A case of the “fleas”

Posted by on Nov 19, 2012 in Fabulous & Free | 0 comments

We just saw the biggest flea… but no need to buy a flea collar!  My friends, Debbie & Anna, joined me on recent trip to Southern California to see the Pasadena Rose Bowl flea market as well as other markets/antique stores.

Day 1:  Left Arizona at 6 am…& drove to Arizona (That 6+ hour drive seemed like 2 with all the girl gab).  We started our shopping extravaganza in Escondido at The Urban Barn.  Go visit the gals there if you want to find reasonably priced goods that are unique and shabby.  From there we went to the design district and ended our first day.  We finished the day at a wonderful Mexican restaurant and abundant conversation.  Ole’!

Day 2:  On Friday we were thrilled to join Marla and the girls at Matilda’s Mouse.  This barn is a plethora of treasured themed finds.  The theme this show was Christmas and I found a mountain of wonderful vintage Christmas decor to add to my collection/home.  This sale is featured in the current Romantic Homes magazine if you want to see some photos of what was inside the barn!  Put it on your calendars…it’s more than worth the trip!

After the barn sale we headed to Ocean Beach, CA and picked up some great treasures and ideas at Vignettes, The Corner Store (I got some great looking vintage lighting here that my handy hubby is going to wire into some vintage bird cages for me for hanging fixtures), and the Antique Mall.  We ate at The Harp, an Irish Pub.  There is a great small Chinese restaurant on Newport Avenue as well.

Day 3:    Saturday morning greeted us with a sunny hello as we headed to Orange, CA.  We had a great time meadering through the shops there.  Small time charm right in the LA area…who knew??  We ate lunch at a Mexican restaurant on the main street.

Day 4:  Pasadena Paradise…the big kahoona!  The Rose Bowl Flea Market.  Entered at 8 am, picnic lunch at 11:30 checked out by 2:30.  We went back to the hotel, watched a movie and recouperated and headed downtwon Pasadena to eat and get a Baskin Robbins.  There are plenty of restaurants to choose from .

Day 5:  Leisure breakfast and drive back home to Arizona.


Flea Market Tips:
  • Stay in a hotel that includes breakfast…we found great ones in wonderful locations in Escondido and Pasadena.  The one in Escondido had a gas station right across the street which made it easy to fill up before each day.  Also when traveling with others, it allows early risers to be courteous and eat/go the dining area while others sleep.
  • Use a voice-activated navigation system – makes manuvering around so much easier.  We did really well with our phone app.
  • Bring cash in small bills (20s, 10s, 5s & 1s)  The more ones the better especially early in the day when a lot of vendors don’t have a lot a change.
  • Make sure everyone’s cell phone is on and charged.  It gives you the freedom if traveling in a group to separate and reconvene.  I did this because I was buying gifts for my friend Deb at the flea and didn’t want her to see my parcels.
  • Take some quart and gallon zip lock bags with you to hold your small purchases and protect any paper purchases/ephemera.  File folders will help paper purchases from getting bent.
  • Bring a roller cart/wagon of some kind & reusable totes – it can get tiring carry around packages all day.
  • Dress in layers – it is cold to start off with and hot by 11 in the month of November.  Check the forecast before you go – you may need an umbrella.
  • Pay to park – it is so worth the $10 to have the car close to the entrance/exit.  Mid-day I went to the car and put my treasures in and ate my picnic lunch.
  • We paid to get in at 8 am which is only $2 more than getting in at 9 am – completely worth it.  We do not feel like you need to get there and pay to get in at 5.  If you go too early – there is no gurantee the booths will be set up.  Eight AM was very doable and no one was getting trampled and still some of the booths were not set up.  We finished early before the market closed and we walked every booth so felt the 8 AM entry was great.
  • Take some sold signs (we made ours out of paper) and some tape in case you buy a large item and want to mark it and come back later and pick it up.
  • Take LOTS of water (we kept a small cooler in the car), a visor/sunglasses, sunscreen and wear good shoes.  You are on your feet all day – you need to be comfortable.  Pack some protein bars in your zippered aprons with your cash.
  • At the risk of sounding like your mother: take some hand sanitizer…you are touching a lot of old/dirty things and the bathroom lines are long – be prepared with some tissues in your purse.  Most don’t have toilet paper.
We were shopped out by 2:30 (it ends at 3) but felt like we covered the entire market.  It was probably best we didn’t have a Uhaul truck – as it just may have gotten filled on this trip.  Actually – we could easily see out of the back window on the way home from travels…we all even had some of our budget left over.  It wasn’t for lack of cute items – we were just savvy shoppers and found good deals.  We would highly recommend this trip.  Because it was Veteran’s Day weekend – traffic driving home to Scottsdale on Monday was a breeze.  Hope you contract your own case of the “fleas” soon!  Here’s a photo journal of our trip:




Design District

Here we are in the Design District...I picked up the cutest train case in this shop.

Matilda's Mouse

We arrived early at Matilda's Mouse and were given numbers 1, 2, & 3 to line up. Marla & the girls said when we arrived, "These girls look like shoppers." They were right!











Antiquing in Orange, CA

Antiquing in Orange, CA

Quaint Orange, CA

Quaint Orange, CA

Pasadena Rose Bowl Flea Market

Pasadena Rose Bowl Flea Market...a terrific treasure hunt.

Room in our SUV

We have proof in this photo we had room in the SUV to make a few more stops - but we were content to come home with great treasures and money left over!

We could hardly contain ourselves!

We could hardly contain ourselves! The excitement was well worth it!

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