Happy Christmas aftermath! My living room looks like a toy store exploded, how about you? I must have been a pretty good girl because I got a few really fun travel goodies, some of which are heading with me to Europe when I return.
I have plenty of travel gear, but I’m always impressed by my family’s ability to find new things for the road. My mother-in-law in an ace at this as she shares my passion for travel. Want to see what Santa brought?
Michael Kors Black Leather Gloves- My top ask was for a pair of lined leather gloves. I tend to start the tour season when it’s still chilly in March, so some nice gloves will bring the heat and style. I’ll never be as stylish as an Italian, but at least I can pretend. I’ll probably never be as hot blooded, either, so keeping my perpetually frigid digits is a public service, really. These gloves were from my baby, Nico, who spent several anguished trips to the mall searching for gloves large enough for my long fingers. He found them in XL at Macy’s and they are perfect! What a sweet boy.
Loqi bags– Since I live in Seattle I have lots of reusable shopping bags. Plastic bags were banned here a few years back and if you don’t bring your own shopping bag to the store, the checker looks at you like you’ve just arrived from Mars. I keep several in my car to avoid feeling foolish. I’ve taken to bringing a few in my travels too, loaning them to people who brought backpacks or for shopping. I often prepare picnics or wine tastings for my tour groups, strong bags are required for wine for 28 people! My mother-in-law bought me this adorable set of lightweight shopping bags with a travel theme, which came in a little zippered sack that would be perfect for my art supplies.
Kikkerland Super Mini Fan– An adorable little fan that showed up in my stocking of travel goodies, about the size of a AA battery. I laughed at this one, it brought back a funny memory. There was a tour one summer where the ladies (mostly 50’s and 60’s) were all occupying the front rows of the bus and complaining about the heat, even if the AC was cranked up so high that I practically had icicles growing on my eyebrows. I could have sold little fans like this to my ladies in the “Hot Lady Club” for a fortune! This will be good for the summer, for the hot and dusty days in the Forum.
Kleenex Slim Packs- You know that I am geeky about the packing/tour guiding thing when I get excited about Kleenex. I got these cute little packs that look like wallets and that will slip easily into a pocket. I don’t need them for sneezes, but for all of the icky situations that come up, be that gross toilets, doorknobs or suspicious wet spots on public transportation.
Luggage tag- I needed a new one, and this is so cute and so true. Although, now I’m inspired to make art for all of you, I’m thinking about designing my own tags with an adventure theme.
Bobino Folding Phone Holder– Possibly my favorite travel gift, I’m hoping this will work. I get stuck trying to find a good charging spot in my hotel room all the time. This little hanger hooks over the charger base and holds your phone wherever the outlet is. Genius!
Kitten bandages– You all know how I love tinkering with my Box of Awesome. A few years ago, a tour member gifted me a box of absurd bandages with silly quotes like “Tis but a flesh wound” and I’ve come to adore them. Nothing is worse than being injured in a strange land, so making my clients laugh in a scary situation is golden to me. I’m always on the lookout for adorable/absurd/delightful first aid supplies to take the sting out. For 2017 it’s kittens! Yay!
I also got a gray cashmere sweater and tall black Uggs, both of which will be coming along on my next trip. I’m all about softness and warmth in off-season travel. My mother-in-law spoils me!
I usually get lots of books, but only got one this year, “The Girl from Venice” which is a mystery about Venice during WWII. It looks interesting, particularly as there isn’t much written about that timeframe.
I did give a book that I’ll probably buy and found a few others that I resisted buying myself. Ross King has been a favorite author of mine for a long time and he just released a book, “Mad Enchantment” about the painting of Monet’s “Waterlilies”.
Another book on my list is the new one from Thomas Madden, who wrote my favorite history of Venice. His new book is about the city of Istanbul, a natural companion to the Venice book. Buying other people books for Christmas is sad because I get so excited about the books I’ve chosen…and then give them away.
That’s the Christmas report from here. Did you get any travel related goodies? I’d love to hear what you got! Share in the comments, give us all some ideas on how to use the gift certificates we received!