I think I know so much about Pasadena, but until two days ago I didn't know about the Jet Propulsion Lab gift shop. My friend, a big fan of space travel and JPL, had surgery. I wanted to get him a t-shirt. There had to be a gift shop. I called.
When I checked in at the gate and told the guard where I wanted to go, he said, "Gonna get an over-priced t-shirt?" and I said that was exactly what I wanted.
The shop is teeny, but it's there, and you can get shot glasses (the blue ones on the top right say "NASA"), mugs, toys, key chains and the like. And the t-shirt wasn't over-priced at all.
The people outside were waiting for a tour. The woman at the shop told me groups and individuals can tour JPL with an advance reservation. Make your reservations here.
All this time I've been skipping the annual open house to avoid the crowds. I'm up for a tour, though, as soon as my friend is out of the hospital.