Northeast Ohio is lucky enough to have an amazing group of local crafters and vendors that offer a pretty incredible array of food, woodworking, gifts, and other things you can find on pinterest but don’t have the time or abilities to make yourself. 🙂
And since this, usually outdoor, market happens only once a month, I generally make it a point to go. This weekends Cleveland Flea was holiday themed and held indoors (thank goodness).
So Saturday after tumbling class, #BabyAri and I drove up to meet Allison from Fashionably Cleveland at the Cleveland Flea on St. Clair. Parking was an absolute nightmare. If it wasn’t for the promise of fun local finds and good company, I wouldn’t have even bothered to find a spot. Unfortunately when we got inside, my anxiety shot through the roof!
Don’t get me wrong — I am so grateful for the organizers of the Flea. They are doing something wonderful and it’s bringing our community together. But? Each month it’s getting increasingly difficult to do any actual shopping because there are too many people and not enough space. The setting inside was intimate, but the crowds were not. I was baby-wearing with the Mei Tai, but that didn’t make me any less anxious about people running into me & Ari.
I saw plenty of people navigating the crowds with strollers, but that was impossible. I could see it on their faces.
The only spot we found a bit of space + air was the food and wine area. Allison and I sipped on some mulled wine while Ari was able to get out of the carrier to move around and dance a bit (seriously — kid absolutely LOVES to dance!). I bought some Brewnuts, which are teeny tiny donuts made from local craft breweries seasonal offerings, and I had every single intention of eating them. But as soon as I grabbed one from the bag, Ari took it from my hands and ate it. Like, gone. Next one? I got a bite. That’s it.
They were really good though. Really good. And Baby Ari approved for sure!
After we snacked we did some more browsing. I bought a couple of Christmas presents (which I can’t mention for fear those people are reading 😉 and had them gift wrapped before we left. But I honestly just couldn’t even focus on shopping. I couldn’t relax enough to browse, search and buy things I don’t really need, but do love.
Luckily events like the Cleveland Flea are on the rise! Akron is having it’s 5th Annual Crafty Mart this weekend. Plus an ongoing Pop Up Shop! I’m hoping that these events are much more laid back. I already know that I can count on some awesome vendors being there.
Oh – and post-Christmas?? I’ll be sure to post my Flea finds! 😉
** Images borrowed from the #ShopTheFlea hashtag on Instagram & the Flea’s Facebook page. **