Thrifty Finds: Long Beach Flea Edition

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So last week I shared my love for the Long Beach Flea at Veteran’s Stadium. I found some great goodies that trip (and left even more behind!) and I’d like to share them with you.

The sweet little Santa above is a bell. Bells are not usually something I look for, but I liked his face. Plus, when I got him home I looked inside and it has the original Japan tag and Holt Howard markers. I scooped him and a bag full of wood ornaments from a booth for $5.

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I don’t know what I’m going to do with these ornaments, maybe a future craft project, but the reason I picked them up was the tiny baby ornament with a present. It is sitting on a quarter for scale. Too cute!

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There was a booth full of stacks and stacks of old magazines. The seller saw me flipping through and making a stack and he told me there were more boxes under the table. They were $5 each so I had to be a little more picky. I focused on holiday theme covers because that’s usually when I buy magazines now. The holidays ones seems to be a little bigger and I was hoping for decorating tips in these. I also found 2 fashion magazines– one for dressing for all “types of men” and one for fashion on a budget.

These will all definitely make appearances in future #VintageEphemeraFriday posts.

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I had quite the vintage linen score, and many on the same theme: vintage southwest. I found 2 tablecloths with grid patterns and hispanic and desert images– one was $6 and one was $5 from two different sellers. The tea towel in the front came from my favorite booth of all: piles and piles of linens to dig through (I took a picture in the LB flea post, check it out!). The towel has some major staining but I’ve been working to clean it up. I also found a children’s hankie (for a future craft project) and my favorite thrift score ever:

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This is a vintage DEADSTOCK Las Vegas tablecloth. It’s covered in old hotel signs, many are not even around anymore. The colors are vibrant and there was only one spot on the bottom for me to clean up. When I got it home I realized it wasn’t even a stain; it was the residue from the price tag.

Vintage Vegas gear is some of my favorite and it’s not always easy to find, and when you do find it sometimes it’s too expensive. This beauty (plus the tea towel and hankie) was $5! Ahhhh! Easily the score of the year, and one of my fave finds ever. I wish I could go back every month to this booth and dig for vintage gold.

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So have you been going to any flea markets this year? What has been you favorite find, let me know!


Vintage Signage Post: Trade Winds

I’ve been a longtime fan of old signs. I think they’re so much more interesting than today’s common backlit box signs. They’re more expensive, but are a great detail for any business.
Driving around Southern California there are still a lot of cool old signs around, although they are being torn down on the regular. I lost all my old pictures on my last computer (an expensive and sad lesson learned about the values of external hard drives) so I often bring my camera with me to recapture old faves and stop whenever I come across new-to-me vintage gems.

This is the Trade Winds Motel. Found in a very busy area just off the freeway in Long Beach, you’ll come across it if you’re cruising down Carson to get to the LB flea. It’s across from a giant shopping center, so it may be easier to park across the street and shoot from there.

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I think it’s interesting that the “MOTEL” sign is what is so large and can be seen from driving by. It’s not until you’re close that you actually see the name. The star accents and minty color makes it an old favorite.

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Between the insane number of wires strung on the street and building and the giant strip mall sign behind it, I wasn’t able to find an angle with a perfectly clear view. But hey, this is what it looks like. Maybe some day I’ll learn photoshop and figure out how to edit out phone lines.

Vintage Ephemera Friday #003

Ephemera is defined as something that is not meant to last long– often paper goods. I find myself picking up matchbook covers, postcards, and old magazines at estate sales, flea markets, etc. I know that there are plenty others who dig this stuff too so I’ve decided to post a new piece every Friday as a series, “Vintage Ephemera Friday,” or #VEF on IG.
I encourage anyone else who reads this to also post cool old ephemeral goods (old papers, pins, magnets, pretty much all advertisement goods, whatever you like!) and post it with both “#VintageEphemeraFriday” and “#VEF” tags so in the future others can search through the collective finds.

For my third post I’d like to show a couple of vintage Holiday Inn postcards. Don’t these feel like my Cabana Bay post?

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I love the colors on the hotel building and I really miss the hotel/motel postcards of yesterday. With most travelers having easy access to social media it’s antiquated to send someone a postcard. It takes a lot more work than to make a post online. I still seek postcards out at flea markets and yard sales (I found these at an antique shop) and hope to see the mighty postcard have a comeback someday!

