↳Today is my birthday! I'm off enjoying being home with my greyhound for the day, lunching with the girls in the office, after work drinks, and dinner reservations (S made them as a surprise). To start the day, I thought I'd share photos from our weekend in Mount Dora. Five years ago we went for my birthday. S said I could pick something out that would be my birthday gift. It could be one thing worth x amount of dollars, or a few things worth x amount of dollars. I went home with one thing: the most beautiful magnifying glass necklace from a manufacturer in the UK. We found it at the antique mall above which we always have a hard time finding, but know we've found it once we see the gargoyles.
This year, we decided to do the same thing we did back then; spend the day antiquing and we could both find my gift. We stopped here first, and I was quietly hoping to find another magnifying glass necklace from the same manufacturer and vendor. The vendor that sold my necklace no longer is there, but I was wearing my necklace and asked the shop owner if he knew where the vendor went. He recognized it, knew the vendor by name, and sent us off to the extensive outdoor antique market. We planned to go there anyway, but now we were equipped with a name, and a booth location.
↳We started first with some pastries to snack on at a little cake shop before we walked around the little Mount Dora downtown. We ate warm hand pies (chocolate and pecan, and apple pie) as well as cream puffs. The cream puffs were so tasty, I could have eaten five more! But, we had lunch reservations after shopping for a little.
↳There's a little tea house in Mt. Dora that does high tea, something I definitely wanted to indulge in. We each got our own little tea pot; S enjoyed a calming chamomile/honey/vanilla blend, and I devoured two pots of a liquorice tea. There were finger sandwiches (cucumber and cream cheese was my favorite), jam pastries, crumbly scones, and delectable Queen's sponge cake. I love to snack on little things, whether bits of cheese and charcuterie, mixed nuts, or pastries. It was a relaxing and delicious lunch.
↳Goblin Market, The Frog and Monkey Pub, One Flight Up Cafe, etc, there are so many great little places that we love to revisit when we go to Mt. Dora. Goblin Market is great for lunch or even just a drink like a glass of wine on their second story that feels like an old lounge looking down on the streets below. The Frog and Monkey Pub is perfect for a pint of Stella Artois and is underground, so we like to score a table by a window and watch people's shoes go by.
↳This shop used to be open, but sadly it is now closed, along with a few other antique shops that were on the main street. Five years ago, I stood next to these beautiful, stone bookshelves and posed for a photo:
↳After enjoying some of our favorite spots in downtown Mt. Dora, we made our way to the outdoor antique market with tons of vendors, Renningers. We were in search of the vendor from years ago, as well as new treasures. Some of the booths are in structures like little shops with store fronts spilling into the "streets."
Since S and I have been together, nearly eight years now, we've loved to explore antique shops together. It's come to the point where we are in an antique shop and we'll see something for sale that we already own. And, we start to learn the value of items; we'll see our own items for sale and priced much higher than we paid for them. What's that quote by Oscar Wilde?
"Nowadays people know the price of everything and the value of nothing."
↳Mt. Dora is closer to us now that we've moved, so it took roughly half an hour to get there, which is such an improvement from the hour that it used to take! We just might visit more often... On our route, we pass by this old Pan Am plane in the distance, abandoned and on display at some airplane hangar. Every time we pass it, I wish I could get out of the car and sit on it's wings. We didn't sit on its wings, but we did hop out of the car to get a closer look. We didn't cross the plane runway, instead we stood on the train tracks and admired the nostalgia. For some reason, well before the show was ever made, I've loved Pan Am. I've never been on a Pan Am flight that I am aware of, but I love what Pan Am stood for when it was first flying. The opulence of the jet-setter, how luxurious it used to be to fly. Now, it's available to everyone which is wonderful, but being cramped into tiny seats, rushed through airports just to wait in lines, it's not a pleasant experience. I'm nostalgic for a time that I've never been a part of.
↳We made it to Renningers, section D, and it took me walking up and down the aisle twice before I saw it. My magnifying glass necklace, the same one that was hanging around my neck. Last time I had seen it, it was one of five different designs. The others were a little more ornate, some with metal coverings that slide across the glass. I opted for one that was simpler, with a little flora/fauna detail holding it to the chain. It is delicate, dainty, functional, well-made, and overall just a beautiful piece of jewelry. However, this time, the vendor did not have a lot of options available, and the same necklace that was around my neck was the prettiest in his display box. So we left, and I felt too embarrassed to ask what the name of the brand is. I didn't want to be seen as the shopper who goes on Google to find a better price, because it wasn't about price, it was about beauty, and nostalgia.
↳Instead of going home with another magnifying glass necklace to start a collection, we came home with various treasures. We found a wooden indoor barometer that looks like an old radio, perfect for our bookshelf, as well as a gilded and wooden candle snuffer, something I've been on the hunt for. We also came home with this old beauty. It was on a dusty shelf outside, among other automaton iron banks. There were porcelain clown heads that lifted their hands to their mouths and their eyes rolled back, depositing your coin into a bank. There was a dentist and a patient, flying back off their chairs, the dentist depositing a coin from his pocket. And then there was this beauty, an Acrobat Bank, in which with the push of a lever, the acrobat kicks a coin toward his companion, depositing it into a slot. So very dreamy, circus-like, sideshow and freakshow-esque.
↳S found a few cuckoo clocks, but being handmade intricately, they are almost always out of our budget. This one is tiny, with a waterfall, window plant boxes, and a girl on a swing that bounces to the second, keeping itself wound. She is so very lovely, and adds a therapeutic, lulling tick to our living room.
↳Lastly, there's this little purse, about the size of a paperback book. S picked it out for me because it matches my Pan Am carry-on bag with it's blue face and white lines. And of course, because it's of greyhounds. Overall, a very successful birthday trip. Afterwards, there was even Momofuku birthday cake.