I came across a short meme the other day and my first thought was that it had my name all over it. It was about souvenirs and what you buy to remind you of a special time and place. Walt jokes that I spend most of my time anywhere we go at the "ubiquitous souvenir shop." It would be nice if I could say that I pick up nice quality merchandise, but mostly it's just crap. Sentimental crap, but crap nonetheless. That kind of describes this house--full of sentimental crap, but crap nonetheless!
As I said, the meme is short, only a few questions.
When you travel, what kinds of souvenirs do you like to bring home for yourself?
When we went on our honeymoon, I decided that I should collect "something." I didn't know what that "something" would be, so I decided to collect spoons--you know, those little tiny demitasse spoons that you find everywhere?. Everywhere we went from there on, I bought a spoon. When Walt traveled, he bought me a spoon. When other people traveled, they bought me spoons. I soon had spoons coming out my ears and had no more room for any of them, but the spoon collection did spark one funny incident. When our Brasilian son Pujol was coming here, he decided to bring me a spoon to add to my collection.
The damn thing is the size of a small shovel, as you can see in comparison with some of the gifts that have been given to us by people from other countries (the Brasilian butterfly wing plates are particular favorites of mine)
I didn't dare laugh, and thanked him profusely.
I don't collect spoons any more, but now I get refigerator magnets and have a huge collection of those too. I've run out of refrigerator space, especially that now I'm going to start adding Bri artwork to the fridge in place of the magnets. I have to either stop collecting magnets or get a whole wall covered in some magnetic material!
Is there a certain kind of souvenir you always bring back for a particular someone?
I don't know when I started buying shotglasses for Walt, but I've brought him shotglasses from lots of trips that I went on when he stayed home. I think he's lost most of them. It's strange that I buy him shotglasses because he never makes mixed drinks at home and rarely drinks anything but wine anywhere.
I'm always looking for unusual socks for Peggy. It's truly like bringing coals to Newcastle, since she has more socks than many sock manufacturers have. She once spent about $100 in a sock store at Pier 39 in San Francisco and then a week later was shopping in a sock store in Seattle. But if I see something cute or interesting when I'm in a new place, I usually pick her up a pair and save it until Christmastime.
Of the souvenirs you’ve collected from your travels, what are some that have special meaning for you?
They all have special meaning, but obviously some more than others. I don't know why I love this little Roman goddess statue that I bought in the ubiquitous souvenir shop at Hadrian's Wall when we were driving from London to Scotland.
I also love a little Viking statue that I bought in York. I had seen it on our first trip there and decided it was an extravagance, since I had already bought so much stuff to take home, so didn't buy it, and always regretted it. So when we went back to York a few years later, I knew exactly where the store was on the Shambles (which is what I always picture when I read Harry Potter and his visiting some of those shops for Wizard equipment) and I swear the statue was in the same place it had been originally. I bought it.
I love a little wooden dolphin that I got when Peggy and I went to Monkey Mia to see the dolphins. I bought a little ceramic whale with Jonah inside it (like Japanese netsuke) that I bought on Friday Harbor when Diane and I went whale watching. And I also bought a multi-colored glass whale made from volcanic ash that I bought in Hawaii the day after we'd watched a mother humpback and her baby cavorting in the ocean off South Point on the Big Island, when Walt and I visited Marta's parents just before Marta and Ned were married.
Finally there is a little panda statue that I bought at the San Diego zoo after seeing the baby Hua Mei. I had been watching her on the zoo's web cam ever since her birth, and she had only recently been allowed out to meet the public. After having followed her growth for so long, it was really a moving experience seeing her "live."
What’s the silliest souvenir you’ve brought back for yourself, or what’s the silliest souvenir someone has brought back for you?
Well for the silliest souvenir someone has brought back for me, that would definitely have to be the spoon that Pujol brought. As for the silliest souvenir I've brought back for myself....hmmm.... Actually, the silliest souvenir I've ever bought wasn't for myself, but for my friend Mike, who at the time was collecting "cow crap." Someone in a discussion on CompuServe once called him a hateful old cow and he decided to embrace it and became "The HOC." People started buying him cow crap and his house was full of cow crap--t-shirts, statues, kitchen appliances, etc. I bought so much cow crap for Mike it was ridiculous. I even had a cow mailbox sent to him once. But we were in a church garage sale somewhere in Maryland and they had this garden decoration that stuck in the ground with a big metal spike and I just had to buy it for Mike. Walt rolled his eyes, but let me buy it. Then we discovered that it only just barely fit in the suitcase and for awhile there, we thought it wouldn't fit at all. That was definitely the dumbest souvenir purchase I've ever made.
If you were going to send someone a souvenir from places you visited today, what might it be?I might go to the supermarket. Can I pick you up a bottle of California wine? (Sorry--can't be more exciting than that!!)