Tag Archive | Antiques Roadshow

Antiques Roadshow 2017: Portland

Friday, August 11-13, 2017

I have blogged about my hike through Ape Cave, which occurred on this trip, but I haven’t had a chance to tell you about the rest of the weekend trip to Antiques Roadshow last August!

My friend Shelley won tickets to Antiques Roadshow in the annual lottery that PBS does, and she was kind enough to take me!  We decided to take Friday off, make it a long weekend and stay a few nights in Portland.

We did the Ape Cave hike at Mount St. Helens on our drive down to Portland, stopped in Vancouver, WA for a pizza dinner at Bortolami’s – they had delicious pizza and good beers on tap!  Then we drove the last few miles and checked into the hotel after dinner for an early night, so we could get to the Roadshow first thing in the morning!

Saturday morning, we were up early and headed out, leaving Shelley’s son Jack sleeping at the hotel.  I knew how the process works, because I went in 2013, but it was interesting to see it again!  I won’t go into detail about how the event is staged, but if you want to check it out, you can see my description here.  Or rather, don’t “see” it, because they don’t allow photos inside, but at least read my description and imagine it.

Shelley and Me at Antiques Roadshow

Shelley brought a couple of items for a friend and the Antiques Roadshow people were pretty interested in a silver concho belt.  They took photos of it, had her sign a release, and she had to explain what she knew about it, how much she paid, etc.  And then they gave her a yellow lanyard that indicated that she had an “interesting” item.  It turns out that the belt was worth what the friend paid, but the appraiser loved seeing it, as it was apparently made by a famous southwest Native American artist.  It was also really neat to see part of the process!

I brought a set of prints by Alaskan artists.  They were a bank promotional back in the 1970s, so they are printed on regular paper and have the bank name on the border.  I didn’t pay a lot of money, but have never seen them any other time.  The appraiser hadn’t seen them before either, but appraised the value at about 5x what I paid.  I can’t retire, but that was pretty exciting!

I also brought a painting that belonged to my grandmother.  Sadly the appraiser wasn’t able to find any information on the artist.  It wasn’t worth big money, but obviously it has sentimental value for my family, so is priceless.

Shelley and I took some selfies to commemorate our visit, but in true Antiques Roadshow fashion, we weren’t there that long.  They run an efficient operation!

Shelley and Me at the Feedback Booth

After the roadshow, we headed back to the hotel to pick up Jack (and wake him up as it turned out!), and then headed down to Portland’s Saturday market.  This is such a great market!  I had what was probably the best gyro of my life at one of the food vendors there.  It was made to order (no onions please!) and so delicious!

The. BEST. Gyro!

We wandered around and I bought a couple of pairs of earrings; a blue blown glass pair with a helix inside, and a green stone pair, as well as a couple of gifts.  It is always nice to treat yourself and others!

After the market, we headed back to the hotel and spent a bit of time at the pool.  I do have to admit I took a little nap in my chair there.

That evening, we decided to go over to the Kennedy School.  The Kennedy School is a historic elementary school, that was built in 1916.  It closed in the 1970s and was eventually purchased by McMenamin’s, an Oregon based company that buys historic properties and converts them into brewpubs, restaurants, and hotels.  Their properties are all very unique and awesome, and the Kennedy School is no exception.  I had a steak, cobbler and a cider there and they were all soooo good!  I love that place!  Sorry about the quality of the photos – I clearly needed flash and didn’t notice at the time.



Sunday morning, we headed for home.  We had planned on stopping in Seattle at the Science Center to see the Terra Cotta Warrior exhibit there, but when we looked online for tickets, they were already sold out until late in the afternoon!  Plan B was to stop in Everett at the Flying Heritage and Combat Armor Museum.  What a fantastic place!  The museum has a number of rare and unusual planes and military vehicles of all sorts. It also has the X-Prize trophy, and a replica of the Fat Man and Little Boy atomic bombs.  There was so much to see there, that I will post about it next.

And with that, we wrapped up a lovely long weekend.  I always love adventuring with friends.

Boise Roadtrip Random Highlights!

During our Boise trip, after we went to the World Center for Birds of Prey, Jon and I spent some time just relaxing without an agenda.  Here are a few of the highlights:

BitterCreek Ale House:  The food was great (we each had a salad) – and they have a lot of local micro-brews to choose from.  For days when it isn’t quite so hot (it was 104 the day we were there), they have outdoor seating available on the sidewalk.

