Officially in Training

Bummer, I chose the block for my photo that actually was "medical doctor free".

For years I have been wanting to go to the Rose Bowl Flea Market. Notice how I’ve never mentioned getting there. Like many of the places I’ve been talking about going to, it’s also been one of the many places on my “to do” list. It’s not like it’s so far away that it’s an impossible destination. I’m just a slacker. Every month, I get the email alert telling me that it’s that time again and every month I say, oh, maybe next month. Sure, that’s it. Next month I’ll go. I’ve been playing this game for the past three years. I was tired of my own game and decided it had to end. This was the time. I was going to go.

Well, ok, it’s not like I really decided on my own to put an end to my procrastinating. I did have a little help. I’ll call her the Flea Market Bandit. The Flea Market Bandit kicked into gear a few months ago. It started small. Just a little Irvine Flea Market. She asked me to go with her and hey, I’m all for shopping. I think she was preparing me for the big leagues. At the time we just didn’t know how big league we were getting into. We decided a few weeks ago that this weekend we’d hit the big time. The second Sunday of every month the Rose Bowl Flea Market is in full force. We were all set.

We didn't stick around to watch the show. We actually got kicked out. True story. It was Charlie's fault.

Of course we couldn’t just go up for one day. Where’s the fun in that? The adventure? We needed more. We needed entertainment. We needed it for free. Ah, Venice Beach. Our game plan was to walk. Just walk. But once we got there we didn’t know what to do first. Should we get our medical marijuana license on the left or the right? On the first block or the second? Don’t worry. If you wait too long you have the next block and the next and the next to catch up on that missed opportunity. Whew, good thing. I thought I missed my chance. Things sure have changed since the last time I was here. I thought I’d just be able to get my tattoo and piercings and call it a day but I sure was wrong. Who knew I’d have an opportunity like this?

I know, you’re all probably wondering which Doctor I went with right? Crazy I am not. I passed on the fine choices made available to me. Don’t get me wrong. It’s not that I’m opposed to a license if that’s your thing. But hey, would you buy a Rolex from a NYC subway vendor? I think not. Location is key. Enough said. Nothing says quality wares like selling goods next to the man walking on glass. However, it was a great day. I love seeing things “live” that you’ve seen on TV so many times. Muscle Beach will always fascinate me. Seriously. I wouldn’t want people watching me in the gym so why would I work out on a boardwalk? It was a good day. We walked for hours. Even little Charlie was exhausted. I don’t think we would have walked as much as we did if we knew what we were in store for tomorrow…..

My goal for the day was to find a hat. Mike picked out this fabulous topper. It's already been a hit. Thanks Mike!

We knew we were going to be in for a long day. Over 2500 vendors sell at this bad boy. We wanted to see them all. ALL [Insert evil laughter here]. When we got there we didn’t know where to begin, especially since we were overwhelmed right at the beginning. Gifts! There were even gifts being handed out. What the hell! I mean, who knew what they were but did it matter? The important thing here was that we were being given a free gift just for coming. Oh my God. Not only do we get a free gift but we get a free bag too. This place was amazing. A free bag to hold all of the things that we were going to buy. The excitement was starting to build up. I didn’t know where to begin, where to go, left, right, straight. So much to see, so much to do, I had to get in and go. We actually got a late start. 10am. I know, scary thought. This didn’t discourage us though. We were ready to go and we set off.
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We were determined. We had a game plan. We were a determined bunch. We didn’t want anything to get in our way. Food? Water? Were those really necessary at this point?  Instead of rash buys we marked where our favorite places were and made a point to return and we kept on walking. And walking. And walking. We walked for hours. We had to see it all. Or go down trying. We realized that it was time for a refuel. If we wanted to keep our pace up we would need food. If only for a moment. We didn’t have too long to spare. After our recharge we jumped back into the arena. Our goals had been met early on. Hat for me, headphones and phone case for Mike. We were now just on a pleasure cruise.

Evidence of our only break for the day

When I see what they offer at this market I’m amazed. The furniture is fabulous. If I could go back and do it again I would outfit my house solely from the Rose Bowl flea market. I wonder if Mike would notice if I started selling our furniture one piece at a time to make room for new ones. We decided to leave at closing time. We didn’t have to, they stay open way beyond that but after walking for five straight hours we just couldn’t do it anymore. Yes, you read correctly. Five straight hours. We’ve realized that flea marketing is like a marathon. You can’t just enter and expect to go straight to the top. You have to train for it. You start with the little ones. This is why there are garage sales, estate sales and yard sales. Those are the little leagues. You start at the bottom. Everyone has to start somewhere. You work your way up. We learned quickly that the Rose Bowl Flea Market is like the NYC Marathon.
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We didn’t train properly. Which is why we couldn’t finish the race. Bummer. We’ll be back. With proper training, yes we’ll be back. I know there’s more out there. Bigger, better. In Paris.  Porte de Clignancourt, officially called Les Puces de Saint-Ouen. Ironically I was supposed to go years ago and I ran out of time. Perhaps it was for the better. Look what happened to me at the Rose Bowl. Without the proper training I was done for. Training begins shortly. Paris 2012.
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For an alternate ending and for different pictures, go to my other blog at http://www.redismynaturalcolor.blogspot.com/
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