I confess, I love to shop when I'm traveling. I always want to bring home things that remind me of our trip. The first "big" trip Ray and I made was a 9 week trip to Europe about a year after we were married. We were traveling cheap, but in Italy we fell in love with a handwoven bedspread. It cost more than we really felt comfortable spending, but it was the colors of the Italian countryside and we loved it. Beautiful as it was, it was the heaviest, hottest thing I have ever slept under and way too heavy and unwieldy to pull on and off the bed every night. I can't bear to part with it, but it lives in a plastic bag under the bed now. That was our first trip souvenir.
One of the artists we really liked in the Santa Fe Museum of Fine Art, was Gustave Baumann, a printmaker of wood block prints, who came from Germany and settled in Santa Fe in 1918 where he stayed for the rest of his life. The museum has a great collection of his work and I bought a small print to bring home.
In Taos I spotted a crude metal sculpture of a raven. I liked its attitude and it made me think of all the ravens we were seeing in that desert landscape. I dragged Ray into the shop to see it and he asked where I would put it. I told him I was thinking about the open beams in our house and that it might look kind of great perched up on one of them. He said, "Now you're making me want it!" So the raven came home with us.
And this last one is maybe the best story. After driving across all the arid Southwest, including Death Valley, we began to notice that the brakes in the car would shudder. When we got to Reno we took the car to Les Schwab (our favorite tire store, which is a whole 'nother story for another day—) where they diagnosed the problem as warped brake rotors, from the intense heat. While the rotors were being replaced we wandered next door to the local Goodwill secondhand store. There I found this pottery vase, in perfect condition, for $2.99. I could resist all the hundreds of items in the store except this.
that great color.
My souvenirs. And that, my friends, is why my house is beginning to look like Ye Olde Curiosity Shoppe.