Now, here's the thing. If I'd been born somewhere else in this vast country of ours, it might be forgivable that I'd never ventured to the First Monday Trade Days in Canton. But I've lived in East Texas since I was twelve years old. So what's my excuse for never having been? Alas, I have none.

Well, I may have one. It's not an excuse, but rather my flawed reasoning. I have a tendency to avoid places where there are large crowds. No, it's not a phobia or anything, I've just never been a fan of overly-populated places unless it's a concert or Disney World.

So, because I'd never been I had this idea in my mind that it would be MANIA and within five minutes I'd run screaming for the car. :) Well, you'll be happy to know that a friend of mine convinced me to finally venture over and I tell ya, I'm so glad she did.

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Granted, we went on Thursday morning so it wasn't nearly as crowded as it can be on a Saturday or during the holiday season, but it was still quite populated with people. But--it was so worth it!

I couldn't believe the vast gathering of creators and purveyors of all kinds of interesting things. It was a blast. Practically anything you might be seeking is probably available somewhere. By the time I left I'd picked up some fresh baked bread from an artisan baker, a fun gypsy necklace, bath oils, a dining table, and even an Indian-styled parasol.

Also, I don't know if you can relate, but sometimes I just crave a dose of fun foods that take me back to being a kid. All kinds of deliciousness await from BBQ sandwiches, nachos, corn dogs, and fried Oreos. Oh my. Tried those for the first time, too. Wow. Is it possible to have an intense crush on a food item?

Tara Holley

Now, on most days I'd happily put on my comfy shoes and hoof it around the pavilions while getting a bit of much needed exercise. On this particular occasion we were trying to cover a lot of ground quickly so my friend suggested renting a scooter--Yeah, scooters. I laughed at the idea at first but then I thought, what the heck--so we did.

Tara Holley

How FUN. Speaking of channeling one's inner kid. Between the great food, fun buys, and whizzing around with a snow cone, it felt a bit like being a kid at a carnival--but with more cash in hand to peruse and purchase some unique finds.

I'll definitely be back. I saw about eighteen more things I'd like to buy. Will I rent a scooter again? Hmm. ;)

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Stacker compiled a list of the best places to live in Texas using data from Niche. Niche ranks places to live based on a variety of factors including cost of living, schools, health care, recreation, and weather. Cities, suburbs, and towns were included. Listings and images are from realtor.com.

On the list, there's a robust mix of offerings from great schools and nightlife to high walkability and public parks. Some areas have enjoyed rapid growth thanks to new businesses moving to the area, while others offer glimpses into area history with well-preserved architecture and museums. Keep reading to see if your hometown made the list.

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