We decided to drown our sorrows in some draft root beer and gourmet pizza at Brixx. This improved our mood and the day.
There was still grocery shopping to do ... but then my partner Doug spotted a new antique store near Wal-Mart. By new, it turns out they've only been there for 8 days. And this is where the day turned amazing. :D The place is called Captain Jack's Treasures. Imagine, if you will, a typical antique store, the size of a barn, crammed full of stuff, 90% of which is crud. Now throw out all the crud and cream off the top 10% into one largish room. That room is this store.
Chatty folks, too, the staff and customers alike, so plan to spend some time if you go there. You're not going to get in and out in 10 minutes. We did eventually get our groceries. Very eventually. I think we spent between half an hour and an hour in there.
The owner bills himself as a treasure hunter, and I agree. I've seen hundreds of antique stores, and the vast majority of them look like they were stocked by magpies. This one is different. It is very carefully curated by someone with an exceptional eye for quality. (They also stock some stuff from other vendors, including Timeless Treasures.) There were all sorts of items I recognize but almost never see anymore. Old tricycles and wagons. Depression-era glass and books. Crockery. Some truly splendid hardwood furniture. A wooden horse that may have come off a carousel or child's riding toy. A genuine cookstove with the lids on top that come off to expose the fire. And if they get a bargain, you get a bargain; there was a walnut-and-marble coffee table for $75, and a couple of art glass rolling pins that I'm pretty sure had more than their $45 price in raw materials alone. Prices actually ranged from very cheap -- the book I got was $4 -- on up to quite expensive for the really old and rare treasures. Granted, people like all different things, so there was a lot of stuff that didn't grab me -- but I can recognize good stuff even if I'm not into it personally. I didn't see the outright junk that clutters most antique stores. It was basically like a museum where you could buy all the stuff. So we came home with a book, a jello mold, and a set of mid-century burlap glasses. \o/
If you're within driving distance of Champaign-Urbana (the shop is actually in Savoy, which is adjacent to the south) and you're into antiques, this is totally worth the trip. Too far away? Look up Captain Jack's Treasures on eBay. That's mostly smaller items; you can see some of the larger ones on their Facebook page. This is what happens when someone with a pirate's eye for travel and treasure takes up a legitimate business. <3 It's adorable. It's like a little slice of Terramagne. Most highly recommended.