Hometown Adventure + Thrifty Finds

Oh man. I don’t even know where to start. To say that our Thanksgiving trip to visit my family in my hometown was an adventure would be a major understatement. Misadventure is more like it. I’ve been trying to figure out how to write this post without it sounding like a series of complaints. I don’t want to be all “Debbie Downer” on you. The truth is, I don’t look back at our trip and think it was terrible. We had a great visit. But it sure did seem like the universe was throwing a whole lot of obstacles in our way while we attempted to venture home to Indiana.

We left Atlanta the Sunday before Thanksgiving. We usually drive about halfway and spend the night in Nashville. It’s a long way home and this just makes it easier on all of us, plus we usually make a nice little day of it and explore the city while we’re there. Everything was smooth sailing on the first leg of our trip. We got to Nashville just fine and had a great dinner at The Row Kitchen & Pub. The next morning was another story. We got in our car to grab breakfast on our way out of town and immediately our “check engine” light came on in the car, and the entire car began shaking. Our kids were hungry, it was freezing cold outside, and quite frankly “ain’t nobody got time for that.” We called Triple A and they told us they would come tow it. Um, to where? And what are we supposed to do in the meantime with two kids and a car overflowing with luggage? No thanks. Instead, they directed us to an auto repair shop about a mile down the road and we drove our shaking car there on our own.

The man at the auto repair place was extremely nice and seemed genuinely concerned. He had a busy schedule that day but put our car in the front of the line and promised to finish as quickly as he could. He let us borrow a car to drive around town while we waited, which I am so thankful for. I don’t think our kids would’ve waited very patiently in that tiny shop for the 5 hours or so it took for him to fix the car. We killed time by going out to brunch, exploring a local mall, venturing into a Barnes & Noble (one of my kids’ favorite places), and my personal favorite, visiting Antique Archaeology. This is an antique shop/tourist trap made famous on the History Channel’s TV show American Pickers. It was definitely worth visiting, although much smaller than I expected. It’s housed inside the old Marathon car factory which is a very cool building.

Antique Archaeology in Nashville

I loved all of the vintage typewriters. I’ve been wanting one for a long time, but these were a bit out of my price range.

Typewriters at Antique Archaeology in Nashville

We finally got our car back and left town (much poorer than we came, I should add). We got half-way home and the boys needed a potty break, so we pulled off an exit only to find that the two lone gas stations there had no working restrooms, and there were no restaurants nearby. We had to get back on the highway and search for a bathroom, which at this point was just plain not fun. Then, we strolled into town (Muncie, IN) and were almost to my mom’s house only to find that the road leading to her house was closed. It was 11pm, 8 hours later than we had originally planned on arriving, the kids were sleepy, we were exhausted, and we just looked at each other and said, “Are you kidding me?!?!?!”. We took a little detour and finally got to my mom’s and went straight to bed. We really thought that we’d never get there.

The next few days were a nice chance to relax with family. I got to meet my sweet baby niece for the first time and love on my sweet nephew. We had a good time. However, my youngest son developed a really nasty cough and I had to take him to urgent care the day after Thanksgiving. He had pnuemonia — no fun. He is more susceptible to it since he has asthma, but he felt pretty lousy. He’s feeling better now, although my oldest has a nasty cough now and had to visit the doctor instead of heading back to school on Monday. No pneumonia for him, thankfully, just a cold which has triggered his asthma.

Now, since I’ve vented the ridiculousness that was our trip, I do want to focus on the positives too. Like I said, we got to spend time with family. My mom hosted her side of the family for Thanksgiving so I was able to see my grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, siblings, etc. I also visited my dad’s side of the family. I got to eat at my favorite local pizza place (twice!).  The boys got a chance to see quite a bit of snow between Nashville and Indiana, which they were really excited about.

Chris and I went thrifting at a local flea market housed inside an old school building that my uncle owns. I scored a few good deals — two milk glass pieces and a cute pewter chalice (all perfect to use as vases!) for $1 – 2.00 each.

Milk glass + pewter

These were my first milk glass purchases and I’m definitely a fan. These were the best prices I’ve seen. I know a lot of people collect it. (P.S. If you missed my tutorial for the monogram wreath pictured above, you can find that here.)

Milk glass

Also, my grandma indulged my antique hoarding ways by giving me this old box from her basement.

Antique wooden box

She was going to get rid of it and I quickly informed her that she is not allowed to get rid of anything before running it by me first. ;) The nerve.

Anyway, it’s a very cool old box that just needs to be cleaned up a bit. It had several classic toy cars inside that belonged to my dad as a child, and I remember playing with them as a kid too. They’re not in the best shape but some are still in one piece. They’re actually pretty large, and the box is larger than it appears in the photos too.

Antique toy cars

She also gave me her marble slab and marble rolling pin.

Marble slab and rolling pin

If you follow me on Instagram then you’ve already seen “the hutch that got away.” I spotted this hutch at the flea market priced at $75! It would be so pretty painted. I was so sad that we didn’t have a way to get it home. Bummer. I totally would’ve snatched it up if it was local. Unfortunately we don’t often see prices like that ’round these parts.

Flea market hutch

I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving (if you live in the U.S.) and I hope your travels went more smoothly than ours! At least our trip home was uneventful. I skipped the Black Friday shopping this year. Did you go, and if so, did you score any bargains? Let me know!

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  1. Wow, doesn’t it seem that what can go wrong, will go wrong?? My friends always chided me for worrying and trying to be prepared for calamities. What a wonderful man to loan you a car and work on your car first!! I’m glad you got there safely aside from being late, and those great antique finds are something. Thanks for sharing.

    • Erin @ DIY on the Cheap says:

      Thanks Myrna! Yes, when it rains it pours! That’s for sure. But I’m thankful we are home safe and ended up having a nice visit with my family.

  2. You have every right to complain– breaking down on a roadtrip is NO fun. Especially with kids! But the goodies you scored… woo-hoo! They’re awesome. I love the wooden box and the marble board and rolling pin is a treasure! (I spotted one at the thrift store a few weeks ago and they wanted $35 just for the slab! At a THRIFT STORE!)


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