A Beautiful Historic Sign on a Sandstone Building

A Beautiful Historic Sign on a Sandstone Building

Record Exchange:  Jon liked this local downtown music store – he browsed their albums for a long time.  They have an adjacent coffee shop and cafe that is attached to the store, and it also sells kitschy and novelty items, so I had some perusing to keep me occupied.  They have a bunch of funny greeting cards, and cute gift items.  And maybe the best part, the cafe booths offered me an opportunity to sit down while I waited for Jon to finish shopping!

Aspen Leaf:  This is one of those pay-by-the-ounce frozen yogurt places in downtown Boise, and Jon and I split one topped with raspberries and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.  Bad for the waistline, but great for the soul – delicious!

Aspen Leaf Frozen Yogurt - Perfect for a Hot Day!

Aspen Leaf Frozen Yogurt – Perfect for a Hot Day!

Cycle Pub:  While we were eating our frozen yogurt, we were amazed to watch a man piloting a pedal-powered bar down the street.  He was all alone when he rolled onto the street, but before very long, several people had hopped onto the strange contraption.  Apparently you can book this thing for a rolling pub crawl – with a bit of exercise thrown in!

Cycle Pub - A Pedal Powered Pub Crawl with your Friends!

Cycle Pub – A Pedal Powered Pub Crawl with your Friends!

The Old Assay Office: Now you didn’t think that having no agenda would really mean no historic buildings right?  We visited the historic Old Assay Office, built in 1871 to weigh and value minerals and gold brought in by Idaho’s miners.  Between 1872 and 1933, millions of dollars a year came through this office – some estimates are over $1.5 million each year.  The Office was constructed of sandstone in the Italianate architectural style, and the top floor was occupied by the chief assayer and his family, and the security guards lived in the basement.  The building is now the office for the Idaho State Historic Preservation agency, and the grounds outside are a city park.

The Old Assay Office - Built 1871 - Italianate Architectural Style

The Old Assay Office – Built 1871 – Italianate Architectural Style

Wineries:  Jon and I had time for two tasting rooms while we were in town.  We were already downtown, so we checked out a couple in the downtown core, the Snake River Winery and Mouvance.  I’ll post about them separately, but both were great – for very different reasons.  Snake River is making wines with Snake River Valley fruit, both estate grown and sourced from other vineyards.  Mouvance is bringing in their fruit from their family owned vineyards in the Willamette Valley, specializing in my favorite red, Pinot Noir!

We had a great time in Boise, and will certainly go back!  It was a big city with a small town feel – clean, easy to get around, and (at least for us) no big city traffic congestion!  The downtown core had a nice feel and I loved our drive through the area of historic homes.  Although it was way too hot while we were there to take advantage of the many recreational opportunities (103 to 107 degrees the days that we were there!), we would love to go hiking next time we visit.  Antiques Roadshow introduced us to a whole new, beautiful city!

We Went to Antiques Roadshow!

Finally, the day had arrived!  It was the morning of Antiques Roadshow!  I had literally been waiting for years for this day! (Yeah, get it out… If you must say to yourself what a huge nerd I am, so be it!  I can take it – I know I’m a nerd.)

We had the 8 am time slot and the instructions said to arrive at the venue a half hour before your scheduled time.  That would be 7:30 am.  We ate breakfast and headed out, arriving in plenty of time (Of course!  Because we had made sure we knew how to get there the day before!)  We parked and walked into the expo center, getting mentally prepared for “The Long Wait…”  I even brought snacks…  Jon is not very patient about crowds and lines, so I made sure to prep him on the fact that there would be crowds and there would be lines, and I explained that he had decided he wanted to go, so I had better not hear any complaining….

Other people were walking in too, and as we passed several of them, we checked out their items.  I can’t help it – I walk fast – I learned from my father who has much longer legs than I do.  I had to keep up with dad or I might have gotten singled out by the lions as the weak gazelle.  Ok, maybe it’s not as dramatic as all that – I just walk fast.  We saw all sorts of neat things – an antique chair, vases, a metal model car in a big glass case, but of course, nothing would be as valuable as my items!

We Were Some of the Younger People There!

We Were Some of the Younger People There!

We got to the entrance and they tore our tickets and let us in to the staging area…  The first room was set up with a huge snaking queue line.  There are signs indicating the entrance time, and then you snake back and forth until you get to the beginning of the line.  Since it was still early in the morning, the line really hadn’t gotten very long yet…  So far, so good.

