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theunkindraven's avatar

Best/Favorite souvenir you've picked up on vacation?

Asked by theunkindraven (213points) January 22nd, 2013

I love souvenirs! I like them best when they are unusual/authentic to the place they came from. I have a friend who is traveling to Budapest this week; she asked me what I’d like from there, and I asked her to surprise me, since I know almost nothing about Budapest. My favorite souvenir is a music box I picked up in Venice; it has the commedia della arte figures Harlequino and Columbina in it, and when you wind it up, they move up and down, like they are dancing. The music box is shaped like a theater and stage. What’s the best thing you’ve brought home from afar, or that someone has brought home for you?

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32 Answers

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

A set of salad servers made from mother of pearl that I picked up in Myanmar (Burma).

Judi's avatar

I bought a glass sculpture by Dino Rosin when in Venice.

SadieMartinPaul's avatar

Paul and I spend part of every summer on Martha’s Vineyard. We have a tradition—each year, I get to choose a piece of jewelry, or other personal item, and Paul buys it for me. I think that this is a rather lovely tradition and one that I hope will continue. :-)

I’d always wanted a lightship basket pocketbook (if you’re not familiar,, and I got one a few years ago. I also have a set of wampum earrings, necklace, and bracelet. My 2012 gift was a gorgeous bracelet of interlocking silver seashells.

I’m not nearly as materialistic as I must seem. I swear this is true! I just love the fact that Paul does this for me.

Bellatrix's avatar

I don’t like trashy souvenirs. When we travel we buy pictures, from local artists if we can afford to, or prints if not. I often buy a piece of glass or metal art too. One of my favourite pieces of art is a linograph of an owl my husband bought me when we were in York (UK). It will go in my office. I also have a beautiful glass owl he bought me in the Dandenongs in Victoria (Aus). I found some quirky pictures of emus in a market and had those framed. They cost about $10 for the whole lot. I always think of Fremantle (W. Aus) when I look at them. I know where all the things were bought and they remind me of those trips.

ucme's avatar

A signed football shirt from all the players at Barcelona, a family holiday to Spain as a kid & I begged to go to the nou camp…I usually get my way, it’s my cute smile that swings it for me.

Rarebear's avatar

Custom made hand built ukulele.

theunkindraven's avatar

@Judi I visited Rosin’s workshop, I believe, when I was in Murano! Lucky you! His stuff was gorgeous.

@PaulSadieMartin you don’t seem materialistic at all! What an absolutely lovely tradition for you and your husband. I think it’s very beautiful! Also, that basket pocketbook is lovely and unique!

@Bellatrix. Agreed. I don’t like trashy souvenirs either. I love the quirky emus! How fun!

I was thinking about other special souvenirs I have, and I remembered a pair of earrings I got in California. My family took a big vacation there about eight years ago, when I was 18; we spent time in LA, and I was allowed to plan a day, since I was obsessed with seeing celebrities and movie backlots and things. We had a fantastic day, and we saw a ton of celebs, and took a backlot tour of Warner Brothers, and ate at the Ivy, a famous restaurant. My family drove to Fred Segal, which is a famous celeb shop in LA, and I was, in a word, starstruck with the whole experience. I was looking at a pair of earrings, and, when we left the shop, my mom and dad had bought them for me. I wear them and think of that trip and how lovely and generous my parents were and are.

theunkindraven's avatar

@ucme also, that custom ukelele sounds so awesome!

Earthgirl's avatar

I love souvenirs too because I’m very sentimental. When I look at the souvenir it brings back the moment for me.

My favorite kitschy souvenir is this Welcome to Vegas bottle opener. From my first and only trip to Vegas. (Hopefully not my last) It’s so typical and I know I didn’t have to go there to get it but because I did buy it there it’s special!

The first thing that came to mind when you said souvenirs is my rock collection. I have rocks from Switzerland, France, and Italy. When I was moving I had to make sure everyone knew they were not just rocks! I was afraid they would get thrown out.

