It's 3 a.m. Illinois time and I'm tired. I mean really tired.
It's Friday morning and I've already promised our two oldest we'd make our annual journey.
We're not going somewhere exotic, just treasure-hunting in Southern Indiana.
It's an annual event. Sometimes we hit it big. Other times, we come home completely empty-handed.
I have no idea what is in store for us this visit. I just know it's really early and I'm dying for a cup of coffee.
We get dressed quickly and hop into the vehicle. We stayed with the grandparents so we didn't have to drive so far this morning.
The grandparents and little sister are now snug in bed. I'm totally jealous but excited for our little hunt.
Arriving at our destination, we stand in line with everyone else waiting for the local band fund-raiser to open at 4 a.m. Illinois time at the local fairgrounds. There will be new furniture, upholstered chairs, kitchen cabinets and such (we won't know until the big garage doors open), as well as flea market finds in the adjacent building.
As we stand, I'm running through a possible checklist in my mind of things I want for the studio - cozy chairs, unique props. I can still vividly see the red fainting couch that got away a few years ago in this very building. I just didn't see it fast enough. At $15, it was one of the first things to disappear.
As the doors open, the girls lead the way. We know the drill and walk past all the kitchen cabinets without so much as a glance. We aren't here for those today.
Heading back to the upholstered chairs, Hannah immediately spots a navy toile wing-back. The chair is beautiful, but the price is a little more than I want to spend for such a specific pattern. We move on.
Realizing we aren't having any luck, we head to the next building where Lindsey quickly finds a figurine.
We head to the next building - no luck.
We head to the fourth building. The price is right but the color scheme isn't.
We repeat all the buildings and pick up another figurine for Lindsey.
We've spent $2 and the gas it took to get here.
Forty-five minutes later, at 4:45 a.m., we're back in the car.
I text my husband about the two figurines. His response - "OMG."
Tired, we run past the bagel place and pick up a dozen tasty treats.
I hate when we can't find anything. The girls hate it more.
Not willing to admit defeat, (we drove to Indiana specifically for this sale), I have my mom watch the girls in the afternoon and I strike out on my own to search for props.
Visits to local stores don't bring much luck. I see my infamous red couch in white and had this one been red, it would now be sitting in the studio.
I visit shop and after shop after shop. Just before calling it a day, I hit this out-of-the-way place I've been to before. It was a total crapshoot.
Two huge rolls of upholstery fabric later, I'm not feeling quite so defeated. I've spent a whopping $3 and change. It's a bargain and I see endless uses.
Will we return next year for another sale? Only time will tell.