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Christmas holiday shopping has been overwhelming - so many gifts, so many stores, large crowds, yeesh.  But stopping by Pasadena's Gold Bug boutique is a true escape.  This shop is about art, fantasy, and the outright bizarre.  Feeling a bit like Alice lost in Wonderland, I love wandering, staring, and chatting with the family owners.  They have a perspective unlike anything I have ever seen and chances are you won't find their merchandise anywhere else.

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Aside from a rare collection of books, clothing, jewelry, Santa Maria Novella perfumes, and crystals, Gold Bug hosts an array of beautifully framed insects and reptiles.  Granted, I am bit terrified by the snakes and octopi on the walls, but the butterflies and beetles are unreal.  I was lucky enough to get one for my birthday!  If the hanging bats (yes, they are real) and encased coral don't stun you, well then you can always stand beneath the stuffed sloth hanging from the ceiling.  Make time to see for yourself.

Blue morpho butterfly

Blue morpho butterfly

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