The favorite artsy souvenirs I have are really the most beautiful. I bought two watercolor illustrations of dancers in costume on the street in Venice. The woman selling them had simply set up a little tray and put her stacks of matted paintings on it with a handwritten sign. I was being rushed along by my companions so I had to choose quickly. I wanted to buy so many but 2 stood out for me right away. I recognized the poses from Leon Bakst’s Ballet Russe paintings. But the art, the figure and costumes, were original. They are so well done and came so cheaply I was wondering if in fact they weren’t originals but just very good prints. I showed them to a couple artists that I know and they both assured me that as far as they could see, not even the best art print could replicate the brushwork and fine detail in my paintings. I still need to get them framed. I’m sure that, ironically, the frame is going to cost me more than the paintings.

marinelife's avatar

An actual lobster trap that I got in Maine.

filmfann's avatar

I bought a few cigarette lighters in New York that have a picture of the World Trade Center on it, so when you ignite it, you see a big flame on top of the WTC.
Tacky as hell!

LuckyGuy's avatar

I got one of these in South Africa.
It still makes me smile when I see it.

Bellatrix's avatar

But do you wear it @LuckyGuy?

Sunny2's avatar

A cane with a telescope in the handle that I bought in Toronto. Going through Customs was fun. Each of the customs officers had to look through the handle of my cane.

bookish1's avatar

A bronze statue of Kali that I bought in India.
A bright blue sac (ahem, purse, that is to say bag) that I bought in Paris this summer. It’s beautiful but also really practical, and I get compliments on it frequently. I never took my metro pass and map out of the back pocket :’-(

YARNLADY's avatar

My mother bought a blown glass fish while she was in Mexico in the 1960’s. It was created right there, just for her. I have it now.

Rather than souvenirs, I have joined the support groups at Yellowstone and Yosemite parks, and I regularly donate to them.

glacial's avatar

I have some exotic ones, but one thing I love to do when travelling is to buy a sketch or painting by a local artist. I also like to pick up shells on the beaches.

jca's avatar

I love souvenirs and mementos of my travels.

In Epcot, about 15 years ago, I bought a troll, made in Norway.

In Mexico, about 20 years ago, I bought a silver Aztec calendar necklace.

I have a bunch of things from Ireland which are too many to name, but each is sentimental in its own way.

mangeons's avatar

This past summer when I was down in Florida I brought back something that, while not what you’d typically think of as a souvenir, is one of my favorite souvenirs that I’ve ever gotten. It’s a silver Ganesha statue that I got in a shop called Earthbound in St. Augustine, and I was just so mesmerized by it that I had to get it! It’s not really what you’d think of as a beach souvenir, but it’s just so cool! It lives on my nightstand now and I love looking at it.

TheobromosHumper's avatar

I’ve got a green rock from the Cape of Gaspe. It’s just the right size for a door stop. I love it!

LuckyGuy's avatar

@Bellatrix I wear it whenever the temperature gets above 35C.

Bellatrix's avatar

It’s about 39C here…

rojo's avatar

I agree with @Bellatrix regarding trashy souvenirs. I will buy stuff for friends and relatives but for myself, most of what I get are rocks and other found “stuff”.

LuckyGuy's avatar

@Bellatrix It is -11C here with about 70 cm of snow. Brrrr.
You will have to wait for Global Warming to really kick in before I will ever need to wear my Zulu souvenir.

OpryLeigh's avatar

I went to America this year and had my heart set on purchasing an authentic set of cowboy boots. I saved some extra spending money as I knew that a good pair would be more expensive and I spent ages trying to find the perfect pair. In the end I found them with only two days left of my trip, somewhere in Arizona (I believe). I wore them the next day to go horseriding in the red rock canyon area outside of Vegas. I love them!

Bellatrix's avatar

@LuckyGuy excuses, excuses. Such a thing needs to be modeled to appreciate it fully. The workmanship and beauty.

glacial's avatar

@Bellatrix Are we still talking about the gourd?

Bellatrix's avatar

Well I would need to compare both things to be able to comment on their beauty and workmanship… @LuckyGuy refuses to play though.

LuckyGuy's avatar

Hey! It’s -11C out! What comes after shrinkage? Breakage!
(At least it would be hard before it broke.)

Bellatrix's avatar

I have the sticky tape ready and I know how to use it.

Sunny2's avatar

A dart spear from Borneo with darts. Great for shooting at balloons.

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