Elephant Trunk Flea Market

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Some might call me crazy, and others will totally understand, but I planned my Maine vacation around two things: the start of my master’s degree program and the Elephant Trunk Flea Market.

If you are an HGTV lover, more specifically a Flea Market Flip (FMF) lover, Elephant Trunk Flea Market will immediately ring a bell. It’s a giant flea in New Milford, Connecticut that often plays host to Lara Spencer and her FMF competitors. The gist of the show is two teams of two go through a flea market and buy old crap, transform the crap into something awesome, and then resell the awesome goods at a flea in New York City. You win based on making the most profit. Buy low, sell high.

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I love this show an unreasonable amount. I also think I’d kick ass if I ever got to go on the show. Some people do the most outrageous, hideous flips. Psh, my taste is impeccable and my stuff would sell in an instant! (That’s confidence, not cockiness… right?) HGTV PICK ME FOR FLEA MARKET FLIP!

But for real, my office mate and buddy Carrie and I love to talk about how we’d rock FMF. So when I knew we were going to Maine and would have to pass through Connecticut on the way there and back, it just made sense to stop at one of the featured FMF fleas. Originally, we planned to come home on Saturday, but since Elephant Trunk is only open on Sundays, we extended our trip for an extra day. Darn! 

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I should give my husband the kuddos he deserves — not all spouses would be cool with spending more money on a vacation just to go to a flea market. He’s the best.

Anywayyyy, we got to the flea market shortly after it opened to the public and the parking lot was already insane. You’ll see in some of the photos that it was supper foggy at first, but it cleared up quickly and filled up even quicker. Holy smokes, there were TONS of people! Right away, the flea market met my expectations — so many vendors, so much neat stuff.

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We weaved through the whole market in about an 1 hour and 15 minutes. I would have loved to have taken more time and gone slower, but we did have to get home at some point.

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Once we saw the whole thing, I knew what I wanted to buy. Don’t hold your breath — it won’t be exciting to anyone but me.

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Growing up, my dad had (and still has) these carved wooden mallard ducks. Many vendors had similar ducks, but one had a mini. I saw it and loved it. For a whole $7, it was mine.

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You are probably thinking, “What the heck — a whole post about a flea market from a DIY blogger and no crazy purchase?!?” Well, remember that we’d already spend a lot of cash monies on vacay and had my tiny car to drive home in. Plus, I’m working on two furniture pieces now, and didn’t reallllly need another project. The duck was just fine of a purchase for me.

By the time we left the flea to get back on the road, the parking lot was just nuts and the parking spot vultures were out. I was glad we go there early.

Overall — great experience. Brian liked it way more than I thought he would. There are so many different vendors with such a variety of things to sell that there is something for everybody. The two things I would say I was surprised by: lack of furniture, cost. It wasn’t that there wasn’t furniture. Many vendors had tables. But compared to the show where the contestants seem to have unending choices of desks, chairs, tables, etc., I thought there’s be more or a selection.

I also thought things were priced high. I guess all of the $15 tables and chairs sold at 5(ish) a.m. (you can pay an early bird fee and go before anyone else). Or vendors are more likely to bargain when a huge camera is in their face.

Complaints aside, it was awesome. I wish we had a giant flea market like it in Maryland. If you know of one that I am just completely unaware of– TELL ME!!!! If you have the chance to check it out, I recommend it. Who knows, you might find a little duck of your own.

I left my heart in Maine

Brian and I just took an amazing trip up north to Maine. It’s quite a hike from Maryland (actually, we left from our best friends’ beach house in Delaware), so we planned accordingly, stopping for an afternoon in Boston. From Boston, we visited Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park for three days. Then we headed south to Portland.

The trip was wonderful for so many reason — B and I don’t do a ton of vacations, so being away for 10 days straight was a godsend for me. No work, no responsibilities (our moms watched the pup!) — just relaxing fun.

Like I said, we started our trip at the beach — Fenwick Island, DE., to be specific. It’s one of favorite places on this planet: Great friends, great views, great food, great fun. Oh, and did I mention it’s where we met? Coincidentally, we were at Fenwick on our 11 year anniversary! I don’t feel old enough to have been with someone for 11 years. Holy cow.

The beach was great fun as always (and maybe too much fun one night…). We were sad to leave, but happy to visit a slew of new places. We drove from Delaware to Boston. Neither of us had ever been to Boston, so it was neat exploring a new city. I loved it, especially the Boston Common. We took advantage of our sweet hotel location and walked everywhere we needed to go, including the aquarium! Awesome aquarium, but not as good as Baltimore’s. Just sayin’. (There’s no Maryland bias there….)

From Boston we made the trek to Bar Harbor. Sigh. Bar Harbor. One of my new favorite places. We were only there for 2.5 days, but I am in love. Bar Harbor is a quaint town on Mount Desert Island and neighbors Acadia National Park. Everything here is beautiful. The homes, the water, the beaches, the mountains, the towns. It’s one of the dog-friendliest places I’ve ever been, too, and next time we go we are definitely bringing Remmy.

