Sunday, April 04, 2010

Welcome to Florida, Day 2

By the way, as an information note, our vehicle of choice for the week we are down here is a Toyota Corolla. So if I happen to disappear for several days and you read of a Corolla trying to imitate the General Lee off one of the innumerable draw bridges that are in the Tampa Bay area you may safely assume that A. I'm dead and B. Toyota is still working on that accelerator problem.

Anyway, today's adventures in Floridaland took us to the Wagon Wheel Flea Market. I mentioned this on Facebook last night, only to have my mother pop up and tell me she was envious because it's one of her favourite places to go in Florida.

I think I have different feelings about it. For example, I can't be sure, but I think I nearly died there about 30 years ago. I've only been to St. Pete's area once before and it was in 1982. And my sole memory of the place was visiting a flea market in the middle of July and passing out from heat stroke. The next three or four days was spent in bed being pumped full of fluids while I tried to recover.

I'm not sure it was the Wagon Wheel, but I remember it was a big flea market and, sure God, there can't be too many more places like the Wagon Wheel even in a place like Florida.

So yes, some trepedation about heading out there. We actually bought very little. Some bags that are supposed to be good at preserving fruit and some DVDs at prices that I suspect might mean they were obtained in less than legal means.

But, but by God if I wanted t-shirts featuring heavy metal bands, I had hit the gold mine. I think the Wagon Wheel is where metal band t-shirts go to die. I also mentioned this on Facebook and a depressing number of my friends asked if I was going back and for me to pick them up. The answer is No. And also a reminder that science has proven that prolonged exposure to metal leads to acquiring a taste for country music. So you've been warned.

Actually, that might explain the guy performing country music in the beer tent area, now that I think about it.

I guess it was an interesting enough place. We spent about two hours walking around the place and that's about all we needed. I mean, I don't know how many t-shirts, 1000 thread "genuine" Egyptian cotton bed sheets, Slap chops, socks, cheap jewelry and useless knickacks you need, but I assure you the Wagon Wheel has it.

Although, really, the guys selling VHS and cassette tapes outside (the majority of the market is in a sheltered area) were the ones I really felt sorry for. If this is how you're spending your weekend - trying to sell washed out copies of Roadhouse on VHS and INXS and Def Leopard cassette tapes - then I think the emotion I have for you is pity, with perhaps just a hint of wanting to put you our of your misery.

The best table? The guy selling fresh fruit and swords, flying stars and knives. I could have bought a flat of strawberries for $6 (if you live in Nunavut, it's all right to weep now) and then apparently cut them up in overly elaborate ways.

So that was todays main adventure. Tomorrow we're going to do the main shopping blitz by hitting outlet stores. That should also be fascinating.

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