At the beginning of that first line, we found several volunteers who are there do to a preliminary assessment of your items.  The appraisal area is divided out by categories and the volunteers take a quick look at your items and assign them to categories.  We showed the gal our artist proof print (Posters and Prints), my bracelet (Jewelry), my great grandmother’s glass cosmetic jar with a silver lid (Silver), and my father-in-law’s small glass vase with the silver inlay (Silver).  Once we were assessed, another volunteer took us into the main room.  They don’t allow any photos inside the main area, so you will just have to imagine it for yourselves (hopefully I can do justice with a verbal explanation…

Jon Practicing Patience - Luckily the Line Wasn't Long (You can see by the barriers behind him what it might have been like later in the day...)

Jon Practicing Patience – Luckily the Line Wasn’t Long
(You can see by the barriers behind him what it might have been like later in the day…)

When you enter, you see a big circle in the center of the room with the Antiques Roadshow royal blue curtains hung all around.  There are spaces between each curtain and the category lines begin in this area.  At that point, you pick a line and wait until a volunteer comes to collect you.  Then you are in the main appraisal area.  The appraisal tables are set up around the perimeter of the circle, and the filming area is set up in the middle.  There are also big flat screen TVs hung up around the center area to give you a good view of any filming that is going on in the filming area while you wait.  The volunteer who collected you at the category line drops you off to wait in another short line at the appraisal table.  There wasn’t much of a wait in the line we were in, so before we knew it, it was time for an appraisal!

The appraisals are brief (I wasn’t really expecting anything different) – if the appraiser doesn’t know the manufacturer or anything about your item, they aren’t going to do much research as you stand there.  We went to the silver category first.  The appraiser let me know that my great grandmother’s cosmetic jar isn’t worth that much, other than the sentimental value, but that it was made in the 1890s by an American manufacturer (he couldn’t say which one).  He also explained that it would have once been part of a set (long ago lost, I assume, since I was only given the one jar).

Next he took a look at Jon’s dad’s “Louis XIV” vase (as he likes to call it); the one he picked up for a steal at the Goodwill where he worked in the 1960s.  The appraiser didn’t know who made it, but he did know it was American made, not French, turn of the last century (1890-1910), not Louis XIV period, and not even a vase at all.  It is actually a perfume bottle that is missing its original stopper.  Suddenly it all made sense why it was such a small vase!  Jon’s parents aren’t going to be striking it rich from the proceeds of the sale…

For my silver and scrimshaw bracelet we had to get in a new category line.  There wasn’t much of a wait in this line either, so before we knew it, we were back at another appraisal table!  The jewelry appraiser was very pleased with my bracelet, although he didn’t know the artist.  My mom had gotten the bracelet in the early 1990s, back when they had classified ads on the radio.  She got it from a woman, and believed that it had been made locally in the 1970s.  The appraiser said what he saw in the piece matched up with the story my mother had been told.  It was made in the 1970s, from silver and mastodon ivory, and was most likely made in the Northwest.  He said there was a lot of that style of jewelry being made here at the time.  It won’t ensure our early retirement, but he appraised it at quite a bit more than my mom paid, so that made me happy.

Which left us standing in the line for posters and prints.  It made sense, considering we brought an art print, but when we got to the front of the line, the appraiser frowned and said he wouldn’t be able to tell us anything about our print.  Apparently posters and prints is more the concert or travel poster variety.  He pointed us over to tribal art, so we got in line over there (we didn’t have to go back and stand in another category line).

And tribal art was where it was at.  We brought in a 1960s print by a woman artist living and working in Alaska.  The theme show of the print shows strong women and a whale; very forward for the early 60s.  The man at the table lit up when he saw our print.  He took a look at it, and explained that it was very unusual for art to show women in such strong roles during the time period.  Our artist proof is numbered, and he explained that it isn’t common for artist proofs to show a run number, and a run of only 5 (ours is number 2) increased the value.  He let us know what he would value it at now, and told us it will certainly increase because of the scene depicted.  We were pleased with the information that he gave us.

All in all, it was a great experience.  We learned a little more about all of items and everything is worth more than we paid for it!  All of the appraisers were very friendly, and treated us kindly even though our items certainly wouldn’t knock anybody’s socks off.  We didn’t ever feel like anybody was snooty or condescending and the other folks in line were all friendly and personable too.  To be honest though, we didn’t have much of an opportunity to stand around and chat with other Roadshow-goers, because the lines were short and moved so quickly!

In fact, the lines were so short, we were shocked at how quickly we were done!  Jon didn’t even have time to get grumpy about the crowds or the lines!  We were back in the car and on our way at 8:26 am!

Antiques Roadtrip to Boise

In late June, Jon and I had an amazing opportunity.  We went to Antiques Roadshow!  I’m sure you are wondering about the backstory…  In case you don’t know what Antiques Roadshow is, you are really missing out.  It is a television show on PBS, where people bring their antique and collectible items to be appraised.  The show has events in 8 cities each year, and they amass an army of appraisers to assess everybody’s items and tell them a bit about them and the value.

