Day Two: Icy Roads and Sidewalks, Fender Benders and Finds

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View from my hotel room in the morning.

I got a decent price on the hotel, which was what inspired this trip in the first place, but its probably because the room hasn’t been updated in twenty years and I think that the thermostat is for decoration rather than function.  But the hotel is in a decent location away from the downtown crowds, so the streets are quieter at night, which is a bonus with the thin, single glazed windows.  So this morning I listed some items on ebay that I brought with me so I could get some “work” done this morning as well.  I did a mass listing for eight Tim Horton’s soup bowls (purchased, not stolen) and a pair of size 44 True Religion jeans.  I typically list Diesel and True Religion as “buy it now” for $39.99, but the final sales showed that I may be able to get more.  Since a got a bid within ten minutes, with a starting price of $39.99, it seems like the Lululemon resale rule applies to True Religion:  The bigger the size, the bigger the profit!

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The fatter the ass, the fatter the profit!

After listing, I went to the $14 breakfast buffet which was included last time since I was staying in a suite but I didn’t think it was worth $14.  The food was lukewarm.  But it was off to my first stops of the day which I took the car out for.  I needed to meet someone that I sold a vintage suitcase to on Abbotsford Bidding Wars and we were both coincidentally in Victoria at the same time.  So in order to make the most of taking the car out on dangerous streets, I went to a couple of home consignment stores: Super Chance and Good Things Consignment. But nothing good was to be found at either.  I also went to a Salvation Army thrift store that was a little off the beaten track but I bought a “Hallmark Keepsake” Eastern Bluebird ornament that I think I can make a few bucks on.  It was in a shopping cart full of stuff and I wasn’t sure if it was stock that was going out on the floor or of the cart belonged to a very enthusiastic shopper.  I grabbed it quickly, inspected the product, and paid.  But it was off to meet my buyer at the Capital City Centre Hotel, which was a former Traveller’s Inn that was renovated and rebranded after that local chain went out of business.

The exchange went off without a hitch, but the entrance was on a hill that was covered in ice.  I was fine getting in, but I didn’t want to careen out of control and hit the cars parked on either side of the road.  As I was inching out, a butter yellow Chrysler PT Cruiser came barreling down the hill and I thought to myself, “I can see this turning out poorly,” and I was correct.  The back end slid out, and he glanced off the bumper of this 1980s Ford pickup.  The impact cracked and dislodged the Chrysler’s bumper.  I proceeded slowly down the hill, which was only 30 meters, and went around the Chrysler.  The driver had pulled off to the side at the corner and while it sustained damage, the Ford was none the worse for wear.  I enjoyed the whole episode immensely.

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Six brass uniform buttons from the Kings Own Calgary Regiment and one from the First Hussars.  Total investment:$3.00

After I parked the car, I did my standard antique store route by walking up and down Fort Street.  My first stop was at a collectibles store simply called Curiosity Shop and I poked through a box of military buttons sitting on the counter, and they were all RCAF, except for the seven above.  I had good luck flipping a mug from a branch of the military for $50 that I paid $3 for, so I thought I would try these.  Time will tell if I do well or not.  That was my only purchase on the former “Antique Row”.  Many of the few remaining shops are closing because the area is undergoing redevelopment.  After my walk up and down Fort, I headed to Command Post of Militaria on Government Street and looked around there.  They have a stack of plates from the Sons of Empire, which was a social club/fraternal organization in Victoria, and they were for sale for $5.00 a plate.  I’ll go back tomorrow and try and make a deal.  I didn’t want to carry around a heavy stack of plates.  From there it was to Green Cuisine Vegetarian Restaurant, which does a really nice buffet.  There was no line, thank God, because these weak vegetarians take forever to shuffle through, likely due to a lack of meat in their diet.

From there, I rounded out my day stopping at the downtown Salvation Army thrift store and on to the Value Village.  That location is easily the busiest I’ve ever been in, and for a time of year that is generally slow for that business, the place was hopping.  The jewellery section is always well organized and they had some jade cufflinks that I’m still considering.  I started at the jewellery and then zigzagged through the housewares and spotted a familiar sight.

