This pretty much sums up how I felt about shopping on vacation.
If you aren’t familiar with Liberty London, good Lord, get yourself familiar with them! They have collaborated with J.Crew and Target, and their prints are just amazing. I’ll show you what I bought later in this post.
When it comes to buying souvenirs, I’m very particular since the last thing I want is to buy something that has a “Made in China” sticker slapped on it. I look at tags to see where it’s been made, and if it’s something I’d use so I can remember that lovely time. If so, then it’s worth my suitcase space and weight.
Now a peek into Liberty London…
Here’s what I bought for Mr. Wonderful – most items from Ireland.
The lemon curd didn’t make it home – it got taken away at security, boo. You gotta pack those things and check it in apparently. The gold coins are chocolate (he likes metals) and the grandfather sweatshirt is made in Ireland. Coke is also doing a campaign of “Share a Coke with ___” on the side of bottles so I had to buy one with his name. Melayne was trying to find a specific name (only certain names were on there, and some were very interesting names) and she said, “I just keep finding all your exes names and your husband!” and we had a good laugh. We thought about lining them all up and taking a picture but that would just be a terrible memory. *wink*
When we headed up to Northern Ireland to check out the Giant’s Causeway we stopped in the gift shop. My parents love ceramics, I’ve seen them buy Alaskan ceramics and things from local artists so I knew they’d love this little sheep.
And here’s what I bought for myself, I mean, us.
This lace is called Carrickmacross Lace which is famous because it’s all handmade. Kate Middleton’s dress had lace that was inspired by the stitching techniques and also the late Princess Diana’s wedding dress had Carrickmacross Lace on it. I bought an Ireland ornament and a patch that I’ll frame in my office. Not pictured are two maps – one of Northern Ireland and another a sketch of Ashford Castle’s property layout which I can’t wait to frame in my office. The silver ornament is Ashford Castle, I cannot wait to return one day!
This is one Claddagh ring earring (pictured below), and here’s the reason why there’s one – Melayne has the other. We decided to go dutch on this set and go to our local jewelers and have them turn it into a necklace charm for each of us. We wanted real gold and a very particular size of the Claddagh ring (which represents love, loyalty and friendship) and was created in Galway. When we couldn’t find what we wanted, we knew this was our best compromise. Oh, and here’s my insane collection of Irish tea towels. I’m only keeping the top two, the rest are gifts.
I’m clearly crazy about tea towels. Also bought a glass bottle from Cabra Castle, it was only 5 euros.
Above are all goodies from Fortnum & Mason – the most amazing favorite store of mine in London. More tea towels and a silver orange butter knife, Christmas ornament, ceramic herb jar, and a cooking book. They sell all home goods – and not that Home Goods, but home goooooods, and you can shop online, woohoo!
I bought a tea towel from Liberty London, a purse mirror and coaster for my office. At Westminster Abbey I found a darling small KJV Bible, watercolor mug and Prince George Christmas ornament. I love getting ornaments from where I’ve traveled.
And now the inside of Fortnum & Mason…(this is a clock that goes off every hour and does a little display dance and has been happening since 1964).
They also just put out their Christmas room!
Just floors and floors of home good themed floors! Here’s the market downstairs where we bought yummies for dinner to take back to our hotel, Flemings Mayfair right off Picadilly, so central and perfect!
Back in Ireland, in Galway, Melayne saw a vendor on the streets who knitted caps, so she bought one for her niece. Now she has a story and a photo to go with it!
So that was the shopping I did friends! The exchange rate wasn’t awesome for Americans, as 1 Euro = $1.32 and 1 Pound = $1.56, plus or minus. So, unfortunately things weren’t exactly a deal in Ireland or London.
And some things you just take a photo in and that’s your souvenir!
I’ve realized that I collect two things while traveling – ornaments and tea towels. Do you collect anything?
Diana Elizabeth can’t wait to return, if she lived on the East Coast she would go to Europe all the time.