Bagging the Elusive Coffee Table

I posted recently about finally finding a coffee table that I liked — except that I’d found it on an online auction site, and the actual table was 3.5 hours away, at an antique store in Bucks County, Pennsylvania.

A major snowstorm was in the forecast, preparing to pound its way up the East Coast, exactly along our route. But I wanted to see that coffee table! Yes, we could have ordered it. But that would cost $250 for shipping, and we’d have to buy it without seeing it in person. So we decided to take a road trip, with intrepid Wisconsin-trained driver Bob at the wheel. Besides, we haven’t been anywhere in ages except taking our kid back and forth to college, and were up for the adventure.

I called the store before we left the house yesterday, and was told that the shop might very well be closed Saturday because of rain. So we moved up our departure time a bit, in hopes of making it to the store before the 4:30 p.m. closing time Friday, instead of coming up later, spending the night, and visiting the store in the morning. Snow was falling already by the time we arrived, a little after 4:00 p.m., but we were on time. I loved the table as soon as I saw it. The store was not nearly as willing to bargain on the price as I’d hoped. I was hoping for a “you poor things, driving all this way in the snow” discount. But the manager was probably thinking, “if you drove all this way in the snow, you must REALLY want this table.” He offered a bit of a discount, but not nearly as much as I’d hoped. We decided to go for it anyway. I’d been looking for a table for way too long not to buy it.

We spent the night at a hotel rather than drive home in the dark in what was now much heavier snow, but we did have time to stop for Indian takeout, which turned out to be way better than I expected in rural Pennsylvania.

This morning, we waited until the hotel’s 11:00 a.m. checkout time to give the snowplows as much time as possible, and then got on the road. Local roads in Pennsylvania were really terrible. Luckily, the night before we had taken a wrong turn on the way to the Indian restaurant and discovered a ramp to the Pennsylvania Turnpike just two blocks from the hotel. So we were able to avoid minor roads and stick with interstate driving the whole way.

Even the interstates were not good when we started out, but the farther south and west we traveled, the better they got. By the time we hit the Maryland line, the road was completely clear.

And now we have our new coffee table at home! (Actually, it’s still in the car, but we’ll get it out as soon as we’ve cleared the front steps of snow and ice.)

The coffee table is designed to look exactly like a miniature version of an antique mahogany partner desk. In fact, it looks so much like the desk in my home office that I’m sure it must be from the same manufacturer. It’s just weird enough to satisfy my desire for quirkiness, and it has plenty of storage. I think I’m going to like it.

I know this looks like a desk (in fact, it looks like MY desk), but if you remember that it’s only 19.5 inches high, you can visualize it as my awesome new coffee table.

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