Bali Hai

For our last night in San Diego Patrick and I went out to dinner and drinks with the lovely Suzanne (of Sweetie Suz) and her husband Dave. After dinner at a swell Mexican restaurant we went Bali Hai, a Polynesian restaurant right along the water, for drinks.

You might remember Suzanne from Tiki Day at Disneyland. She’s the gal who started it all! So it was a pleasure to be able to visit with her again and talk about their recent wedding and honeymoon in Hawaii. I hope our paths cross again soon.

I have strict packing rules when traveling, and didn’t bring any jewelry to match my tiki dress, as it simply wouldn’t fit! So talk about a simple outfit! But regardless of this outfit’s lack of accessories, the dress is one of my favorite thrift store finds! Yes, this dress was indeed found at a thrift store! And it’s a true 1950s tiki beauty! I couldn’t believe my luck when I found it, and that it fit like a glove! And it was a great price too! $7.99!

Well, that wraps up the San Diego posts! I am so glad I had the ability to tag along on Patrick’s business trip. I came home with treasures and I had a wonderful time with Carla, who I bonded with over not just our mutual love of vintage, but also Disney and cosplay! A triple hitter! I was able to discover, for myself, fresh, new places in California that I had never been to before, and want to explore more. Then capped off the trip with the evening with Suzanne and Dave.

And while this may be it for our trip to San Diego, that isn’t it for California! Patrick and I will be returning next month for a trip to Disneyland. Which we will be driving to, and making many stops along the way! As we are now car owners! I am beyond excited to revisit some places I haven’t seen since high school (especially excited to shoot digitally, as opposed to film) and share these places with Patrick. Plus go to Disneyland!

Balboa Park

As mentioned in my previous post, after visiting Mission San Diego de Alcalá, I decided to visit the highly recommended Balboa Park. And now I know why people kept bringing it up. It is nothing short of spectacular and I am forever in love.

From its impeccably detailed buildings to its sprawling gardens, my eyes darted from one spot to another in an attempt to take it all in. I was especially drawn to the Botanical Building, but I was crushed to discover it was closed on Thursdays. However, as we were flying out in the afternoon of the next day, Patrick and I checked out of our hotel early and made a quick return to Balboa Park to visit the Botanical Building. So this post is a combination of snaps I took Thursday afternoon and Friday morning.

As I was so enthralled by all of the buildings, I spent much of my time wandering around, and only visited one museum (of the 17 museums they offer!), the Museum of Photographic Arts. I also had a delightful walk through the Palm Canyon Trail.

The Botanical Building was incredible and I loved looking at all of the unique plants. We also saw darling little fluffy ducklings outside the building!

Upon returning home I discovered the park is also home to a cactus garden as well as a desert garden, of which I am heartbroken to have missed. Oh well, I guess that means I’ll just have to visit sometime again in the future! In many ways Balboa Park reminded me of another Californian institution I am so deeply in love with, the Huntington. Another place I would love to visit again, as I haven’t for around ten years or so.

There will be one more San Diego post! Then that’s it! Look for it tomorrow!

Mission San Diego de Alicalá

Having visited 99% of the shops I wanted to go to, my fourth full day in San Diego was spent exploring the city on my own. I didn’t really have a plan, but then I remembered Carla told me that San Diego had a mission, and not just a mission but the first mission! One of the many reasons I love California is its rich history and the Spanish missions are part of that rich history and are entirely unique to California. Additionally I find them nothing short of beautiful.

Mission San Diego de Aliclá was originally founded in 1769, but in 1774 was relocated, to its current location, to be closer to the Kumeyaay Indians. However just a year later the mission was attacked by Indians, and Padre Luis Jayme was killed. Not only was Parde Jayme killed, but the mission suffered from a horrendous fire, and in 1776 Padre Serra began restoring the mission. Over the decades prior to Mexican independence the mission converted many Native Americans while also raising livestock and horses. When Mexican independence was declared in 1821 the mission was given to Santiago Arguello. Then a little over twenty years later the Mexican-American War began. When it was over the US Cavalry used the mission and made many repairs to the mission and its builinds. In May of 1862 President Abraham Lincoln issued a proclamation returning all of the missions to the Roman Catholic Church.

Today Mission San Diego de Alcalá is still an active church, hosting daily and Sunday mass, but is open to the public and offers a small museum offering the history behind the mission, as well as artifacts unearthed during restoration. The mission is still in the process of uncovering new artifacts on its site.

