My favorite thrift store here in the Treasure Valley is the Idaho Youth Ranch Outlet on Irving Street, between Orchard and Curtis in Boise. I love supporting the mission of this thrift store, as well as the killer prices, especially at the outlet location, where the unpurchased and undesirable items make their last hurrah. The outlet's goal is to move items out quickly, so most things are unpriced. At the end of your shopping extravaganza, you roll your cart onto a large scale where your items are weighed and you pay a mere 50 cents a pound. The outlet is in a big, often dirty, warehouse and you have to be willing to dig, as the environment is more like a giant garage sale than the typical, more organized thrift store. But, let me tell you, there are treasures and deals to be found. A few weeks ago I bought a like-new Baby Bjorn front carrier for my expecting sis-in-law. Those things retail around $80 and sell used at children's consignment shops for around $20-30; I only paid around 25 cents. I often find great items for kids during my thrifting, but last week's purchases were especially sweet.
Now, I know I'm unusually sentimental and nostalgic, but I was so excited to find these little items from my childhood to share with my girls:
I has this exact same 1979 Mickey Mouse Disco vinyl album as a kid and Lucy picked it out at the thrift store. Nary a scratch on it, not to mention, it features "Macho Duck."
But this Fisher Price Parking Ramp and Service Center from 1970 stole my heart thirty years ago and has done so again. Do you remember how cool it was to crank your cars up the elevator while the people rode in the side? And the bell rings as the stop sign lifts? And after your car speeds down the ramp you can fill it up with gas?
Both these finds were in near excellent condition, albeit a bit dusty, probably from being stored in someones parents' garage for the past three decades. I'm so glad they passed them on for me and my family to enjoy again. And let me tell you, we have already danced the hours away to "Watch Out For Goofy" and picked up some really fast Matchbox cars at a garage sale that fit PERFECTLY in our little service elevator.
p.s. I've opened up the comments to all, not just those with a Google account. I'd love to hear from you, especially if you, too, have memories about that sweet FP Parking Ramp and Service Center.