I met two friends at the Rose Bowl Flea Market yesterday.
It was a long day and the weather was chilly, but we had a great time!
One of my friends knows the market like her own backyard, so she played navigator. That worked well for me, because I got turned around at the end of just about every aisle. 😕
We shopped for hours, saw very few things twice, and still didn’t cover even half the venue. The Rose Bowl Flea Market is BIG.
The parking is free and plentiful. The 9:00 a.m. general admission is only $8.00 and worth every penny. You can pay more to get in with the early birds, but my friend cautions that sometimes vendors are still unpacking before the regular crowd gets there.
Deep in the rows, there is a lady who makes caramel apple muffins from scratch in her own kitchen and sells them for $2.00 a piece. My friend buys one every time and raves about them, so I was happy when the three of us arrived at her booth well into the morning and still found three muffins left in the basket!
They were really delicious – sort of an angel food cake with a center of brown-sugared, tender, appley goodness. Yesterday was nothing, if not a thoroughly delightful food day. More on that a little later. 😀
Another vendor sells art plates from old books. There are stacks and stacks, black and white as well as color, as beautiful and varied as the people who buy them.
The bibliophile in me grimaces at the dissection of what were surely amazing whole volumes, but I appreciate the art in the single leaves and I couldn’t go without this page:
Not far from the front entrance, there is a vendor who sells colorful tablecloths from Provence.
French linens are very cheery, usually made well, and have always appealed to me, but they are typically out of my price range.
I stopped at this booth because she also has a table full of batik stamps! Woohoo! I chose this one for my collection:
I also picked up this teeny little rabbit for my blue and white family:
a tiger clicker for my son:
and a small gift for a friend. 😀
As always, there were a few things I regret leaving behind.
Most of those were slightly out of my price range, but are regular items that I could acquire with better planning on a future visit.
Some were unique items I just wavered on and will absolutely never see again. I guess that’s okay. If I waver, then they’re probably not meant to be mine.
On our way to the exit gate we stopped by the food vendor area to say hello to my mom and Lou, who had also driven up for the market.
They arrived after we did and were taking a quick break, but were heading back in for a little more shopping after we headed out.
Departing from the Rose Bowl was an adventure. 😐 I lost my car, worked up a sweat looking for it, and finally had to call my friend to enlist her navigator instincts to find it.
Then I sat sheepishly behind my wheel and watched as she deftly moved a giant traffic barrier by hand just to get me pointed in the right direction. So embarrassing. 😳 Funny, but embarrassing.
At least this all helped me to warm up after being so chilled by the cloud cover.
I followed my friends into Old Town Pasadena for a little more shopping and some late lunch.
My favorite store this time is Lula Mae. Teeny, charming, colorful and packed full with “gifts of wit & whimsy” – this is definitely my kind of place!
My friend and I both left with Andy, the Black Sheep:
I love him. He is made of cast iron and weighs a LOT. Don’t ever wanna drop this boy in my tiled house with my bare broken feet nearby. Oy. Gotta find just the right place for him.
I was amused when I got home to find that Lula Mae had wrapped Andy in French Fry tissue. So funny.
From Lula Mae’s clearance bin, I picked up this hand-stitched house ornament:
and this cloth Tooth Fairy bird:
I love the idea of this, but I will probably just hang him from my Christmas Tree since we have something else for our son’s Tooth Fairy exchanges.
I rounded out my Lula Mae purchases with two yards of wired chenille ribbon.
I have a definite weakness for pretty ribbon, especially when it has a drastically reduced price. 🙂
That about covers my purchases for the day, but the treasures I brought home also included two amazing gifts from my friend.
She gave me this spectacular chair:
and this gorgeous, charming butter dish:
I am in love with this big Sun Lion. In love. The colors, his face, his swirly handle tail – all of him. In. Love. Thank you, Leighann! 😀
And the chair. It’s beautiful. 😀 In fact, it’s officially the nicest thing in my house.
The most unusual shop we visited is definitely Gold Bug.
I’m not sure the merchandise is my taste exactly, but it is very intriguing and I wish I’d stopped in on a slower day and hadn’t felt so claustrophobic. It’s a very small shop and there were a lot of people in it.
If you’re in the area, particularly on a weekday, you should definitely stop by. It’s unique and has a lot to look at.
For our very late lunch we went to Mi Piace, one of my favorite places in Pasadena. Wait, have I been anywhere else? Who cares! Mi Piace is really good.
Unfortunately, they were completely out of the Butter Nut Squash Ravioli with browned butter and sage. Big, disappointed, collective sigh.
We buried our sorrows in good hot garlicky bread chunks served with balsamic and olive oil.
I ordered Fettuccine Alfredo with julienne vegetables. It was priced a too high and would be more enjoyable with a small green salad (priced separately – grrrr), but it was extremely good.
For dessert, I ordered this Mi Piace Special:
It was three layers dark and white chocolate mousse and cakes, topped with black and red raspberries and accompanied by a beautiful puddle of kiwi and strawberry coulis.
My only complaint with this dessert is that it came with that completely white, unripe, unappealing strawberry. I would have left that off the plate. I just pushed it aside.
I devoured the rest of it, feeling only mild guilt for denying my husband any leftovers. They wouldn’t have kept on the three-hour drive home anyway, right?
My friends and I parted company shortly after our meal. I headed south and they headed back to the high desert. We all had a great time and I can’t wait to do it again. Maybe in March or April??
Love you guys!!
The best moment of the day was when Bob Harper from Biggest Loser (or his clone??) finally left his table facing ours, so that we could relax and eat without his fitness guru-ish-ness monitoring our mouthfuls. 😦
The worst moment of the day was the insane coughing fit I had on exiting Lula Mae. 😳 Mortifying. It was the kind of thing that makes strangers pull their kids in close and flee. Embarrassing.
The stupidest thing I did was forget to bring water into the market. $5.00 per bottle if you want to buy it there. Ugh!
The smartest thing I did was bring my big purple purse. Not super attractive, but it’s lightweight, cavernous and durable – perfect for shopping!
P.P.S. While I’ve been typing this morning, the little boy has been stapling paper and drawing scenes from his computer games…
wearing my two oversized sweatshirts at the same time…
and being very sweet.
I sure love this little boy. I missed him yesterday.
Gotta go play now. Catch you tomorrow. Maybe.