Alameda Flea is practically its own country. I mean, people told us it was big, but they didn't tell us it was bring-water-bottles, pack-food, wear-running-shoes-big. We intended to spend about an hour or so walking around and buying a few things, but we ended up leaving four hours later, with only a teeny tiny flea-market taco to eat, half a sprite in our bellies, and literally not even a dime in our pockets. Seriously. We had to scrounge at the bottom of our bags to get enough coins to share a soda. Yeah. This place is big.
If you've been there before, you may have had the same experience, or you may think we are total idiots for not preparing better (like, running a few marathons to prepare? Eating a large and healthy breakfast? Taking way more cash? )
This table was Amelie-heaven: piles of old baseball mitts!
But we were pretty surprised at our major bargain success today. We didn't get to the flea early, like the smart people do, so we thought most, if not every, good deal would be taken and we would probably come out empty handed.
So here's the loot for the restaurant: a beautiful, old, framed etching of some countryside somewhere, $15. A pair of antique porcelain light fixtures (invisible in my bag) for $15. Four awesome rusty, heavy, horse-grain-feeders that we will use for wall sconces (hidden in Amelie's bag), $45. Maybe the best deal? Four, large, green and white metal lamp shades, all four for 50 bucks. Ridiculous! And yes, now we have twelve of them! All different shapes and sizes, but all the same green. I love it.
And here's some loot for me: A gorgeous Moroccan hand woven rug, about three feet by five feet, $30. I think I practically stole it.
Walking for four hours and what felt like three miles, in circles, in the sun, carrying stuff, isn't an easy day. I had to leave Amelie sitting in the outskirts of the parking lot with all our stuff, and walk the mile and a half back to the car to fetch it. Whew!
We had so much fun, we're definitely going back next month! But earlier. And with sun screen. And with a hand truck or cart. And better shoes. And water. And snacks. And we're finding closer parking. And we're leaving earlier so we don't get stuck in traffic.
So we're going back but we're pretty much doing everything differently.