Grandparents, Dust, and Old Wood
Gabriella Winters, Division 2, 12th grade #ws16e-s2d2

The feeling of excitement fills my chest. My legs, arms, and spine tingle with impatience as I wait for us to get to our destination. My year long wait has just been shortened to mere minutes and it takes everything in me not to break into a quick sprint. The rest of my family doesn’t understand my excitement and they most likely never will, but that never stops me from squealing as we open the door to my most favorite place in the whole world: Mission Galleria. For those of you not from Riverside, California, Mission Galleria is an oversized, 3-tiered, vintage antique store. But it is not just any antique store! It is...well...I guess it is just an antique store. However, it is my oasis about 2-5 hours a year, as it is humongous and that is how long it takes me to scour every nook and cranny for my yearly antique. Also, I feel that I must clarify why my visits are limited to once a year. The Mission Galleria is open pretty much every day of the year, but, in order to prevent me from spending hundreds of dollars a year on goodies, my parents only let me visit once a year around Christmas time. Even though, I only visit yearly, it is my favorite place and it beats out more luxurious places like Vegas and the Dominican Republic. Allow me to enlighten you as to why.

There is a specific smell that is associated with antique stores. It’s very difficult to explain, but it smells like a concoction of grandparents, dust, and old wood. While the descriptive words sound mildly unpleasant, the scent is one that calms my mind and makes me feel at home. At the Mission Galleria, the employees let you shop in peace and don’t constantly ask you questions like in many other stores. There’s also this sound that fills every floor: the sound of sophisticated chatter, Christmas spirit, and clinking glass. The Mission Galleria is aesthetically pleasing to the eye. When you look around the facility, you see the different section (as each antique donor has their own personalized section) and every item in that area usually fits a theme. So, walking around the shop is like parading around a carnival and looking at all the booths and rides.

While the enjoyment I feel when at the Mission Galleria does come from the sensuousness of the building, I adore the items above all. The thing about antiques is that they all hold a special place in someone else’s past, whether that place be big or miniscule. An antique teacup has once sat on someone’s lip and an old table set has once hosted a get-together. Many people would probably say it’s not that deep and those who sell their antiques might not even remember the item being sold, but that’s my favorite part of the buying process. The story. Now on a less intense note, I have an extreme fascination with the Mission Galleria because I find antiquities adorable. My all time favorite is the classic teacup, but I find myself trying to buy a various kinds of antiques.

Being in the Mission Galleria just sends me into euphoria! While it might not be normal to prefer a dusty antique store to someplace like San Diego, I do and I do so without any regret. I believe a favorite place should be where you are you best self. A place here you enjoy every aspect of the environment and what it has to offer you. Even if that place smells like grandparents, dust, and old wood.
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