Friday, March 4, 2011

Mrs. Peel's Most Excellent Adventure

Duane and I hit the road early this morning for several juicy sounding estate sales in South Tampa. We had maps we'd printed from the night before (good old MapQuest) and, once again, Duane was at the wheel as I navigated. Big bummer at our first and most promising stop. A handpainted sign on cardboard sitting on the front porch of the house. "Estate Sale cancelled for Friday." WHAT???!!! We suspected we were not the only prospective buyers who were extremely annoyed by this. It was still listed on the Internet estate sale site this morning (Duane checked) and later, when I got home, I checked and it was still there with Friday AND Saturday for the dates. The nice thing about the 'net is that the poster may correct their listing at any time. NIGHT OR DAY. It would have taken less time than it did to make that sign, although they did need to have the sign up for anyone who hadn't checked the latest on their ad. Sigh.

That sale had been the closest (to Duane's house) and the most promising, due to the lengthy listing of items, we had chosen. However, I had printed the listings and small maps for two other South Tampa sales -- both much further away. We set out for the closest of these sales.

Much better! This sale was in a lovely older home where the daughter of the owner was selling what she didn't choose to keep of her mother's many collectibles. Along with a pristine copy of The Desiderata, suitable for framing, Duane snagged a beautiful calligraphy set -- blue and white ceramic pieces -- and I found the coolest silver button hook.
I've never come across one of these at an estate sale before. I also found two enamel on copper pieces. I have a weakness for enamel. This lady had quite a few lovely small items carved from ivory which were obviously very old but still a bit pricey and not what either of us was looking for. Nice, though, for anyone interested in ivory which, if I'm not mistaken, may no longer be legal, at least not in the U.S. One item was a beautiful carving of an elephant. Actually, we saw numerous figures of elephants of various ages and various materials. (Danny, take note.)

On to the third and last sale of the morning. We could tell from the small map that I'd printed that it was located in an older neighborhood bordered by two main streets we were familiar with. Easy peasy. Unless, of course, you find that the street names aren't exactly echoing the map. Many of the streets in this area stop and then begin again at various locations. We did see some very nice houses during our journey although we wondered (not for the first time) why so many people in Florida like to paint their houses either a too-bright pink or too-bright yellow. (Are Miami Vice repeats still airing?) In and out and in and out of half circle streets, dead end streets and circular streets (those were pesky) and still no sign of the address we were searching for, although we did travel many of the streets noted on the MapQuest map that supposedly were near our destination.

We decided to go a little further down one of the main streets on the map and noticed that we were now in Port Tampa. A little trivia for anyone who cares -- reality TV 'personality' and former wrestler Hulk Hogan, a product of too much sun and peroxide, grew up in Port Tampa. End of story. By now, Duane and I were getting punchy and began going back and forth from irritation to laughing. MapQuest had become that 'bleeping' MapQuest. We finally headed back to another main street that was supposed to be near the elusive estate sale but not as close (according to MapQuest) as the street we originally took. Presto! We suddenly saw an actual sign for the estate sale on a side street that we passed. We doubled back and, ta-da!, we had arrived.

After losing an hour to find this place at least it was worthy of taking a look. Once again, a woman was selling her mother's items that she didn't want and everything in the house was for sale. Nice selection of, well, a little bit of everything. Besides being a collector, this lady was also a 'crafty' person so there were lots of items related to painting, sewing, wedding cakes and, unbelievably, calligraphy! Duane scored a very nice tablet of calligraphy paper and a beautiful old laser cut Japanese bookmark. I found a lovely silverplate bookmark in the shape of Queen Elizabeth I still in it's original package from the U.K.

Apparently this lady bought bookmarks when she traveled. The pics I've shown here of the bookmark and the button hook are both as I purchased them -- they haven't been cleaned yet.

We found a Panera's and treated ourselves to chocolate croissants with hot Chai Tea for Duane and iced coffee (nectar of the gods) for me. Oh, well, we've now both seen parts of town that we'd either never seen (me) or hadn't seen for so long that they had greatly changed (Duane). Ta! until the next trip.


  1. What a great day!! Mrs. Peal was on her best behavior and took us through all the trials and tribulations foisted on us by Mapquest.

  2. Ack! MapQuest is now a dirty word. But we beat it. We didn't give up. We prevailed. :P

  3. This sounds most excellent! And you got some interesting items. You two rock!

  4. We wish you had been able to come with us. :( Maybe next time!