Thursday, May 21, 2009

Bikes and antiques

J. and I were in the Springfield, Ohio vicinity this past weekend. He had a race in Yellow Springs, which is a hippie-ish little town with lots of bike trails and charming older homes. When I saw that the huge Springfield Antiques and Flea Market Extravaganza was taking place that weekend, we invited his parents to come along and make a mini-vacation of it: bike-racing (or, in our case, bike-race-watching) and antiquing.

Some highlights from the trip:
  • J. placed second in the race
  • We discovered Grinnell Mill, a restored mill turned into a bed-and-breakfast with a neat open layout inside, with a door in the middle of each of the 3 floors of the mill
  • A set of 8 solid wood chairs found a new home

The flea market was overwhelming. J.'s mom and I stopped at the edge of the monstrous sprawl of booths and looked at each other, a little dumbfounded. It seemed that every corner you turned, several new paths unfolded before you. There were a few interesting booths in the middle of all the typical antiques and collectibles. One booth had a selection of architectural salvage--elegant porch posts, doorjambs, and archways, which were curiously arresting all by their lonesome, apart from a house. Another booth had what seemed to be the entire contents of an old sewing factory--wooden spools of all shapes and sizes to shelves full of huge spools of thread spanning the colors of the rainbow.

We also spent some time on the one of the bike trails in Miami Valley, where they've converted railroad rights of way to bike trails. I wish Kentucky had a similar extensive system of "rails to trails."

Of course, a visit to this part of Ohio was not complete without a stop at the Historic Clifton Mill for one of their plate-sized pancakes.

I came home feeling like we'd had a week-long vacation.

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