What did we do in Acadia? Hike, hike, hike and more hiking. We hiked in the pouring rain, we hiked in the fog, and, on our last day, we hiked in the sunshine. We hiked so many different trails: the Ocean Trail, Sand Beach, Gorham Mountain, Acadia Mountain and the Beehive. The Beehive was our favorite. In fact, we did it twice.

It was an insane trail — you had to climb to the top of the mountain using iron rungs coming out of rocks! I am very afraid of heights, so this hike was both physically and mentally challenging for me. But it was also so darn neat that when we were talked about our final hike I knew the best choice was the Beehive again. If you look in the gallery above you can see Brian on the rungs, the view from the top, some birch trees we saw along the way and the mountain from below.

That day we hiked three different trails for a total of 28,383 steps. Wowza. My feet hurt just thinking about it.

The views from the other trails were just as stunning. Really, even in pouring rain, Bar Harbor/Acadia is just beautiful. When we weren’t hiking, we explored the town, ate lots of food and went to an improv show (Improv Acadia is hilarious). We had such a lovely time (except when our whale watch was cancelled. You’ll see the sad faces we made when we heard the news).

My favorite photos from Bar Harbor are these next two. Me and the hubby, happy as clams on a cloudy day standing on the sand bar that Bar Harbor is named for.

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And this incredible panoramic view from the top of Cadillac Mountain.

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If you ever have the chance to visit Bar Harbor, DO IT! Seriously. And take me with you. … please?!

We left Bar Harbor for Portland — a charming city with rockin’ food. If you ever find yourself in Portland, you must go to Taco Escobar and Duck Fat. Holy delicious.

Portland was adorable and my kind of city. It was small, hipster-y, not terribly busy and on a beautiful bay. We took advantage of the water and did a whale watch tour (Odyssey Whale Watch) and a sunset wine sail (Wine Wise). I loved both, especially the sail. I’d never been on a sailboat before and it was amazing. Plus I got to drink five glasses of wine. That’s a win. I also really enjoyed the whale watch — we saw a couple of Minke whales and one sleeping Finback whale — but Brian doesn’t feel so hot once a boat reaches the ocean. Poor guy… I was at the front of the boat loving life and he was sitting on the side during the 4-hour tour trying not to be sick.

Here are a few more shots from the water that were too beautiful to collage:

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Seriously, so beautiful.Portland_Schooner

The other really cool thing we did in Portland was tour Allagash Brewery. The tour was an hour long and totally free. We got to taste four of their beers and see how everything is made, bottled, stored, etc. It was so neat — and I don’t like beer!

We headed back home this past Sunday and while it is nice to sleep in my own bed, I am sad to be back. I really do feel like I left a part of my heart in Maine. Between the hiking, water activities, amazing views and cool summer weather — it’s hard to say what my favorite part of Maine is. All I know is that we will definitely be going back to Acadia in the future.

Now that your read about, skimmed through or briefly glanced as my awesome vacation…. I leave you with this — the perfect photo to sum up our trip:

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My thumb in the lens because my arms aren’t long enough to take an “usie,” me cheesin’ it because I love boats and hiking and vacation and love and yay, and Brian pretending like he’s not having a good time to keep up his “I hate fun” appearances and looking annoyed that I’m taking yet another picture. It’s perfect.

A huge “thank you” to Julie and Rachel for their insider knowledge of Bar Harbor and Portland. You guys rock.

Home sweet home

I cannot believe I forgot to share the darling illustration I created of my house. I made this last month after working on a similar project for work, and I just adore it.

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How stinkin’ cute, right?

I designed this one of my building at work for a giant poster right when you walk in the building.

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I think they are so charming. I am tossing up the idea of selling them on my shop — not that folks want to buy an image of my house (creepy!), but I could do theirs! So cute.

Speaking of designing things, I have exciting news! At the end of the summer I am going back to school to get my master’s degree in publications design. I am pretty freakin’ excited about it. Also terrified because, you know… homework. Haven’t done that in five years. But on the whole, I’m pumped for all of the awesome things I’m about to learn. In fact, I’ve started dreaming in Photoshop and inDesign — anyone else do that? It’s like I am editing my dreams. Strange, but cool.

Speaking of my sweet home, my pride and joy, my garden, is doing phenomenal. this season. Last night I made my first batch of pizza sauce from some 50+ tomatoes I picked over the weekend.

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I also and the proud grower of a watermelon! Brian wants to pick it so badly, but I think it needs a few more days. I have never been so pumped to have grown something in my life haha.Watermleon

In other news, B and I just got back from a weekend trip to Buffalo, NY. My family had a family reunion and we had a great time.

I’ve got a few furniture projects I want to finish before the summer is over and I get crazy busy with school — a dresser and two nightstands to be exact. Here’s hoping I can find the time and cool weather to tackle each project!