On Friday, Benny and I took a trip we'd been planning for a while to Troy, NC. This tiny dot on the map is my cousin's old stomping ground and birthplace of Capel Rugs, and just down the road from Seagrove pottery country. The reason for this trip was two-fold: 1) Benny had the day off and we wanted a date day together, and 2) the annual clearance tent sale was going on at the original Capel store.
After an early, but leaisurely, breakfast of scrambled eggs with chorizo and garlic scapes (from our CSA) and homemade rolls with yummy blackberry jelly, we loaded up our picnic lunch into a cooler and loaded ourselves into the Jetta. Roadtrips are always fun times for us, and uninteruppted time to talk about things without being distracted by the "to do" list of the moment. The trip took about three hours, one way, so we had plenty of time to chat and to listen to the current book on CD (The Silver Chair by C.S. Lewis for this trip).
We arrived in Troy easily (thanks to Oliver, our British accented GPS phone app), and parking was thankfully a breeze. The tent sale outside was where the best bargains were, so we pulled out our paint chips (which now live in my purse, along with my small retractable tape measure) and began sifting through. We knew our budget, $100, for a large area rug for the living room and two smaller rugs for either side of our bed. Tall order, yes, but my cousin had said the prices were so good here we could definitely make that budget work. (Did I also mention these purchases were our anniversary gift to each other?) I fully intended to snap a few pics of the sale event, just to give you an idea of the place, but I fogot in the excitement. Most of the large rugs (5 x 7 or 6 x 8) out front were under $70 and they had many small rugs for as little as $10.
The traditional braided rugs were the most deeply discounted, so these were the ones we gravitated toward. I also liked these because they are primarily wool, a natural fiber, and because they are double sided, so when one side wears out, we simply flip it over, which gives it double the life.
After much discussion, comparison, and a little haggling with another customer over a rug we both liked, we came home with a large 5 x 7 oval rug for the living room and two smaller ones for either side of the bed. With tax, the bill was slightly over $110, just barely over our budget. But for rugs that will last us a lifetime, we both felt like we'd scored a deal. We love how the rug in the living room isn't too "matchy matchy" and has a rainbow of colors, so that if we decide to paint the room a different color one day, the rug will work with practically any color scheme. The rugs beside the bed follow a similar pattern, though the colors are more muted than those in the living room rug.
Once we had our purchases securely stuffed in the back seat of the Jetta (wonder car that it is), we ate our picnic lunch on the road (pot roast sandwiches, granola bars, and water in our reusable bottles), headed for Seagrove. Along the way, we hunted for a produce stand to buy some peaches, but found none. The mission to Seagrove was really just to check out the route and collect a map or two from the visitor's center to see if it was something we'd like to come back and do some other time. (Our concensus was that it should definitely be one of the next road trips, perhaps with other family who also enjoys handmade pottery.) Leaving Seagrove, we employed the help of Oliver, our friendly GPS, since we were leaving from a different place than we started.
We managed to time our trip back so that we just made Sonic's happy hour (with two minutes to spare!), so Benny enjoyed a half price strawberry limeade (90 cents), while I enjoyed a full price (shame, no icecream things on the happy hour menu) Butterfinger blast thing. (I've always been a sucker for those!) Since there's no Sonic in our hometown, hitting the Sonic happy hour was a small big deal to us; we love cheap thrills.
Of course, when we hauled the rugs inside once we got home, Lavender had to give things her sniff of approval. She also went over the top with the all-out roll and back scratch routine once we had the rugs in place. She seems to appreciate the softer rug underfoot in the living room; it has become her new favorite spot to attack the massive rawhide bone she got for Christmas. (Pictures to come later today.)
Have you found any fabulous end-of-year (fiscal year) sales on home goods? Had a great road trip or date outing with someone special? I'd love to hear about it!