Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Most Amazing General Store Ever!

Last week I traveled from North Georgia to Williamsburg, VA for the Make Mine Pink 1st Annual "Getting Down to Business" Retreat with another Pink Sister and let me tell you we had a blast! We took our time on the road going up to the event and while we were in North Carolina
 we saw a billboard for a "Tour of Homes" in Salisbury, N.C. Well, we soon discovered that most of the billboards we saw in N.C. were out of date, but we still found a lot to do up there in Salisbury!

My travel partner, Inka, of  Inklings Designs, was a perfect match for me. We both felt adventurous and were in the mood to explore. Given the fact that both of us love to talk, we often missed our turns and exits and as we'd already made several references to ourselves as being very "Thelma and Louise" like on this trip, my cohort stared calling me "Turn Around Thelma". That's ok, I can live with that. I called her "Louise Grace" as she is, um, how shall I put it ... inadvertently destructive ... so not the graceful one - but she is hilarious!

Our first stop was at a lovely little Cottage Shop, where the owner, Linda, was as sweet as she could be. She has a lovely shop and we had a great conversation, found a few goodies to buy and we did not do any damage there.  Linda pointed us to Salisbury and off we went to see what we could get into there. So far, so good!

We rolled into town and we were looking for an antiques place Linda had mentioned, but we spied the Okey Dokey General Store and my van literally just whipped into the parking lot and dumped us out there! (It's so well trained!). Oh My Goodness!! I just cannot begin to describe how delicious this place is! I couldn't take it all in, there were so many wonderful displays and the building itself is phenomenal, over 100 years old, with the original tin ceilings, a gorgeous soda fountain in the back, and seriously I do think they had everything under the sun in that one building! 

The staff there are so cheerful and knowledgeable, very helpful too. I told one of the ladies (I forgot to get her name!) why we were coming through town and asked if I could take some photos to put on my blog. The owner, who was completely absorbed in trying to get an old cash register working, gave us permission to take photos upstairs (not sure why the basement was off limits, but there was some extraordinary furniture and props and stuff down there!)

So, I could go on and on about how much fun we were having, but lets look at some photos first... you won't believe this is only a fraction of the displays they have in this place!

This is my favorite photo of all - I want these chairs!!

So, shall I say more about our adventures in Salisbury? I guess I should explain how Inka got her nickname of "Grace".  After a couple of hours exploring the general store we went across the street and found a little shop that had some metal signs that Inka wanted to check out. Of course we never meet strangers and I was busy trying to check my email on my i-phone so I sat down and chatted with the owner of the shop while Inka looked at the signs on the wall. Well, she found one she wanted to see up close and there was one of those carpet display units on the floor beneath it. Inka started pushing to flip the samples over so she could reach the sign and she was struggling mightily with it. So of course the store owner, Karen, and I are encouraging her to push push harder you can do it come on give it all you've got ... and she did. And she broke the end of the display smooth off! I'm talking the heavy welded metal rack that the samples rest on on the side! She pushed broke that sucker right off!! OMG! I have never laughed so hard in my life! I couldn't help it, the look on her face was priceless. If I hadn't been laughing so hard I might have thought to aim my phone camera at her! Karen was really cool about it, she said "Hey, you did me a favor, I hate that thing!! Whew, thank goodness someone in the situation had some grace!

So, we bailed out of there with Karen asking to come with us! We decided to grab some lunch before heading out of town so we went next door and sat down and ordered. Karen came over to meet a friend of hers for lunch and waved at us. While we were waiting on our food, Inka headed back to the ladies room and when she came back her face was 40 shades of red!! Seems she decided to take a picture of something hanging on the wall in the back of the restaurant and she backed over a Wet Floor sign and broke it!! Holy Cow.  Just as she was telling me this, the manager of the restaurant comes over, puts his arm around my shoulders and whispers "OK, which one of you is Thelma and which is Louise?"  Great, our reputation has preceeded us because he had not even had time to discover the damage "Grace" had done in there yet! 

I must say I drove very carefully back through there on Sunday, looking to see if any of the billboards had our wanted pictures on them. Lucky for us they are not swift about changing those up in North Carolina!


Lori @ Katies Rose Cottage said...

Dianne ~
It sounds like you and Inka had a blast !
I love that general store ~ it is wonderful ~

Craft Diva said...

omg...that is a great store, dianne. i think i see eileen's display in!!! next time i am flying to georgia and riding with you guys!!! lol.

Susie said...

Great post Dianne! You and Inka had a blast. Sure wish I lived along the way. Thanks for sharing those magnificent pics.
Susie of The Polka Dot Rose

sita said...

I am coming on your next road trip that store is to die for! Thank you for sharing!

gail said...

Hi Dianne, that store is so awesome. We sure dont have anything like that out here in the west. I thought I was gonna die laughing at the story of Inka and her gracefulness!!!! Thanks for sharing..luv,g ail

Inka Thomas said...

OMG!!!! We had so much fun. I am surprised I did not get arrested that day for jay walking or something like that. I could just hear you having to call Tom to come bail me out because you were going to Williamsburg!!! LOL Can't wait for our next trip Thelma.

Marie said...

Hi Dianne,
That general store is really something. I have never seen a store like that. Thanks for sharing, and also thanks for sharing your hilarious adventures.

Janet Bernasconi said...

Hi Dianne!

It was so good to see you in VA! OMG I just love all the pictures. I would go So glad you had fun. Can't wait to see you again in Chicago.
Have a great day and weekend!
Janet's Creative Pillows

Francie of The Scented Cottage said...

What a hoot ! Sounds like you had as much fun getting to the Retreat as we all did once we got there.

Thanks for sharing.


Debbie said...

Sounds like you two had a ball....and I would LOVE to go to that General Store!

Pssst! I have three of those metal yard chairs on the back porch at the cottage...they are pink, blue and white and verrrry rusty.


Patricia said...

Well, how about all us northerners fly south and drive up with this infamous duo? We could rent a huge van. That is some store, what a find. It was a good chuckle to read the adventures,


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