I wrapped up at Mission San Diego just before lunchtime and remembered that many had suggested I visit Balboa Park, which I then decided to do. Balboa Park proved to be incredibly gorgeous and I took loads of photos! So it will be getting its very own post soon!

San Diego Finds

Well, we are home from San Diego! What a trip! It was lots of fun, but I’m certainly glad to be home. I was planning on my “haul” post to be my last post about San Diego, but it seems y’all are just too impatient to hear about this vintage shop I’ve been hinting at on my Facebook and Twitter pages! So here we go!

I was delighted to find out that San Diego had a decent number of vintage shops and antique malls to visit during my stay. Three out of my four full days in San Diego I spent shopping with Carla of Tiny Angry Crafter. When shopping out of town, I have to be pickier, especially as we were flying back, and I loathe checking bags, but being picking was a little bit easier as my wallet was on the slim side after two days at Expo, so I really didn’t come home with much, but boy did I want to! I wasn’t finding too much on day one and two, but on day three I fell in love. And let me tell you, if I had a bottomless pocketbook and drove to San Diego, I would have bought basically the entire store. What is this shop you ask? It’s The Girl Can’t Help It.

The Girl Can’t Help It is quite possibly the best vintage clothing store I have ever been to. It really encompasses everything a vintage shop should be, and carries items some of us only dream about. We’re talking novelty print skirts, amazing tiki dresses, true felt circle skirts with fabulous appliqués, adorable shorts, western wear, even showgirl outfits! Of course there are frocks galore, and they are stunning. There is also a plethora of Bakelite and jewelry, jaw-dropping hats and purses. There’s even a men’s section that is spectacular. Nearly every piece in the shop is a showstopper! And all of it is real vintage. Most (like 99.9%) being from the 1930s through the early 1960s, with the occasional 20s piece, 60s mod dress or 70s band tee. All of the items are in immaculate condition and the prices reflect the condition and rarity of the items in the shop.

I chatted with Gail, the shop owner, for a bit, as she shared her passion for vintage that spans the decades. Before opening the shop in San Diego, she had her business in London for 25 years, then relocated to California and has catered to some of the Hollywood elite among the avid vintage lovers and collectors.

Also noticed the shop were some of Vivian of Holloway items, including dresses, tops and shorts. Talk about a brilliant business move. I can’t tell you how often girls unfamiliar with vintage come into vintage shops wanting that perfect 50s sun dress with a full skirt, only to realize that very few still exist, and if there is one, it’s not in their size. Having vintage repro at the ready is super smart.

While I would have loved to have walked out with the entire rack of western wear, including the two gorgeous sets on the wall and much more, I instead walked out with only a (much needed) black blouse.

I especially love this black blouse as it has puff sleeves, which means it will pair well with some of my Mexican and western themed pieces.

If you aren’t in the San Diego area, take a peek at the shop’s Etsy page, where you will find over 200 items! You can also like The Girl Can’t Help It and find out more on Facebook.

So what else did I buy while in the fair city of San Diego? Here is the haul!

I scored another much needed piece – a red peasant blouse! I also found an extremely comfortable Hawaiian (that was $8!). Buffalo Exchange on 5th Avenue.

I picked up this wooden sombrero and metal charm bracelet at Ms. Vintage. Which I simply had to purchase as it matches my wooden sombrero necklace!

I found this Disneyland Hotel shot glass at Newport Avenue Antique Center. It’s a little worse-for-wear, but I love it.

I also picked up a tie for Patrick. This hand-painted hula girl, with fringe skirt was too good to pass up, even with its issues, at $15! La Mesa Antique Mall.

There are a few more posts about San Diego headed your way in the next few days!

Hotel Del Coronado

Yesterday Carla of Tiny Angry Crafter and I ran around to various vintage shops and also stopped by one of San Diego area’s most iconic landmarks, the Hotel Del Coronado.

Opening in 1888, the hotel became a hot spot for US presidents and in the 1920s, for the Hollywood elite. When World War II broke out it was taken over by the US government and used for housing, hospital and victory garden (they still grow some items on site today!). While many movies were filmed at the Del, most notably Some Like it Hot, the post-war years were not good to the hotel, and even had a brief chance at being demolished before it became a National Historic Landmark in 1977, and has seen a massive renovation in the last two decades.

