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2004-08-24 - 5:12 p.m.
ROAD TRIP, part 2.

So, the Antiques Roadshow.....what an an amazing extravaganza that was!

But first, let's start at the beginning.....waking up with a Class 7 hangover....Oy! Not quite sure how that happened (*wink*), but it was definitely the wrong way to start off a day that would involve 4 hours of driving, 3 hours of standing in line, and the potential of a TV appearance. Arghhh. Nevertheless, we pulled ourselves together, gathered up all our *valuable* trinkets, and hit the road.

Now the Antiques Roadshow allows you to bring only 2 items per person to be appraised. You have to transport, pull, push or drag your items yourself (no matter how large or heavy....and there were some very large items!), and there is no buying or selling or photographing allowed. They tell you to expect to stand in line for up to 2 hours, but in reality, it more like 3 or 4. (We heard that some people were actually there for 5 hours!) The tickets give you a specific time to be there, and you have to be there within a half an hour of that earlier. It's very regimented.

So we got there right at our appointed time, and found ourselves at the end of the line.....a very long line! (To give you an idea, they were expecting 6000 people at this event!) Slowly, slowly, the line crawled, snaking it's way back and forth in a serpentine pattern that filled the huge convention area about the size of a football field.

It was amazing watching all these people move through the line doing a kind of sleepwalk march, clutching their most treasured possessions....hoping it would turn out to be their winning lottery ticket.

Finally, after 2 hours, we were at the coveted *doorway to the appraisers*! At this point, your items are looked at briefly to determine what category they fit in (toys, paintings, furniture, glass, photography, etc.), and you are given tickets to whichever categories you fall into. Then you have to go stand in line again (each category has it's own long line). Once you fianlly get to the appraiser, if you have something really spectacularly interesting or valuable, you are picked to be on the show....for you're own 15 minutes of fame! They take you aside, put makeup on you and have you wait in "the green room" until they're ready to tape you on the set.

Needless to say, we didn't make onto the show....our items just weren't exciting enough. But in a way, I was sort of relieved, it took the pressure off and made the whole thing quite entertaining.

Deciding what to bring was really the hardest part. I've been in the antique business for 15 years now, so I already have a pretty good idea what all my stuff is worth. I had a couple things that I had always been curious about (a glass vase that I had only paid 50 cents for, and a small brass locket type thing shaped like a pig), but I wasn't too surprised when they told me that each item was only worth about $50. The appraisers were very apologetic about the low value, but to me, I actually thought those were good values....especially for the 50 cent vase! I wasn't disappointed at all. And I loved finding out that my pig was made in the 1850's!

[Now since this is getting to be such a hugely long post, I'm going to separate it into one more part. So stay tuned for: the most shockingly valuable item we saw, weird people watching (including the "sweaty couple"), and behind the scenes with the phsycic appraisers!]

Goodnight everybody!

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