Let’s talk about vintage obsession today – not about politics, ok?
When I say my house was 70% built at the Rose Bowl, I mean it.
My house is filled with old scores I have been collecting throughout the years. Thrift stores, estate sales, flea markets…they are all part of my hunting routine, because I am a hunter and a hoarder… but don’t tell that to George because in our relationship HE is labeled as the hoarder.
In LA, the Rose Bowl Flea Market is my usual vintage destination because it is one of the ultimate flea markets in the country. Famous beyond boundaries, filled with amazing pieces, and heaven for vintage collectors.
As good as the Rose Bowl is, there is one problem and that is $$$. You don’t go to the Rose Bowl Flea Market to score a great deal. You go to the Rose Bowl to find beautiful things that others scored at a great deal. Scoring a great deal is hard work, folks. It takes time and effort and a LOT of trips to estate sales, so, if you don’t want to spend that time and effort to find beautiful things for your household, you can go to the Rose Bowl where it is all layout for you in a beautiful, easy, and pricey way.
I take my trips to the Rose Bowl very seriously. I get there early morning – 7am -. I start from the top. Focus. Go vendor to vendor (I already have my favorites). Get out of there by 10am.
Early bird is my middle name and I recommend it is yours, too. After 10am it gets SO crowded and hot! It is hard to walk, bargain, and appreciate the beautiful pieces. On the other hand, if you want to get a good discount, it is better to be the last one standing, so it is up to you.
Here are some tips if you are planning to visit the Rose Bowl:
- Get there early. 7 am is the time I like to get there. It costs $15 to get in (after 9am it only costs $9). Vendors are setting up, the place is not crowded, and there is plenty of parking.
- Finding parking is easy early morning. I have my favorite parking place right in front of the Exit doors. If you park on the grass, make sure you memorize some kind of landmark near your car. I have seen too many people get completely lost trying to find their cars on that grass. Beware!
- Bring cash! Withdrawing money from an ATM on site costs $5, so there you go. Don’t do it.
- Asking for a 10% discount when bargaining is the reasonable amount. Always ask for that discount, not much more than that.
- Take a cart. This is major for me. It is hard to go around the market with a bunch of stuff in your hands. Another option is to ask vendors to keep your purchases with them until you decide to leave later, but this is such a big flea market that finding the same vendor again is not your easiest choice.
- Do not be discouraged if it is raining. Rainy days are the BEST days to go to the Rose Bowl. There are not as many vendors, true, but what you see gets sold CHEAP! Best deals I have ever had at the RBFM happened during rainy days.
Rose Bowl General Information
Opens the 2nd Sunday of each month
Schedule: 5am-4:30pm – Ticket office closes at 3pm – most vendors start leaving at this time too.
Regular admission starts at 9am: $9.00 per person. Children under 12 are admitted free with an adult.
Express admission from 8:00am – 9:00am at $12.00 per person
Early admission from 7:00am – 8:00am: $15.00 per person.
Special preview VIP admission from 5:00am – 7:00am: $20.00 per person.
No pets allowed
Food and beverages available on site.
Let me know if you have any questions or need any tips. I am happy to answer anything you want!
My friend Paloma and her son, Diego, came for a visit, so we took them to the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach. It is one of my five top places to take friends with children when they come to LA. Kids (and adults) love it so much.
(Places like this remind me of how different was my childhood from the one my kids are having. I was born and raised at the “end of the world,” one of the southern most cities of the American continent Punta Arenas, surrounded by beautiful landscapes and people, but not much access to the “world”. My kids, on the other hand, have access to almost everything the world has to offer, including an amazing, gorgeous, and informative aquarium with hundreds of sea creatures just 30 minutes away! They are spoiled. I know it.)
So, let’s talk about the Aquarium of the Pacific. It is not a HUGE aquarium, but it is big and you can easily spend 5-6 hours there if you enjoy the different events and special exhibitions they have. If you just want to see sea creatures, you can be done in 2 hours. It has two floors and an outdoor area.
My favorite things to look for are the aquariums inside the building with the Horses and Dragons. Sea horses have all the colors and shapes you can imagine. My kids’ favorite is the Shark Lagoon. The sharks and stingrays get fed a couple of times a day; which is a lot of fun to watch. The Lorikeet Forest is a highlight, too. You are allowed to feed the birds while they walk all over your arms and hair. Did I mention there is a baby penguin? And a tunnel that runs in the middle of a seal swimming pool? Yeap, lots to do, for sure.
Here are some photos:
Nemo!!! All kids know Nemo and love seeing it in the natural habitat. This is a shark egg. That right in the middle is a shark. Kids can see all the different stages of shark development inside an egg. Precious.
Look at these glowing colors. Just WOW! Don’t you think?
Jellyfishes are beautiful. So graceful and serene.
Yes, this is a sea horse, can you believe it? The Lorikeet Forest. More and more color.
Paloma and Diego. Love you both!
My only problem with the Aquarium is that is expensive. It is better to buy a family membership and use it many times through out year to make it worth it. Otherwise, you will pay $29.95 for adults and $17.95 for children every time you go there.
Tips for your visit
- Get there early to avoid crowds, especially on weekends.
- There is a restaurant where you can buy food and drinks. They have healthy options.
- There are some water games in the outside area. Some kids can get wet, so you might want to bring a change of clothes.
- It is hot outside during the summer, bring sunscreen!
Hope you like it!
