Saturday, March 14, 2009

Virginia Bazaar, Latin Chicken, Wood Shavings

We’ve driven past the Virginia Bazaar indoor flea market at Exit 110 off of I-95 many times, and have heard the horrendous, yet catchy, jingle of its ads. So we thought that a trip down there would be a good outing to save for a rainy day. With nothing else on the agenda today, we headed to Ladysmith in the rain to check out the scene. From the ads, I always secretly thought that the place would be some kind of magical emporium, filled with fantastic treasures everywhere I turned, and bargains that no sane person could pass up. I was hoping that it would even be a great destination to take out-of-town guests when the weather was bad. Turned out, I was wrong. The place is filled with the same kinds of “antiques” (read: used stuff) and collectible crap you can find just about anywhere. Now, I know some people are serious collectors of sports memorabilia or beanie babies or vintage glassware, but for the rest of you, if you haven’t been here, you haven’t missed a thing. I will admit that maybe a rainy March day wasn't the best time to judge the place. There is space for many outdoor vendors, and maybe in the summer, the atmosphere is more fun if the outdoor vendors are out in force. On the plus side, admission and parking is free, and it's a pleasant enough drive down there (take Rt. 1 for the scenic tour of rural Caroline), so we'll probably give it another go in the summer just to make sure we didn't miss anything.

Tons of sports memorabilia. Not my cup of tea.

There were a lot of framed, signed original jerseys that were kind of cool to see, like this one of Boog Powell's. I guess this is the kind of decor you'd want if you owned a sports bar:

Honestly, does anyone even collect beanie babies anymore?

You can get all the books you want from the book sale at the library for $2 or less. No need to spend $7 on these:

Really? People BUY this stuff?

Priceless antiques, I'm sure:

Look, the kind of old stereo equipment all of us used to have, like speakers the size of telephone booths:

To salvage the outing, we decided to stop for a bite on the way home at Pollo Campero, a fast food restaurant at Cosner’s Corner. We don’t generally go for fast food, but this one held out the promise of the kind of tasty grilled chicken we’ve gotten at the Peruvian-style rotisserie chicken places in town. The restaurant is relatively new to the U.S., with only 34 franchises in this country, but with many more locations in Mexico and Central America. Known as “the Latin KFC,” the company’s mission is to be the leading Latin American chicken restaurant chain in the world, and I’d guess they have that distinction locked up. The place was packed when we got there, and we were the only gringos in sight, an excellent sign. The food was pretty good, and had some Latin specialties you don’t find too often, like yucca fries, fried plantains, and flan. But don’t go there if you don’t want chicken, because that’s all they have. No burgers, no sandwiches, no vegetarian options—just chicken, fried or grilled, in a handful of permutations. Not as fast or as cheap as more typical fast food chains, but worth a visit for sure.

Then a quick stop at World Market, because I love that store so much, where I wandered the aisles until I stopped dead at this display. And I knew that for all of the readers of my blog who are serious wood shaving aficionados, I had to take this photo. Woodfan69 and Woodforbrains520, this is for you. I know you grow your own free-range wood shavings up there in the northern outlands, and thought you might like to see this photo of wood shavings in captivity.

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