After agonizing over the pointlessness of going to Pasadena (home of yuppie stores galore), we decided to check out Upland. We'd eaten at the Café Allegro there on our scouting trip in June, and there seemed to be some interesting stores in the area.
We drove down Euclid (from Foothill), and discovered that there was some sort of craft show going on in the Upland City Center. We found a place to park, and wandered up, only to discover that there wasn't really much happening at all. I think there may have been twenty tables, with various crafts. There were almost half as many booths selling food of one kind of another (including the dreaded Funnel Cakes!). Even as we arrived, many of the vendors were starting to pack up.
The rest of Upland was pretty desolate, as well. A fair number of antique stores full of, well, junk. Lots of closed or empty stores. Hardly any people at all.
We left, got back in the car, and headed towards Claremont Village. On the way, we stopped at the British Emporium and the CM School Supply store (both in the same shopping center).
At the British Emporium, we laughed at some prices, M told me horror stories about some of the products, and we bought three packets of Walker's Crisps. While we were paying, I noticed some Curly Wurly bars—as seen on an episode of Jonathan Creek (currently running on BBC America)—and we decided to get one of those, too.
Then we checked out the CM School Supply Educational Emporium, which had been enticing me since the first time I'd driven by. I expected that it would similar to a shop for teachers in San Rafael that I used to poke around while killing time before an appointment, and I wasn't disappointed. But CM School Supply is so much more! It's about four times the size of the San Rafael store, and has lots more stuff. I managed to find Cuisenaire rods (which I had always thought were called “Cuisinart rods”, even though that never quite made sense). They also had tons of other math-related stuff that looked like it might be fun—tiles and snap-together shapes. They also had lots of books and craft materials.
While we were there, we even managed to find an Xmas gift for M's niece, Lisa, the Dance Beat Drum, advertised as “Techno for Tots!” It's sort of a Dance Dance Revolution for preschoolers.
After that, we ate at the 50s diner in the Claremont Village, and indulged ourselves by picking up New Order's Get Ready CD and Underworld's everything, everything DVD.
The Curly Wurly bar turned out to be yucky (IMHO)—it's a lattice of caramel coated with milk chocolate. The chocolate (Cadbury's from England!) was good, but I really don't like caramel, as it sticks to my teeth and I always manage to bite the side of my mouth while trying to get it off. I think I'll stick to Lion bars in the future....