The place: San Diego, Southern California.
The time: Early on 1st day of the hols (jet lag sure has some advantages).
Destination: The flea market at the Rose Bowl, Pasadena as suggested by Erika and Victoria.
Willing parciptants: Roland and Alexei.
Vibe: Not such happy bunnies after a 2 and a half hour drive when a jolly man at the Rose Bowl said " No flea market today ma-am. 2nd Sunday of the month only"
Cue much rolling of eyes by the male members of the party.*
"Sorry," mumbled by very humble female member of party who then checked on Roland's Blackberry to see that she had got the date totally wrong.
On the plus point: Pasadena- sure is pretty. Lots and lots of cute little houses with cottage gardens. And there is always a late opening Borders store and Walmart somewhere in the vast metropolis that is LA to keep everyone happy.
I picked up a whole load of fabulous magazines as the range was phenomenal; a blogging magazine would you believe, Arts & Crafts Home as we both love the furniture, a weird illustration art mag that had some really strange stuff in and my favourite: 100 ideas Flea Market and especially this page but it doesn't give you any idea of what that quilt is made out of. I want that quilt.
Whilst we were in LA we drove up to Michael Jackson's house late one night to see the shrine outside. It was massive. I took lots of pictures so I could stick them together in one big long line but it went a bit fuzzy when I put it on the blog so this is just the middle section.
Roland was a big fan of MJ when he was a child and Alexei loves his music and dancing. And me? Well, I'm sorry he's gone but I couldn't get over the weirdness factor. I hope I don't get lots of crazed fans visiting this blog and ranting on about him because I couldn't bear that.
Anyway, I was most amused to see this carefully placed portaloo just over the street.
I'm guessing that the residents of Bel Air don't want fans weeing in their flower beds.
Now everyone likes to pick up some interesting souvenirs from their travels and bloggers surely must be amongst the most talented at spotting the treasures from the tat.
My favourite bit of San Francisco was Haight Ashbury as it was the centre of flower power and it is still very far out, man. The psychedelic patches were a must for my jeans particularly the groovy toadstool. And you can never go wrong with a snow globe.
I was served by a dude who was surely left over from the first summer of love and Alexei is now the proud owner of a tie dye T-shirt made by someone who designed a Grateful Dead record cover or something. I forget.
The heart with wings decoration and the Mexican Day of the Dead figures came from a shop we were just driving by in San Diego. It is called Vintage Religion and is run by the very lovely Philip and he has lots of fabulous religious artifacts from all over the world. We had quite a chat as you could imagine.
I think it must have been divine intervention for me to find his shop in our few days in San Diego.
Here's another Heart from Philip's shop that is now on the back of the Front door. Hearts with wings are a very personal motif for Roland and I as it is on the Maraldo coat of arms. Which, incidentally, I designed when we got married because in my world every new couple needs a touch of heraldry more than a toaster.
I bought some summer sandals -silver Flip flops. I cannot recommend them highly enough. They are possibly the comfiest shoes I have ever owned and promise a complete workout for the bum and legs and I'm hoping mine are gonna look like the ones below very soon. Here's hoping . . .
Anyway, the streets of San Francisco proved very tiring on the legs so these were a timely purchase. But we could always relax in our "boutique" hotel.
I normally snort at a hotel that is described as a "Boutique" as that usually means a poky room with one wall painted in an accent colour. However Hotel Frank proved to be very glamorous indeed as you can see from our room. Shame it had to be shared with a 9 year old boy,even though he is very lovely. But there you go.
And finally . . the cutest, sleepiest koala bear from San Diego zoo. Reminds me so much of our Bluebell.
* I am lucky. Neither Roland or Alexei get stressy about my inepititude although no doubt they will store this one away for future amunition.