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I also like when hotel postcards also list the picture’s location on the back and are not just a general photo.

Please feel free to join in and post your vintage ephemera finds here or on IG on Fridays! #vintageephemerafriday #vef

A Trip to Cabana Bay Resort

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Seeing that it is now officially Summer, I thought it would be a good time to post my pictures from my visit to the Cabana Bay resort in Orlando, Florida. I did not stay in the hotel, but walked around and I absolutely loved it; It is a vintage fan’s dream come true! You feel like you’ve stepped into an episode of Mad Men or a film on TCM. The lobby is bright and airy with fantastic vintage-inspired signage.

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The front drive has this awesome Googie inspired architecture and the exterior walls have fun pops of color!

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I took these in December 2014 so there may be a couple of shots with holiday decorations (check the silver tree!), but the decorations overall were minimal. With the sunny skies and warm Florida weather, it felt like a nice May day over being close to Christmas.
A really cool touch in the lobby was this stack of vintage luggage. They were built to stay and people were stopping to pose with them. I love these design choices that add to the theming of the hotel.

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Inside the lobby was a lounge area with a bar called “Swizzle.” There was also a shop with hotel and Universal Studios merch.

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The vintage theming continued outside for the pool area. There were separate hotel buildings surrounding a pool, bar, cabanas, and even a volleyball court.

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The outdoor bar is space-race themed with a rocket ship with Ham, the “astro chimp”, painted on it.

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I love how each building has it’s own kitschy title atop the roof like you’re looking at individual retro hotels.

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Back inside, the dining area is set up like a vintage cafeteria. There are different stations to purchase food and drink and then there is a large dining area with huge screens showing vintage clips and commercials.

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Seriously, can I just move in? I didn’t want to leave!

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Even the graphics are so well thought out. I have so many more signage posts from this visit that I will make another post just for them!

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Outside the diner are 4 classic cars parked in the drop off area. Like the suitcases in the lobby, these are permanent fixtures that only add to the vintage story of the hotel. The commitment to theme and attention to detail make this one of my favorite hotels ever… and I haven’t even spent the night here! Just from visiting for an afternoon and walking around, I know that I will be back here someday and I definitely want to check out their rooms. I bought one of their refill cups at the diner because it had cute kitschy graphics. It’s my little token of Cabana Bay love until I can visit again.

So, have you ever stayed at the Cabana Bay? Is it everything I dream of and more? Let me know about your experience and if you have a favorite “kitschy” hotel (true vintage or just inspired!) that you have visited.
Hope you’re summer is off to a great start!

Vintage Ephemera Friday #002

Ephemera is defined as something that is not meant to last long– often paper goods. I find myself picking up matchbook covers, postcards, and old magazines at estate sales, flea markets, etc. I know that there are plenty others who dig this stuff too so I’ve decided to post a new piece every Friday as a series, “Vintage Ephemera Friday,” or #VEF on IG.
I encourage anyone else who reads this to also post cool old ephemeral goods (old papers, pins, magnets, pretty much all advertisement goods, whatever you like!) and post it with both “#VintageEphemeraFriday” and “#VEF” tags so in the future others can search through the collective finds.

For my second post, I’d like to share this antique accordion sheet music book. It turns out I come from a line of accordion players, at least back to my great-grandfather. My grandpa recently passed away, and we found these old music books in a drawer. I think the cover is so beautiful and nearly 100 years old! I would like to learn to play, unfortunately I’m not the most musical person. At least I can enjoy these books for aesthetics even if I don’t play. I’ll be sure to post others on future #VEFs.

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This is Anthony Galla-Rini. He was a former vaudeville performer who taught the accordion for over 70 years!

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Please feel free to join in and post your vintage ephemera finds here or on IG on Fridays! #vintageephemerafriday #vef

A Trip to the Long Beach Antique Market

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I recently visited the LB flea market at Veteran’s Stadium in Long Beach. It is a great monthly market that is open air near Long Beach City College. It is like the famous Rose Bowl flea, but I like the ease of this market better. The parking is free, there are only 2 price times (early bird is $12 and after 6:30 am is $6), and it isn’t as overwhelming as the Rose Bowl. I went to RB once a couple years ago and I felt like I could never see it all and the parking was very crowded. With Long Beach, it is much more relaxed but not a tiny show. There are rows and rows, but it’s still comfortably walked through in one visit.
It’s a great choice to browse for vintage treasures; I never walk out empty-handed! The event is usually on the third Sunday of the month, but sometimes they add extra shows. I visited this time during their special Memorial Day show. Check their official site for schedule and details.

