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Orange County ITINERARY

How Sweet It Is!

Sample lollipops and beef or browse among books, bags and angels.

October 08, 1998|BENJAMIN EPSTEIN | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

There's a sucker born every minute--or at least there would be if it were up to the folks at Gourmet Lollipop Co. You can buy any of 48 flavors of lollipop, or learn to make them yourself in a candy-making class. Then you can check out other shops, including stores specializing in angels and used books, near the corner of Gothard Street and Heil Avenue in Huntington Beach.

MORNING 1 2

Gourmet Lollipop Co. opened 18 years ago with a single item: lollipops. Today, the family operation sells all kinds of candy but still specializes in made-to-order and do-it-yourself suckers, offering private beginners classes as well as advanced truffle and hard-candy courses ($10 to $25 per person). A 45-minute "Basics of Candy" demonstration runs $10 a person (minimum five people).

The store carries a complete line of supplies; do-it-yourselfers can choose among hundreds of candy-making molds in shapes such as angels, turkeys and dollar bills. The company's own line includes intricate lollipops in the shape of sunflowers or daisies.

Nostalgic sweet-tooths will appreciate Necco Wafers (75 cents), bubble gum cigarettes (75 cents) and old-fashioned rock candy ($3.75 per pound). Some jawbreakers measure more than 2 inches across, but sports enthusiasts might prefer chocolate soccer, golf or basketballs. Halloween-themed treats abound.

Founder Frances Trujillo considers the location out of the way, but, she said, "Once people find us, they come back forever."

In the bargain corner at nearby Sandcastle Books, you might still find "The Best of Jim Murray" ($1.50), a paperback featuring columns by the late lauded sportswriter published some 30 years ago.

Elsewhere in the used-book store are a first single-volume edition (1852) of Noah Webster's "American Dictionary of the English Language" ($395) and the 1957 paperback "Will Acting Spoil Marilyn Monroe?," with 43 "luscious pictures," originally released for 35 cents, now offered at $20. The store also sells a limited selection of celebrity collectibles such as payroll checks endorsed by Vincent Price ($110) and Raymond Burr ($69)--Price's check is for $3,960.30, Burr's for $333.71.

LUNCH 3

A full menu of salads, sandwiches and pizza augments the sports bar atmosphere at Suds. The weekend tri-tip special, served 2 to 9 p.m. Saturday and Sunday for $3.95, comes with beans, garlic bread and corn on the cob; you can add a dinner salad for $1. Other nearby options include Dial-a-Sandwich, next door to the Gourmet Lollipop Co. at 7351 Heil Ave., Suite G.

AFTERNOON 4 5 6

Note the sign at Filian's Angel Gift Shop: "Shoplifters Beware--Angels Are Watching You." Indeed they are, large and small, from every nook and cranny of the shop, even the ceiling.

Angel jewelry starts at $1; hockey and golf guardian angels run $2. The shop's also big on saints, such as St. Stephen, the patron of contractors, and St. Raymond, the patron of lawyers.

Consider a stained-glass angel ($475) or a life-size set of wings, made from white turkey feathers, for Halloween or for Christmas pageants ($79). This may be the shop's final month in business, so bargains abound: An S-shaped conversation bench carved with the angel Gabriel has been marked down from $1,595 to $750.

Can't contain yourself? Bags USA offers everything from fanny packs to bodyboard bags. We like the hanging nylon sweater racks (holds a dozen sweaters, $25) and shoe racks (10-pair size, $15, six-pair $10).

Women will appreciate prices on previously owned clothes and jewelry at Patricia and Friends Consignment. A mesh Cleopatra headpiece has been marked down from $35.95 to $18; fancy party dresses are $45.

You also can while away the day at shops such as Golf Discount of Huntington Beach (16582 Gothard St., Suite Q) and the Bargain Box (16582 Gothard St., Suite R) of the Assistance League of Huntington Beach.

Aspiring thespians can take evening courses at the Actors Showcase (16582 Gothard St., Unit D).

Itinerary appears once a month.

(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX / INFOGRAPHIC)

1) Gourmet Lollipop Company

7351 Heil Ave., Suite J, (714) 841-2000.

9 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesday-Friday and 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday.

2) Sandcastle Books

16582 Gothard St., Suite E, (714) 847-9944.

10 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday.

3) Suds

16582 Gothard St., Suite K and L, (714) 841-1837.

11 a.m.-2 a.m. Thursday-Friday, 9 a.m.-2 a.m. Saturday, 9 a.m.-11 p.m. Sunday and 11 a.m.-midnight Monday-Wednesday.

4) Filian's Angel Gift Shop

16582 Gothard St., Suite G, (714) 841-4313.

11 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Saturday.

5) Bags USA

16562 Gothard St., Suite I, (714) 841-5361.

9 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Monday-Friday.

6) Patricia and Friends Consignment

16562 Gothard St., Suite B, (714) 848-4898.

11 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Monday-Saturday.

Parking: There is free street parking at Gourmet Lollipop Company and free lot parking at all other locations.

Buses: OCTA Bus No. 72/72A runs along Warner Avenue with a stop at Gothard Street. In addition, Bus No. 29 runs along Beach Boulevard with a stop at Warner Avenue and briefly along Edinger Avenue with a stop at Gothard Street.

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