100 Aquarium Way,
Long Beach, CA 90802
Open 9:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m – Every Day of the Year, Except Christmas Day (Dec. 25) and During the Grand Prix of Long Beach (April 15-17, 2016).
Right now, it is all happening in the Arts District, DTLA. Nice restaurants (have you been to Bestia?), cool galleries, vintage shops, bars… It is a great place to be so we have been taking advantage of it. It is close(r) to home, not that crowded (yet), and in Downtown, which is my favorite place to go out in LA.
If you are planning a night out with friends, I highly recommend going here. You can see art, have a drink, look at murals, watch people taking photos -million of IG opportunities here-, take a selfie -cause you know why-, and then have dinner somewhere.
Most galleries close around 6 or 7pm, but the Hauser Wirth & Schimmel closes at 8pm on Thursdays. Here you can get a drink and see some art before dinner. Shops like Hammer and Spear close around 7 pm, Poketo closes at 10pm on weekends, etc.
The last couples of times we went there, we ate at Fritzi. A small and modern restaurant; kind of unpretentious but hip. It is small, and never too crowded. The drinks are tasty and the food, too. The fried chicken is their signature dish, and it is delicious. The fries are great – double fried, which is the only way of making good fries. I like to sit outside and do some people watching.
The Arts District Brewing is just next-door. It has great beers and drinks, plus a relaxing vibe.
After dinner, walk over to Little Tokyo. There are even better bars over there and all the fun of a neighborhood that resembles Japan.
Here are some photos I took in one of our outings. Hope you like them.
Camping trips are a nice bonding opportunity for the family. I felt that on our trip to Idyllwild last year, where it was only the four of us for three days doing everything together.
This year, we wanted to have a similar experience, so we decided to take the kids to the Buckhorn Campground in the LA National Forest. 2 hours from my house and 1 hour from Pasadena.
What is nice about Buckhorn is that you are truly “incommunicado.” As soon as you start climbing the mountains, cell phone service is out. It is just you, your family, your car, and your fears, so make sure you bring everything you need-including a book!
Buckhorn is a first come, first served campground. No reservations needed, but you need to arrive early morning on a Friday (8-9am) to get a site. If it is a busy weekend, like 4th of July, you better arrive on a Thursday.
The bathrooms are not clean, there are no showers, and no park rangers on site, so it is a pretty wild situation for those city people that like the city life, but the place is beautiful and “remote”- if you consider a place that is 45 minutes away from a 15 million people city remote. In my dictionary (and the dictionary of every other human being I know), not having cell phone service “classifies” a place as remote, or simply hell. If you are in the “hell” category, don’t go to Buckhorn.
FOOD AND FUN
This time, I wanted the experience of eating food to be a memorable one. There is no reason why you can’t bring nicer table clothes, serving plates, and food. I wanted to be able to have a nice meal, and that is what we did.
I like wildness with civility. Ugliness depresses me (I am a Taurus, there is nothing I can do to help this), so I made sure to bring a couple of things to beautify the table and my soul. It worked.
Good salads, appetizers, skewers, fruit, marinated steak were all part of the menu, and, for dessert, marshmallows (duh!) and cookies. Simple and sweet.
Wouldn’t you agree that one of the best parts of camping is eating (and drinking); well, in reality, one of the best parts of life is eating (and drinking), so I would recommend putting extra effort in that part of the planning.
KIDS GO WILD
In the beginning, it was a little difficult for my kids to entertain themselves. A bunch of nature didn’t seem to be enough to stimulate their creativity. Well, by the end of the camping trip they were making up games and having fun in such a beautiful and valuable way. That change made the trip well worth it.
We went for a couple of hikes and I was impressed at how much these kids can walk. One day we went all the way up a mountain, away from trails. Kids loved that. Another day we went to a stream, the kids were so happy going in the water naked and free.
As a side note, don’t forget to bring a small First Aid Kit. At some point, your kids will need a Band-Aid, so you better have it on hand. This is the voice of experience talking.
The trip was fun and easy. We are going to try to go camping again in September near Ojai.
Thanks for stopping by!
Gjusta is a deli, bakery, and coffee shop in the heart of Venice. It has amazing food but it is pricey, although no more pricey than any other hot food spot in LA.
I would define Gjusta as a minimalist, tasteful, creative and mildly pretentious place… like almost every other restaurant around Abbot Kinney. I think this spot could be encapsulated in time as an example of what LA was trying to be in the 2010s.
Now that we have established these basic facts, let’s talk about the décor! I loved this place! The artisan style, big open kitchen, white marble tops, flowers, beautiful food, and open patio were a win, win for me.
The food was SOOOOO good. George and I had steak and eggs and my kids had a goat cheese quiche. Both these dishes were excellent, but the best one was the multigrain waffle. Gjusta has amazing pastries so you should try some if you head that way.
The patio in the back is beautiful and small so it gets filled up quickly. If you can avoid brunch or lunch time, please, do. It gets extremely crowded in there with huge lines and no spot to sit in. Luckily, We are morning people and I have small children, so we were ordering food by 7:30 am on a Sunday. A that time there were no lines, plenty of available tables, and the calming sunlight of the morning hours.
One interesting thing about this restaurant is that it has no sign outside. It is located in a big warehouse and it can be difficult to differentiate from any other building in the block if it wasn’t for the movement of people coming in and out of the place. Also, no more than one block away, you can find a large homeless camp, a sad reminder that not all of us have the income to spend $4 on a drip coffee.
Fran Camaj and Travis Lett, same people who created Gjelina, are behind Gjusta.
Open everyday · 7AM–9PM