Oh yes, please!
Click here to see Rowan Atkinson as famous characters from art history. This is what everyone should be doing with an art degree.
Anyone else addicted to Pinterest? I thought so.
(Thanks to the Bad Joke Eel from Quickmeme.com)
I'm putting together some links to my autumn and Halloween-themed Pinterest boards here. Grab a pumpkin spice latte or some apple cider, and sit down for some serious pinning!
(Click on the titles to go to the Pinterest Board.)
I am crazy about hokey, strange roadside stops. The places that have a jackalope on the roof, or have a sign reading "World's Smallest Wolf in a Jar", or claim to sell the only chocolate covered scorpions in Arizona. You know...that kind of place.
If you also like that kind of place, I can't recommend "Marsh's Free Museum" highly enough. It was packed with just the sort of kitsch I was looking for.
Just look at the roof. Wouldn't you have been throwing on your brakes, too?
We drove past this place on the way to get settled to the cottage. I pointed it out and told Violet she could come see Jake the Alligator man if she was feeling better. "What in heck is an alligator man?" She was very skeptical, but wanted to hear lots more about it.
When this is the first thing you see when you walk into a place, you know it's going to just keep getting better.
That coffin had neat handles.
Random note: That is so not a Violet Outfit. She was chilly so we borrowed a sweatshirt. Not that anyone cares, but I hardly recognize her in these photos.
As you can see below, she was less than thrilled to make Jake's acquaintance.
"What's wrong with his head?"
What else? According to the museum:
Inside you’ll find turn-of-the-century machines, from Victorian era music makers such as an imported French Canary music box and a self-playing violin, to fortune tellers, nickel peep shows and a love meter.
There were more vintage fortune telling machines than I've ever seen in one place. If she'd felt better, I'd have gotten a roll of coins and played every single one.
This self-playing orchestrion (automated strange instrument thingy) was also very noisy.
This stuffed canary actually opens its beak and sings.
More fortune telling machines. Where's a roll of quarters and two extra hours when I need them???
They have a bunch of neat "peep show" type machines. They remind me of those vintage stereoscopic photos held on wooden frames. Do you know what I'm talking about?
I bet these were scandalous back in the day.
I bet mothers would gasp and throw their hands over their children's eyes.
Some very ookie bits of Americana.
I have a soft spot for ridiculous side show stuff, if you can't tell.
Except for clowns. I hate clowns.
Estrella reminded me of the movie "Big" with Tom Hanks. Isn't that how he got changed into a grown-up? If I remember correctly, he told one of these fortune ladies he wanted to be "big".
See why I liked this place?
Good grief...I have so many photos backed up on my computer I just threw in the towel a few months ago. "I give up!" I yelled at my ridiculous storage folder.
Grumble. I'd better get back to organizing stuff or I'll lose those photos and never ever see them again. How do you guys manage your photos? I take so many it's crazy. Then I don't want to deal with them. It's like my virtual junk drawer.
I never shared our quick visit to Long Beach with you guys. This was the tail end of our trip to Washington this spring for Adam's grandfather's 100th birthday celebration. After we left the party, we headed for a stop at the beach. Unfortunately, everyone was struck with a hideous stomach bug. Except for me. I spent most of my day driving and pulling over to assist sickies.
In between stomach bug bouts and violet car sickness, she was still excited about her first glimpse of the Pacific. As soon as I could, I pulled over and we made a mad dash to the beach. I tried to explain that unlike Texas, it's more of a...winter beach. "It's c-c-cold, Mama!"
We found an adorable Victorian beach cottage called The Wrecktory, run by a retired Episcopal priest and a writer/journalist/teacher. It was charming! My biggest regret of the whole trip was that I didn't get to spend more time in this cottage and in Long Beach...was a delightful beachside town!
I got everyone tucked away in the cottage with some Gatorade, then Violet and I headed out to explore. We borrowed a sweatshirt from the cottage because it was much colder than we'd expected.
When I say it was windy on that beach, I mean it was windy. See proof in our videos here and here, but turn down the volume because it was, well....windy. Adam ventured outside with Piper and took the second video. I think I would have put her rubber boots on instead of mary janes, but I'm just glad they felt a tiny bit better so that they could go outside for a bit.
When I returned, everyone was tuckered out and green again. Daddy was extra green. The sick husband is sad, but how about that little square of stained glass? Made me happy.
This cozy chair and camel saddle footstool were right next to the most wonderful little library of books. That trove of reading material was worth the visit alone! I stayed up long into the night sketching and reading by the fire while everyone took turns being so, so pathetically sick. My poor family! And if one of us was well, I'm glad it was me because Mama is usually the best person suited for playing nurse, don't you think?
Long Beach has tons of info about the Lewis and Clark Expedition, along with this fabulous statue of William Clark contemplating a sturgeon. I had to read that twice to make sure I didn't spell "surgeon". That would be a much different statue.
More natural wonder than you can shake a stick at. I'd be scared to swim in that water, though.
I am so verklempt I didn't get a family photo in front of the world's largest frying pan.
Also, we left the day before clamming season opened...waaaah! Maybe I'll get to dig clams next time we visit.
Here are some modern day Razor Clam Queens from Long Beach's Clam Festival. It's held every year in April. I highly approve of any event that produces kitschy royalty.
This vintage photo makes me so happy I could squeal. I love how it looks like he's about to beat them both over the head with a shovel. 'Cause that's how fancy misogynists rolled back in '48.
I suddenly need a clam tiara. Don't you?
The girls shared a room as tiny as a ship's cabin. They said it was cozy.
Check out that porthole in the closet. Tomorrow, my favorite part of the trip...our visit to Marsh's Free Museum, home of Jake the Alligator Man!