Isn't spring delightful? I love all the beautiful flowers that bloom in NC this time of year... tulips, azaleas, and dogwoods. On our street, just about every house has 3 or 4 dogwood trees so that when you drive down the street, you feel like you've been transported to another world.
This past week, I went to the Southern Home & Garden Show with my mom, my aunt and my mother-in-law. What fun we had finding great deals on decorative items, marveling over stained glass Tiffany lamps, collecting information on interesting home features and delighting in the breathtaking garden displays. We tasted scrumptious breads and dips, nibbled on candies and chocolates and took frequent coffee breaks in the concessions area.
We wandered through the more industrial part of the show where big companies focusing on major home repairs, pools, decks, playgrounds and tools were housed. As we passed by the booths, the salesmen tried to reel us into a spiel about the benefits of solar panels, the importance of leaf-catching gutters and comparisons on pest control services. We avoided making eye contact and said many "no, thank you's". (Although I did enter a raffle for free house cleaning!) But as I watched the company representatives try to entice people with free gifts, I had to laugh having been in the same position just a few years ago!
I worked for an agricultural chemical internet company and we had a rigorous trade show schedule every spring. I was lucky to attend only one a year but others in the office (salesmen, mostly) went to 2 or 3 farms shows in the rural areas of North Dakota, Illinios and Georgia. The worst one I can recall was in the flatlands of Nebraska. It was a 3-day outdoor show in the middle of acres and acres of fields. It was late spring, chilly in the morning and blazing in the afternoon. There was dust everywhere that would accumulate on the table, settle in your hair and cake in the creases of your perma-smile. Our hotel was an hour away, the closest we could find, requiring us to leave before sunrise to get to the show on-time.
But, despite the long hours, aching feet, and anxiety of setting up and breaking down the displays and computers, I really enjoyed the travel, talking with the other exhibitors and the luxury of my own hotel room. I could see all of my own emotions in the exhibitors of the garden show and was thankful to be one the other side on the table!
We had such fun at this show and afterwards went to a gorgeous Italian restaurant downtown and chatted over wine and heaps of pasta. Fabulous day!
See more photos from the show at Sunniviews (also a few from Easter!) Here are some things that I found interesting:
Beautiful Tiffany Lamps from Carolina Tiffany
Eco-friendly home improvement products from Common Ground Center and SafeCoat low-toxic paints
My husband's favorite, Central Vacuums (what a dream!) from Central Vacuum Experts
Landscape lighting from NiteLites, Inc.
Wines for Humanity home wine-tasting parties benefiting local charities