The Del is also noted for its connection to L. Frank Baum, the author of the Oz books, as he did much of his writing there, and the hotel is even host to Oz Con International – a convention dedicated entirely to the world of the Wizard of Oz. The hotel is also said to be haunted, most claim it to be Kate Morgan, who died of an apparent suicide at the hotel.

Carla and I had a delightful time walking around the grounds and peeking inside the hotel. We even watched a sand castle version of the hotel being built before we sat down to enjoy some ice cream and found a photobooth!

Stay tuned for more posts from San Diego!

Old Town San Diego

Greetings from San Diego! Today I got together with the doll that is Carla of Tiny Angry Crafter and we visited some of the antique shops in the Ocean Beach area (where I bought one little item) before visiting Old Town San Diego. And let me just say, it was incredibly charming. I felt like I was on the set of Zorro!

It was so much fun to be around so many beautiful plants, and peek in and out of unique shops and read about San Diego’s history. Carla and I chatted as we ate churros and we made plans to get together again tomorrow for more adventures!

July Expo

This weekend was one of the most anticipated events in my calendar, the summer antique show at the Portland Expo Center, aka Expo. While Expo happens three times a year (the other two shows being in March and October – learn more about Expo by visiting their website) the summer show is often the best, as there are 400 additional dealers, bringing the total number of dealers to 1,400. So when you see “Expo” listed as the source of an item in an outfit post, it came from one of three of these shows.

This show I had the goal of purchasing more turquoise jewelry and more Egyptian themed jewelry and I would say I was quite successful in those two areas. I also made a few additional purchases.

While walking down one of the many aisles at Expo we stumbled upon a table with loads of half-sheet size movie posters on it. I can never resist movie posters. Seriously. As I sifted through them I didn’t come across any titles I was familiar with, though my dad most certainly did, and most were of the late 60s and 70s B-movie variety. But then I stumbled upon a poster for one of my favorite movies, The Assassination Bureau. Now, I’m not sure what that means for the status of The Assassination Bureau…I mean, I guess it is a little hokey…but I do love it. It stars one of my biggest idols, Diana Rigg, some of you may know her from The Avengers, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, and most recently Game of Thrones.

I was also thrilled to find most more barkcloth, as I’ve been going a bit pillow-making crazy lately (as you might have noticed if you follow me on Instagram). I was extra excited when I found a more abstract print, instead of the more traditional floral print.

While normally I am banned from buying glasses, I couldn’t resist this set of glasses depicting four of California’s missions, including Mission San Juan Bautista and Mission San Francisco de Asís, also known as Mission Dolores, both of which appear in Hitchcock’s masterpiece, Vertigo.

I also picked up two tooled leather purses. Though…like I need more? I mean come on, $10 a piece?

I was pleased to also add to my Egyptian jewelry collection with a scarab ring and scarab earrings.

I was bummed that I didn’t find much Egyptian jewelry that fit my quest of not buying necklaces. I told myself to focus on buying anything but necklaces, as I have so many necklace options, but most of what I stumbled upon were necklaces, and none were super amazing to me. But what I did buy a lot of was some gorgeous turquoise and sterling pieces of jewelry.

I purchased another sterling saddle ring, a much daintier one than the one I purchased in Bakersfield back in spring. This one in need of some polishing…

I also bought three sterling and turquoise rings.

But by and large, the best pieces I bought were a trio of Kachina sun face pieces – a bracelet, a brooch (which has a loop so it can also be worn as a pendant!) and a squash blossom necklace. All are a little different, but that’s what makes them interesting.

The squash blossom necklace is stunning and is a piece I am very happy to own. It’s also surprisingly light for how intricate it is.

But just because the summer Expo is over, doesn’t mean summer antique shows are over! Summer also offers three more antique shows, which I am greatly looking forward to.

Although right now I should be packing! I’m tagging along to Patrick’s business trip to San Diego. For all of my trips to California, I’ve never actually been to San Diego, mainly because most California trips end in the LA and outlaying areas because that’s where our family members are. I’m eager to go though because I’ll get to visit with Suzanne, of Sweetie Suz, who I’m eager to see again after the fun we had together at Tiki Day at Disneyland. I also get to meet up with Carla of Tiny Angry Crafter! There also appears to be loads of vintage shops and antique malls to visit and I’ve created a list and mapped out all the places I want to go. Hopefully I’ll blog from the hotel! Otherwise it’ll be when I get back!