I meant to make this post earlier in the season, but the time got away from me. Blog posts were taken up with actual things I did. This morning, though, I'd like to take you on a little tour of my Christmas tree. I have a tradition of buying a Christmas ornament when I go on a trip. Any place where I spend a decent amount of (enjoyable) time qualifies. I kicked off the effort when I was nine years old, in Atlantic City, where I used to spend summer vacations with my parents. I saw a clear globe in the gift shop, with sand and glitter and tiny poker chips and dollar bills inside. I begged my mom to buy it, so it could remind us of summer vacation at Christmas time. She did, and it did. Since then I've amassed a nice collection of ornaments, the goal being to capture with each something that will remind me of the trip. Every year, decorating the tree brings me back in time. To, almost invariably, warmer locales. Here's a sampling of the ornaments I've collected so far:
Waikiki. Purchased at the weirdly great little Borders above a parking garage on Kalakaua Ave., which was at least 50% local books and authors.
Muir Woods, California. It's real!
Boston, MA. Purchased at the information center on the Freedom Trail. I'll bet Paul and Maudie thought I was buying it as a present for a niece or nephew. Haha.
Ulan Ude, Russia. I can't remember exactly where I bought her, but I do know she used to have a little wooden fish on her platter.
Seattle, WA. I bought this on my free morning on the tail end of a business trip, at Pike Place Market. The artist was wearing an Autumn Defense shirt, which I commented on. In the course of chatting I learned that A) her husband was from Racine, and B) she's a friend of John's. Small world.
Melbourne, Australia. Purchased at the Garden Shop at the Melbourne Botanic Gardens.
Talkeetna, Alaska. Purchased at the same shop where Heidi and I bought warm socks.
Halifax, Nova Scotia. Purchased at a shop next to the blown glass workshop, on the harbour.
Dublin, Ireland. Purchased at a shop off Grafton Street where Anya and I also got some nice wool blankets.
Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. A new purchase this summer, and it made me laugh out loud when I unwrapped it a few weeks ago.
New York City. The gift shop at The Met.
Wellington, New Zealand. Purchased at the gift shop in Te Papa. Sigh.
Cavendish, Prince Edward Island. Purchased at Green Gables!
Atlantic City, New Jersey. The ornament that started it all.