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Five plates from Canadian Railway News!  The one at the bottom was individually priced at $1.99.  I’m starting to get an accumulation of these, and I hope to trade them to another collector.

There were no other jeans, though I picked up an interesting vintage puzzle that I will re-gift.  I spent probably and hour and a half browsing, and I will definitely go back in the days to come.

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Day One: Let it Snow, Rain, and Freezing Rain from Abbotsford to Victoria

Today was the start of my three night trip to Victoria, and I planned my journey to make the most efficient use of my time and resources.  First off, I got up early and did some ebay shipping stuff.  I had sold two items in the past day, and since I would miss one of my normal shipping days I prevailed upon my brother-in-law to bring them across the border to Sumas to mail them for me.  I got them both prepped mostly the night before, but I had to print off a shipping label for one in the morning.  I headed off to Aldergrove to leave them in his garage.  Of course this was the first day in a long time that we actually got snow, and it was lightly falling as I made my way to Aldergrove.  I gave myself ample time, so after I left the parcels I quietly entered the house to visit the cat, LB.

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Who can resist such fluffy cuteness?!?!

From there, it was on to the freeway and to the ferry, a journey that included stop and go traffic, rain, snow, flurries, and heavy snow.  I took the Tsawwassen – Duke Point ferry to Nanaimo to visit some of the thrift stores and antique shops up there.  The sailing was fine and in the middle of the Strait of Georgia we found snow flurries and the captain made an announcement that a gray whale was flopping around out there.  So I got to do some whale watching, just like I did on the “Friendship Cruise”.  From there, it was off the ferry and out to Coombs to an antique shop that has yielded some good finds in the past, called “High Class” Junque.

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Nanaimo through the fog and flurries.

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Harbour traffic.

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“High Class” Junque store, site of my first finds.

I poked around in that store for quite a while, and I bought two pieces that I intend to flip on ebay.  Sadly, there was nothing here for my collection.  But the sky was getting brighter, so I spent some time next door at the Coombs Country Market and bought a couple of things to give away for Christmas.  The S.O.S. thrift store in nearby Parksville usually has some treasures but it and the local Salvation Army were both busts, so I headed back to Nanaimo through some very thick snow.

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My finds from “High Class” Junque: A Long Bell bowl made by Buffalo China and a pinecone pattern fruit nappy made by Tepco.  Since they are both American made, there is no place for them in my collection.

I stopped at a few thrift stores in Nanaimo, and there was nothing but crap.  I couldn’t find anything there for my collection or to flip.  I was tempted by some wine glasses at one store, but I wanted to save my money.  The last store I stopped at had a stack of Medalta soup plates that I ended up picking up.  They are plain, but sturdy like the Alberta clay they were made from.  My next destination was the Nanaimo Value Village, where I have had some luck in the past with some vintage crafting stuff.  By now, it was 3:15 pm and it was starting to get darker out.  I didn’t linger too long in the store but I did find a pair of Diesel jeans that I can make some money on, and on on the bottom shelf, I spied with my little eye…

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A Canadian Railway News fruit nappy.  The company has evolved from operating lunch counters and selling newspapers and is now operating such restaurants as Harvey’s, Milestones, Montana’s, New York Fries, and others. 

After this, I headed to Chemainus to visit one of the antique malls, but it to was a disappointment.  I bought a Steitz butter pat that I already had in my collection because it was only $10 and I didn’t want to leave empty handed.  By then, I was tired from the early morning and hungry, so I stopped at a grocery store in Duncan for a wrap, filled up the tank, and drove through more ugly weather to Victoria, and parked in front of my hotel, the Harbour Towers.  At this point, my brain was only working at 30% capacity.  When I walked in, some random guy asked me if I was the driver.  Since I had just parked in a passenger drop off zone in front of the hotel, I said that I was a driver.  Turns out, he thought I was a cab driver and I had to inform him that I was simply a guest at the hotel, checking in.  I hope Day 2 is more exciting.