Retro Building Revamp on Whittier Blvd.

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In 2015, Friendly Hills Bowl on Whittier Blvd. closed its doors. It had been a staple in Whittier for many years and I was concerned about losing the awesome “Googie” architecture on the famous street. Last Fall, Aldi supermarket and BevMo opened their doors on the property and I was happy to see they worked in some of the vintage elements from the original property.

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This sign once read “BOWL” with purple diamonds. I was so excited to see that they reworked the signage.

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You can see the stone wall and strong lines on the roof– these were all from the bowling alley.

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I shot these in October when BevMo had just opened and Aldi was nearly open. You can see the “Friendly Hills” sign which is original design but with updated color. The diamonds below used to read “bowl”– I love that signage from the bowling alley was still able to be used.

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LOVE IT!

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This image is from the Whittier Daily News site and you can see the original “bowl” signage before it was redone. The link to the story is here.

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.

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!

Vintage Signage Post: Doll Hut

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.
I came across the Doll Hut sign after leaving Disneyland and cutting through cross streets to hit up a local thrift shop. It’s situated on this little caul-de-sac that looks more industrial than dive bar.

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I looked it up online and it turns out it’s a bar & venue for bands– not all that far from Chain Reaction if you’re a concert goer in Anaheim. I love the house graphics on the sign; the roof and window are fantastic. I haven’t seen it at night so I don’t know if the neon is still working.

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This is my first “signage” post, but I have many local sign photos and am always on the lookout for new ones, so check back for more in the future!

A Trip to the Temecula Valley Food & Wine Festival

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At the end of last month, I made a trip out to Temecula Valley to go to their Balloon & Wine festival. It was in its 32nd year, so my family and I were very excited to visit. I imagined I would be out in a field shooting photo after photo of giant hot air balloons floating across the clear desert sky.

Unfortunately, that’s not exactly what happened. As it turns out, the emphasis on the festival is the wine, not the balloons.

We arrived at about 9am and two balloons happened to be floating over the parking lot. It had been a very overcast morning, so it was great to see them cut through what was left of the morning cloud cover.

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We headed in and… there were four balloons. Four. These four were visible from standing in the parking lot, so I was hoping for more. & they weren’t headed for a morning cruise, they were all tethered to the ground.

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In fact, within 2 minutes of this photo being taken, the Smokey balloon (a personal fave. out of four.) and a real estate balloon were taken down.

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…and then there were two.

My family and I walked around– there was a great booth that decorated vehicles out of old wine barrels, but otherwise it was closer to the “info” section at a fair– company booths for cell phones, solar energy, etc. There were a few clothing booths (nothing really crafty like I’d hoped, more swap meet style), a kids sections that hadn’t opened yet, and a row of food trucks. We took a lap and walked by the wine section, which wasn’t open because it was just after 9am.

I think we were there all of 30 minutes max. The remaining two balloons continued to bounce up and down as people waited in line to spend a couple of minutes up in a tethered balloon.

One more thing that has been bothering me… in the newspaper Sunday admission was listed at $18 dollars. It was $20. & the “early bird” half-off deal was listed in the newspaper to last until 10 am. They cut it at 9am. So the $27 my family accounted for tickets (3 tickets before 10am at $9 each) actually cost us $60. Ouch!

Would I go again? Nope. But I’m not a wine drinker. I think that is the target market for an event like this– bringing the local wineries into one space for people to visit. There was also a large stage and I believe that on Friday and Saturday nights they had live acts. I would definitely consider coming out if it was someone I wanted to see live– it’s most likely cheaper than seeing them in an area show. So, if you’re in the area and are a big wine fan, you should check it out. If you’re a balloon fan, you can skip!