I've found that a certain level of diplomacy is imperative when communicating my feelings on any given subject; I never know exactly to whom this blog will reach so I try to be extremely careful in my choice of words. When it comes to one of Pasadena, CA's most famous repositories of historical "art and artifacts," however, there really is no other way to express this sentiment - IT IS CRAZY!!!
No, we're not talking about The Norton Simon Museum. In a quaint neighborhood, on a charming street, in a fairly unassuming cottage there lies a giant secret - more like 30,000+ little secrets. While Mary and I prefer to refer to it as the Bunny Ranch, The Bunny Museum is the private home/collection of Candace Frazee and Steve Lubanski. Just in time for Easter, we found our way to the Guiness Book of World Record-holding, largest collection of bunnies.
|Clue #1 that something is slightly different here is the wire, bunny |
fence surrounding the 10-foot-tall topiary in the shape of a rabbit.
wacky tacky walks a fine line between kitschy/wildly wonderful and just good, old-fashioned insanity. As we approached the front door, I couldn't shake the feeling that we should have told somebody where we were going.
|Good thing Mary was on top of it.|
|Clue #2 that we were in for something odd was the hanging|
bunny on the front door. I admit that I was a little frightened
that something bad was going to happen on the other side of
While it would have made for an especially-compelling (and probably Emmy-winning) episode of Law & Order - one in which Josh Brolin takes a break from the rigors of making major motion pictures for the challenge and thrill of playing Mr. Tiny - I had no desire to become the next permanent addition to the collection. I was surprisingly relieved to see more people join our team. Even if the other group included a grandmother, her daughter, and granddaughter, I felt that the "safety in numbers" rule still applied.
What's up, doc? No seriously, what is going on here?
We were greeted at the door by Candace, the owner of the home/museum and invited to "Hop on in," once we had paid our "Bunny Money," a mandatory, five-dollar, suggested donation. Candace explained that twenty-one years ago she and her husband, referring to each other as "Honey Bunny," began to exchange bunny-themed gifts and have continued to do so EVERY SINGLE DAY ever since.
Ranging from collectible knick-knacks to dime store toys to pieces from Pasadena's Annual Tournament of Rose's Parade, the collection is an expression of their abiding love of and their unique obsession with rabbits and rabbit paraphernalia.
|What would be the living room if there was room to live.|
One of these things is not like the other. Can you spy the living creature?
Display shelves line the walls and every available space is filled with figurines, stuffed toys, advertisements, penny banks, artwork, cookie jars, and even taxidermy - all rabbit in nature.
|Mr. Tiny doing his best rabbit impression.|
I'm very sensitive to pets/pet odors...there were definitely live animals on the premises.
|Bunnies from around the world!|
|A little like Disneyland's Haunted Mansion, this room appeared to have "No|
windows and no doors." The den was basically a giant ball pit of stuffed
rabbits with a small hollow carved out for a loveseat and Hoda & Kathie Lee
|Real bunnies living in the laundry room|
One sees some pretty cute things at The Bunny Museum, but "The Bunny Trail" in the museum's rear garden is home to some equally fascinating/frightening relics of rabbit history.
|Once the framework for a Rose Parade float, this decaying|
bunny face is now a piece of garden art.
|This brings memories of Bunnicula to the forefront of my overactive imagination.|
|We left our mark in 3D chalk|
I'm grateful to Candace & Steve for maintaining their extensive bunny bonanza - but also a little scared. It goes without saying that it probably takes a good measure of the March Hare's madness to perpetuate the ever-evolving collection; it seems they embrace that fact, even touting on their website that they have the "#1 Insane Museum" and the "#1 Weirdest Museum in the Los Angeles." We wish them well in their extreme commitment and many happy years of exchanging daily bunny gifts.
"Here Comes Peter Cottontail" - Gene Autry
Be sure to check out the Funny-or-Die videos featuring The Bunny Museum (I couldn't figure out how to imbed them). As Candace said, with much practice, as we left the museum, "Have a 'Hoppy' day!"
The Bunny Museum
1933 Jefferson Dr
(626)798-8848 (open by appt. only, call for reservations)
Cheers & Happy Easter!