Each year, people can enter their name into the lottery for 2 tickets to an Antiques Roadshow event.  You can only enter for one city per year, and you can only enter once.  After the date for entries has passed, they randomly choose 3,000 people per city to receive tickets.  The tickets are free, and it is against the rules to sell them.  If you win tickets, you get a pair of tickets to the event where each person must bring at least one item to be appraised, and you can bring two.

This was the fourth year I have entered the lottery, and I didn’t win tickets when they were in Seattle, Portland or Spokane, all closer to home.  But this year I won!  To the event in Boise, Idaho!  That’s an eight hour drive from home, but I was so excited that I won, we decided to make a weekend trip of it.  The funny thing is, they send you an email to let you know the winners have been selected, and you have to go into the website to see if you won; I was so convinced that I probably didn’t win that I waited the longest time to go check.  Once we found out we got tickets, we had to put in requests for time off!  Luckily, I didn’t have much going on for those couple of days at work…  Jon and I both got the long weekend off, and we left for Boise on Thursday evening after work.  We made plans to make it to Pendleton, Oregon the first night, knocking out a little more than half of the drive.

We headed out a bit late (due to a lost driver’s license and some time spent searching for keys – people who know us will know who lost their stuff…) and were on the road when the trouble started…  We were on our way over the mountain pass when we saw a sign indicating that the pass was going to be closed for rock blasting 10 miles in front of us.  Starting at 8 pm…

It was 7:54

(Insert expletive here…)

I crossed my fingers and prayed that because it was government, they wouldn’t be starting right on time…

But they were…

Right on time…

We were stuck in a dead stop at the top of Snoqualmie Pass while the construction crews worked.  The sign had indicated a closure of 2 hours, with additional time if necessary to clear the road.  Yikes…

There was nothing to do but wait.  I took the opportunity to take some photos of Lake Keechelus, a beautiful crystal clear blue lake at the top of the pass; the source of the Yakima River.  I am almost always barreling by this lake at 60+ miles per hour, so it was kind of neat to be able to just enjoy it for a spell.  Talk about making lemons into lemonade!  Of course, the mosquitoes soon drove me back to the car, and I pulled out a book to read.   At one point Jon decided he was going to go for a run up the road, but fortunately he didn’t  go too far.  The road crew was better than on time and under budget – they had us moving again in 50 minutes, leaving me to wonder if they over-estimate so they can deliver the re-opened road with travelers thinking that they got lucky!

Lake Keechelus at the top of Snoqualmie Pass - You can see the completely empty I-90 in the background

Lake Keechelus at the top of Snoqualmie Pass – You can see the completely empty I-90 in the background on the left side at the edge of the lake

After the closure, we got moving and made good time, but of course we were already an hour behind schedule.  Which meant that we weren’t going to get to Pendleton until midnight.  Oh well, we just kept driving…  Sadly, more of the trip was in the dark, so it was a long, dark, desolate, tiring drive.  It also meant a sad dinner of gas station snacks, because we didn’t want to make any more stops than necessary.  Ugh…

But we eventually we made it, and were able to get a good night’s sleep so we could continue the rest of the way to Boise in the morning!

Matthews Estate for a Slacker

Shhh… Don’t tell Jon….  He’s at class tonight for his weekly marathon evening of class.  6 – 9:30.  Ugh – I remember when I was in school.  But that’s not the secret.

I’m supposed to be folding laundry.  But instead I’m watching Antiques Roadshow and drinking a glass of 2006 Matthews Estate Claret.  I had a long day at work, went to get gas and to the grocery store, and then made dinner. I didn’t get home until 7 tonight, so I’m going to relax a little bit. 

This wine is mostly sold out, but we found a couple bottles the last time we were at Costco. The Claret is a Bordeaux blend, but the winery doesn’t advertise what the blend is. For a red, it is lightly oaked, with a rich taste of blackberry and espresso (or is that tobacco?)  According to their website, it is both.  Whatever it is, it is delicious, with excellent balance and structure.

Matthews Claret

2006 Matthews Estate Claret

Jon and I were first introduced to Matthews Estate when Jon’s uncle took the family on a Woodinville wine tasting tour.  We’ve been back once, and it was just as good the second time around.  I also love their Sauvignon Blanc.  The winery has a small tasting room with a large barrel room which they open up for special events.  The staff are friendly and love telling you about their wines.  That always makes the winery experience so much better. 
Well, I’ve got to get back to the laundry, but I will enjoy my wine!