Antique Alley along Route 4 in New Hampshire.
28 miles of antique shops. 28. Miles. of. antiques.
That's a whole lot of stuff to look at.
But we were ready. We were full of breakfast and ready to spend.
Antiquing is not for the faint of heart.
Most shops deal with clutter issues. And by issues, I mean,
sometimes there is so very much in the shop that you cannot
focus your eyeballs on any one thing.
Several times we had to take breathers.
Sometimes you walk into a shop and immediately cry "uncle".
Because you just can't take it all in.
But then other times a corner of blue catches your eye and
you wade your way in and find that special little piece of something
that your mantel has been crying out for.
When we are antiquing, we will call out across the store,
"Mom, come look at this!" or "Jenny, here is some more Cape Cod."
Cape Cod is a type of pressed glass that Jenny collects.
Or I'll call out, "Traci, here is your depression glass."
And almost always, I am wrong. I have bought several wrong pieces
of depression glass for Traci, my sister-in-law, but she is always
gracious and doesn't hold my faults against me.
We started out with an empty car and by the end of our trek
had picked up a manual typewriter, a quilt, some Cape Cod, of course,
and even a dresser. And when we were done...we were done.
We embarked on a celebratory dinner at Johnsons Steak and Seafood.
A roadside diner that beckoned us with its loaded parking lot and
a sign that said "dairy bar". The sign had a giant lobster suspended
over a giant ice cream cone. That ice cream cone was the clincher.
We headed inside and sat down for a scrumptious dinner.
Haddock, steak tips and warm fresh baked bread.
The portions were rather large, in keeping with our monumental
breakfasts. But we saved space for the dairy bar.
Because we don't mess around when it comes to ice cream.
Apparently, neither does Johnsons.
Because those ice cream scoops where the size of a small child's head.
We ordered kiddie scoops, people. And when they handed me my scoop of
Rocky Road loveliness all I could say was,
"Do you have a kiddie kiddie scoop?"
After the first bite, we all dug in with renewed vigor because it was truly
scrumptious stuff. I can guarantee you that there was high butter fat content.
Jenny, Traci and I began to taper off toward the end.
I already told you that my stomach had taken issue with the waist band of my pants.
They were not getting along as they should.
But Mom and Erica looked at us in disdain.
They were not about to let a single drop of that creamy goodness go to waste.
They did themselves proud. They finished their mammoth scoops in triumph.
Erica gave Mom a high five. And then they took their picture beneath
the giant ice cream sign. Because they could.
They had finished what they started. It was a grand ice cream moment.
We climbed back in the car to head back to the b&b.
And it wasn't but 5 minutes later that we began to hear the moaning.
It began softly and was intermitently mingled
with a huffing of deep breaths as if maybe a little bit of deep breathing
could relieve some of the pressure of all that glorious butter fat
that had found its way into Mom and Erica's tender tummys.
The joy of the giant Johnson's cone was quickly coming to an end.
We're not sure if it was the seat belts cutting into the over full stomachs,
the jouncing on the poorly paved route or the realization the stomach
can not fully contain a Johnsons kiddie scoop of ice cream,
but Mom turned to Erica and said,
"Have you ever heard the saying Pride goeth before the fall?"
To which Erica answered back,"Mom, I take back my high five."
And I can't lie, this gave me a little bit of the giggles.
Not that I enjoyed them being in pain. But they were so giddy over
their ice cream completion just moments before.
You could see the glee on their faces. Just look at that picture.
That is ice cream pride at it's finest.
And all too soon it came crashing down.
For the rest of the trip, all we had to do was mention "ice cream"
and Mom and Erica would begin the deep breathing again.
Even now as I'm typing, I feel a little giggle brewing.
But I don't judge them. No, I don't.
Because even now I'm dreaming of Johnsons.
I don't know when I will ever find my way back to New Hampshire
but you know if I do, I will surely be skipping dinner
and going in search of a Johnson's kiddie scoop.
And then I am going to have my picture taken beneath the sign.