before, so it really was such a treat!

The next morning, after what was probably the best sleep of my life, Caleb and I headed to the "one hour tour around a hotel". Oh my goodness! That hour was not an hour at all. When he said an hour, he must have meant close to 3 and when he said 'talk about a hotel' he meant a very intense timeshare presentation. After wanting to tear my ears out and having to pretend like I'm interested, we said our final NO and pretty much ran to the car to escape. Dear me it was the most awkward, but horribly funny situation to be in!

We weren't sure how much of a budget to stick with, so after that ordeal we chose only one paid attraction to go to and we narrowed it down to Cypress Gardens. It was about an hour out of the city. Cypress Gardens is famous for it's extensive and insanely beautiful gardens and also for being the backdrop in the famous swans in the lake scene from The Notebook. This was without a doubt one of the highlights of my trip!

90's Romper: Thrifted-Rangiora, New Zealand
Shoes: Thrifted-Hendersonville, NC
Bag: Thrifted- Rangiora New Zealand
We had a look around the butterfly house, which was so darling! Then headed out to the swamp, where there were free rowboats. We went for the prettiest boat ride invented. Along the swamp there were arrows to follow. You had to duck under tiny bridges, in which people had scrawled little names and love notes. About halfway through the trip it began to pour with rain, just like in the movie. I got way too excited and soon after pulled the boat in just in time for a quick peek into the aquarium before the gardens closed. It was only a few hours to the next city we were visiting, but I will be talking about that tomorrow!

Southern Road Trip: Charleston, Sorth Carolina Part 1

 Our first proper stop, on our road trip beginning in Woodbridge, VA, not counting the overnight (and scary) sleep in the car at a truck stop, was Charleston, SC. I had always wanted to visit Charleston since my first glimpse of it in The Notebook. Although the city did not look like it did in the film, which saddened me a little, it was still easily one of the prettiest places I have ever been to.

On the first day we got there later than we expected. After an impromptu stop at 'South Of The Border', a cheesy Mexican themed tourist attraction in the middle of nowhere it was so humid and hot in Charleston, that we opted out of going to see plantations, for a wander around the city. I know I'm crazy for wearing tights. I wore them throughout most of the trip, as they hide my unsightly mosquito bites. My super pale skin, combined with the reactions and scars I get from them, looked ever so slightly terrible. They just couldn't get enough of me! 

I wish I knew more about the history of the places as we saw, I really was clueless when it came to attractions. It was lovely though walking around, not having somewhere we had to be and just taking it all in. I had never seen such beautiful historic homes. Towering grand buildings with columns, huge wrought iron gates and courtyards  I didn't even think places like this still existed! It is even more amazing to me, as New Zealand doesn't have anything on this kind of scale!

Dress: Thrifted - Asheville, NC
Hat: Vintage Store -Christchurch, New Zealand
Bag: Thrifted, Rangiora, New Zealand
Brogues: Thrifted -Asheville, NC

Later, we didn't realize at first, but the historic part of Charleston is right next to the ocean, we took a evening stroll along the boardwalk talking about doing a ghost tour that night, but we didn't know which one to pick. I'm so incredibly indecisive (sorry Caleb), that before we knew it, time crept past us and it was late and it was time to go to the camp site, for much needed rest!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

The Road To Nowhere

This year I embarked on a roller coaster three month long trip. The first two months were spent as a drama teacher at a wealthy North Carolina summer camp. When that was over (thank goodness), I embarked on the best trip of my life.
The plan originally was that I would find a person at camp to travel with, but literally two weeks after the camp had begun, I squashed that idea and instead begged my boyfriend to come over for the month after and be my travel buddy. Best decision I have ever made!

We met, after camp, in Virginia and embarked on an 18 day summer road trip. Crossing 12 states and driving around 8,000 km (5,000 miles). Me, being the silly thrift obsessed girl I am dragged my boyfriend to approximately 100 thrift / antique stores throughout these states and he, in turn, dragged me through about 200 drive throughs. It was such a magical trip. The south is just the most beautiful, mysterious and wonderful experience. I went to so many places I have only ever dreamt of going. I saw things that will remain cherished memories forever.

I plan on sharing parts of this trip with you in my future posts. Before I get too excited, about all I have to share, I thought it may be fitting of me to first show you all the pictures of what we hauled back to New Zealand with us. It doesn't look like much in the pictures, but there really is a lot and golly gosh those bags were heavy!

I somehow, was lucky enough to stumble on not just one, but three vintage coach bags, three pairs of vintage roper style boots and about 60 perfect dresses! American thrifting is really like falling into a big pile of treasure and trying to stuff as much into your pockets as you can!
I shall post more tomorrow, sorry for the terrible pictures of the clothes! We used a different camera on the trip so the pictures in future posts are much better!

Friday, October 15, 2010

From the beginning

Dear treasure hunters, junk lovers, vintage obsessed, thrift extraordinaires and curious eyes,
I am an easily pleased, silly girl, who enjoys the things that others throw away, midnight adventures, staring at the sky, the good ol' days and cheesy 90s horror films.
I hope that this blog may be a place that I can show you glimpse into my life and all the things I love in it!