Friday after checking out of our hotel, we were super excited to go check out the annual Antique and Garden Show at the Nashville Convention Center (located conveniently right across from our hotel.) We’d heard from a few fellow-confrencers that it was a good show and the Beefy Broads are always on the lookout for crafty things. So, we headed over….stopping at a few Nashville landmarks on the way:
Finally, we arrived at the convention center. And, everything started off fantastically……
We were immediately wowed by some of the artistic garden installations. The first one, right as you walk in, was wild…..These green human forms were hanging over a garden pool. Upon closer examination, I realized that they were human chia pets. Way cool! The flower’s fragrances were also intoxicating.
Surrounding the chia pets, were a bunch of floral arrangements in stumps. Each had its own color scheme. Among the flowers were some interesting additions — apples and artichokes.
The last beautiful garden installation was called the “Moon Bridge.” It was really spectacular, as well. The reflection into the pool below really sealed the deal.
We began walking around the vendor maze on an artistic high. We were chomping at the bit to find vintage treasures. What we should have noticed when we first walked in, but we were instead distracted by the beautiful garden installations, was that we were surrounded by obscenely rich people. That should have been our first clue that this wasn’t our gig. After walking by three booths where every piece was priced at over $5,000, we finally admitted that we were way out of our league.
I cannot describe to you the antique roller coaster low that we fell into. We had been able to survive nauseating school bus rides and mind-numbing conference workshops only because we knew that this show was waiting for us. We had giggled into the night about what we’d hoped to find — vintage sewing machines, eclectic knick-knacks, more sewing notions. What we found instead were stuffy antiques and measly garden representation. We were dejected.
We got our $15 worth by taking pictures of stuffy antiques that we, or my DH, could DIY. Here are some of those:
We tried to bolster our spirits by telling each other that we would stop at some fun antique stores on drive home. So, we loaded up the car and rolled out of Nashville. Unfortunately, we didn’t find any additional antique stores that looked worth a stop. What we did see was a sign for Dollywood. And, I don’t know how we didn’t realize it before, but Dolly’s hometown is only 5 miles off of I-40.
As we pulled off the interstate headed for Seiverville, TN, we began seeing all kinds of antique store signs. Things were looking up. And then, upon cresting a hill, we saw the great Smoky Mountains before us. Good God almighty, they are majestic. That alone was worth getting off of I-40 for. Welcome back, antique high! We decided that the first order of business needed to be food. We were both starved. With that simple decision, we sealed our antiquated fates. What we had failed to realize was that it was close to 5pm. After we finished our “lunch” and pulled up in front of our first antique store (which looked AMAZING BTW–old claw foot tubs and wagon wheels in the front yard, tons of glassware and old gasoline signs in the windows), we were greeted by the shopkeeper turning the “open” sign over to “closed”. We tried another store and another store, where we were met with the same thing. Oh Dolly Parton, why hast thou hometown forsaken us?!? We even payed you homage by listening to “Jolene” on the way in……
We did the only thing we could, tucked our tail between our legs and pointed our trusty steed north. The whole drive back to Virginia was accompanied by a raincloud, both literally and figuratively. All of those enticing and mysterious antique stores just out of our reach……We were so let down. But, the Beefy Broads are resilient and we were not about to give up. Upon saying goodbye to our rental car and each other, we made a pledge before God and Shaggy that we would antique again the next day AND we would triumph.