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Unless you are a reseller or looking for a specific item, you probably don’t need early bird entrance. There will still be plenty of goodies when you get in! There’s also plenty of parking with signs all over when you get close to the school.

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This was my favorite booth by far this trip– piles and piles of vintage linens! I spent a little time digging and scored one of my fave vintage finds EVER.

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Is this the coolest stroller ever? It’s like the vintage Cadillac of strollers. I wonder who bought it?

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I really dig these shelves but have no place for them… the little kewpie on the ground makes me sad, though!

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My number one tip would be to bring cash, especially small bills. If you have exact change, there is a shortcut line at the entrances. Sellers also appreciate smaller bills so they don’t lose their change throughout the day. Also a little haggling is expected, but be nice!

I picked up a few treasures during this shopping trip and I will make a thrift post next week! If you have any questions please let me know if I can help. Also, if you have any flea market recommendations, please let me know I love a good vintage treasure hunt!

A Trip to Knotts Berry Farm Park

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Located in Buena Park, KBF is just a hop, skip, and a jump away (seriously, like, 7 miles) from that really famous theme park in Anaheim. It definitely has a different vibe than that other park, with two major focuses: roller coasters and its western “ghost town” area. It can be a lot of fun to walk around and enjoy its theming as well. Here are some pictures from a trip I took with my family.

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There is also a shopping center with a restaurant famous for its chicken dinners at the front of the park. I will cover that in a separate post in the future.

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Interestingly, one of my favorite areas in the park is a section I can’t ride a single ride: Camp Snoopy! It is specially designed for the youngsters with less intense rides with height maximums. What I love (and what I’m always looking for) is the great theming and decorations. It looks like a campground area with Snoopy, Woodstock, and friends found throughout this section of the park.

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Some of the kid rides.

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There is a shop in the Camp Snoopy area with this cute clock detail above the door.

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There is a lot of greenery and walkways with some snack stands and benches. It looks like a good place to slow things down after the roller coasters and let the kids have fun. I love the characters “fishing” in creek.

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Passed Camp Snoopy and into Fiesta Village there is this beautiful swing ride. I love the art work on the ride! There is also plenty of places to grab a quick bite and also an arcade.

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Past Fiesta Village is the Boardwalk area. There are roller coasters and fair-type games where you can win stuffed animals and other toys. If you’ve learned anything from this blog it’s that I love the retro aesthetic so this 50s diner is one of my faves. The colors plus the palm trees in the back make this area feel extra “beachy.”

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Even though I enjoy theme parks, I’m not much of a ride person, at least not a roller coaster rider. But KBF has the Calico Mine train which is a fun little train ride that takes you inside the mines– there are miners “working” inside and the formations look natural and beautiful. It’s a fun ride for people like me who don’t want to go flipping upside down.

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Next to the Calico Square is the famous ghost town. It feels like an old timey western town, and there may be some western “characters” walking through the area. They have a graveyard near the gold panning with clever signs. Be sure to find the gravesite that has all the footprints on it. Go step on it and read the sign.

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There a lot of cool buildings in the Ghost Town. They have food spots (watch funnel cake get made!) and shops, even a few museums.

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There is also a saloon that has stage shows throughout the day. Check inside for times.

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I love this photo op spot by the blacksmith in ghost town. We have many family photos over the years from here.

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These are some of the iconic benches at KBF, if you live where KBF broadcasts commercials you’ve probably seen them. They’ve had a few paint changes over the years but they are still fan favorites.

That’s it for my KBF park photos. I will make other posts for the Marketplace in front and also a post on a Western Museum they have inside the park that is full of awesome antique treasures.

I definitely recommend visiting this park if making a trip to Southern California. If you’re a roller coaster fan, you’ll definitely like the rides. I personally love the ambiance and vintage-inspired touches. It is also known for its Halloween Haunt, so if you’re planning on visiting in the fall I’d check their official website for schedule changes.

If you have any questions I can help with regarding a trip, please let me know!