As I’ve mentioned countless times before, Pasadena is my happy place. My entire family has been in love with Pasadena for over 40 years. I have no idea what the draw is, but it’s definitely magical. Mom’s family settled there before moving to Orange County, she and Dad courted there, and even I fell in love with it as I came into adulthood.
When I arrived in Glendale to meet up with Allison and her mom, I was treated to homemade KFC fried chicken. Allison had been marinating the chicken in her secret sauce for 2 whole days. Eating it fresh out of the frying pan was a real treat. Hui.1 and I were very pleased with the quantity of protein and just a hint of flouring for the outside. They made it especially for me, since they usually coat it in flour twice, but this batch only had one coating. Once we finally made it out the door, we stopped at the donut shop for some naughty treats (hey, I only ate HALF of my donut that day), and made our way down the 134 to the Pasadena Hilton.
First stop was the Crazy Pirate Rock Lady, who was thrilled to find me expecting and how well I carry the baby. I said having gestational diabetes has helped me keep off any excessive baby weight, which is pretty true considering how difficult it is to gain weight from limited carbs and a plentiful amount of protein. Crazy Pirate Rock Lady had a blast quizzing Allison’s mom about all the different kinds of stones she had, because she has the craziest stash you could ever imagine. I’m still drooling over the color changing garnets (she was down to her last 2 strands), but I don’t think it could handle 26g wire and it makes me nervous working on anything that requires 26g wire unless it’s earrings. I have to say the best loot from her this round was the goregous strand of Goeshite, 3 pieces of sparkly golden green apatite, and a very special strand of iolite and tanzanite. I promised her I would keep the iolite and tanzanite together since she wanted that particular strand to go to a special home. ♥
After we were finished with the Crazy Pirate Rock Lady, we circled the rest of the room and then headed directly to our next favorite vendor with some really AMAZING multicolor tourmaline. These tourmaline beads came from these guys…
I ended up getting 3 strands… 1 with some awesomely large tourmaline beads (great for focals), 1 that’s a great size for more rock on a rope necklaces, and 1 very special strand of sliced watermelon tourmaline in bead form. I’ve already put away the other two strands, but I haven’t had the heart to cut the slices yet. I need to separate out the pairs that would make awesome earrings first. Still waiting for that moment of, “alright, I’m going to do this!”
After that stop, I decided to sit out the next room and settled at the little Starbucks to finish off the baggie of fried chicken and cantaloupe. People watching was pretty fun and the couple sitting next to me were very friendly and even offered me a bite of their chocolate cupcake, which was apparently the last one. I politely declined and eventually made my way back to Allison and her mom. They were drooling over the wire wrapped stone pendants and the artist was really awesome, interacting with both of them and talking about all of her drool worthy stones.
In the next big room over, I came across my other rock vendor whom I’ve dubbed as my “Mongolian rock people” because the husband has the look of a skinny Mongolian warrior. Hehee. It turned out that their daughter’s best friend was my wedding photographer. I was chatting with the wife about the baby and the Chinese seclusion and customs for postpartum. It’s weird, but after she said the same things my mom said, yeah, I’m seriously going to be a cow for the first month. At least it’ll be nice to stay home and mostly in bed. According to the blog link, a lot of the food on there is stuff Jesse puts in his salsa… I foresee him making a run to Superior for chips and salsa supplies. Hehehe. I need to remind him if his family leave is fully paid or not. But it sounds like he gets a pretty good deal for 6 weeks of working for 2 days a week, then spending the other 3 days at home. I bought some square kyanite beads that will make great earrings and necklaces (maybe an infinity necklace), some awesome grossular garnets I just couldn’t put down, and more sunstone. She always gives me a better price than what’s marked, so whoo hoo! It’s always nice to see them at all the bead shows I go to. Hopefully one of their kids will keep the business running, or else I’m going to be really sad!
Eventually, we made our way back to the Crazy Pirate Rock Lady for Round 2 and meeting up with a friend whom we befriended at the last Pasadena show. It was fun, we got to meet her wife and son. Her son was really shy even though he was completely enthralled with pregnant women. Beautiful family and we all bought more rocks. Here’s a shot of all of my rock loot. I forgot to include the glass beads I got from Grace…
Finally, we made it to the last room, which was also the main room of the show. Yeesh, it was already 2-something by then. We wandered around and I found a chair to sit in because my feet were getting zonked. The highlight of this trip and it’s crowning glory was when Allison’s mom found a lucky Chinese dangle of BOK CHOY. She bought one for me and one to share between her and Allison. We were laughing hysterically over the fact that it was bok choy. Even the guy selling it to her was impressed she knew what it was… the pitfalls of being Caucasian and marrying Asian, I suppose. So yes, this was the epitome of our adventure.
The last stop was seeing all the pretty shiny glass beads from Grace. As I’ve said before, Grace is a former Computer Engineer gone artist. She’s awesome and makes awesome beads. We were jumping up and down in the aisle in front of her booth because of the baby and all that. It must have been a sight to be seen. Hehehe. She gave me a free heart bead for the baby. Of course, after I carefully picked out all of the beads I wanted. I was very selective because I’ve hoarded so many of her beads but haven’t used them enough to justify the cost of owning so many and not making/selling enough jewelry with them. Someday, I will find the perfect equation for it… I have a perfect bracelet design down, now for the rest…
The original plan was to stop at the Scarlet Tea Room for tea and snacks, but the kitchen closes at 4pm to get ready for dinner. That was disappointing, but we found a cute little coffee and chocolate shop closer to the parking structure. We took inventory of our loot while sipping our tea. I love cute little café’s like that. ♥
All and all, an awesome day with awesome company. Complete with rocks and bok choy.
This morning, Jesse picked up my strand of bok choy (it lives on the Brita pitcher that sits on the table. I want to attach house bells to it), giggled, and shook his head at me. He agrees it is the epitome of this Pasadena adventure.