August 04, 2011 | By: Imelda Corney

Thanks Jill for saving me a bundle on my recent staycation.

I’m finally friends with Jill, the navigator who gives directions to Never-Neverland addresses I call flea markets, antique stores or garage sales, where my husband instantly changes into a child again! I am done contemplating whether or not buying a GPS was worth it; it turned out that it was. I spent my last vacation going along with my husband as he hunted for one man’s trash and claimed it as his treasure. Each time he has kept a well practiced poker face (his excitement deeply buried inside him) as he meticulously checks collectible items, antiques or knick knacks. Once satisfied, he would then start his ‘haggling’ techniques. He rarely makes an offer; instead he asks what the best selling price would be for the item. He knows when to walk away if the selling price is higher than the figure he had in mind.  The one exception was when he found this antique walking cane with a silver handle. He really wanted it so he just bought it at a 5% discount so no one else will buy it just as soon as we left the booth.

As for me, I don’t particularly fancy going through old stuff that were maybe once owned by people who have passed away, and make them my own. My husband’s passion for antiques makes him happy so I patiently wait, browse, and wait some more. After all, he was right--we we’re on our v-a-c-a-t-i-o-n so we didn’t have to worry about time.

Actually, we chose a good week to be away.  The weather was hot as he  coolly played  the antiquing game and I had fun playing along with him. Each morning, armed with a hand sanitizer in one hand, Jill (remember, the GPS) in the other, off we went to our destination for the day.

After four mornings of short jaunts from one antique mall to the other, garage sales, antique shows and flea markets, we came home relaxed and happy. This vacation was one of those few times (yes few times only) that my husband had to put his foot down and ignore my ‘I want’…’I want…’ tirades. Well, who needed the Dominican Republic or Cuba’s last minute deals when we had the same sun, fun and resort accommodation in Collingwood, Ontario? We explored the lovely Georgian Bay area, played in the water and sunbathed in beautiful Wasaga and Sauble Beaches. The antiquing was a plus too.

Although my husband came home a bit  nostalgic, coming across an old washboard, old cooking stove, etc.,  he brought home an antique walking cane and a couple of pleasure moments figurines. What the heck, I also brought home a ‘unique’ Royal Doulton cup and saucer and a couple of knick knacks. Furthermore, we truly enjoyed the large fresh Ontario grown cherries and blue berries. We had so much fun for a fraction of the cost of an out-of-town travel.

I also noticed that the younger generation is into antiquing now too. Maybe because haggling for the best price before purchasing a ‘collectible’ item is fun, eco-friendly and ‘green’. So I made a deal with my husband - we can go antiquing together but he will not allow his obsession to become a hoarding habit.

Well thanks again Jill – you’re a pal. You took us to charming small towns and other places in Ontario we really enjoyed discovering.


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