Do You Know What Makes A Good Vacation Souvenir?


I have no souvenirs of my trip to Sweden. At least nothing purchased.

I brought home photos, of course. It would have been hard not to, surrounded by such sights. Here’s a last one. The inlet, where my stepfamily docks their boats.

The lack of goods isn’t completely my fault, or my virtue for that matter. There aren’t many stores on Ingmarso. However, when we visited Sandhamn I did buy a shirt for my daughter. Her birthday’s coming up. It’s white, tunic-style, with a criss-cross tie. I gave it to her while we were there.

I thought about this shirt too,

given the label.

Some things follow you all your life. No matter where you go. I hadn’t known Scandinavian Preppy was crying out for definition, but travel will broaden the mind.

Another possibility on Sandhamn.

But having brought dishtowels home from France, enough, it seemed, was enough in the way of pieces of cloth with which to mop my pots.

On my way home, I spotted this gentleman in Chicago. He had gotten off the flight from Stockholm too. He wore natty, orange napkin clips from SAS business class on his sky blue Lacoste lapel. I told him he looked great. Clips would have been good souvenirs.

There is something else I am coveting, however, as a post-trip souvenir. Remember how Sweden just had a royal wedding? And you know what the Europeans do when they have a royal wedding? They go all capitalist. Leading to fabulous items de decor. That’s fancy French for stuff.

Witness the Royal Collection. These are table runners.

But I want the Royal Collection porcelain bowls. My Swedish stepsister gave mugs in this pattern to my daughter and I started wringing my hands and thinking, “My Preciousssssssss,” immediately. They are so smooth. The pale blue is so pale. My china is white, or white and gold. Of course, I’d have to hide the pink and gold Murano doves that sit on my dining table or risk perpetual Easter egg as a home decor theme, but The Princess needs my support. She told me so.

What souvenirs do you like to bring home? And what are your feelings about royal wedding china? Do you have any feelings about royal wedding china? I had a friend who collected Coronation mugs. The British and their inimitable sense of humor. I just can’t figure out if I want these bowls – because I like them – or whether once they were in my house I’d say to myself, “Really? Crowns?”

But good souvenirs are exempt from the usual strictures.

Images: Mostly me, except,
Scandinavian Designs Table Runners
Scandinavian Designs Bowls

35 Comments

  • 07/26/10
    6:18 am

    Reply

    JMW said...

    Ooo, the China is lovely. Yep, that would make a great souvenir. I also like the blouse. You would also think about your wonderful trip to Sweden when you wear it.

  • 07/26/10
    6:34 am

    Reply

    Paula said...

    Lisa, the pattern of the bowl reminds me of your blouse:http://amidlifeofprivilege.blogspot.com/2010/03/what-makes-extraordinary-piece-of.html
    your friend's collection of coronation mugs must be quite small, in case she collects English coronations, not too many coronations in the last century. Mr SAS Business Class is a cutie! :-*

  • 07/26/10
    7:15 am

    Reply

    Patsy said...

    My parents have a coronation mug of my grandmother's somewhere….her mug, not her coronation.

    We were married in a hotel in Boston, known for it's painted rotunda. The catering sales manager (also an old friend) gave us a bowl that the hotel commissioned from Tiffany with the design of the rotunda. It's one of my favorite wedding gifts. I vote yay on the wedding china!

  • 07/26/10
    7:20 am

    Reply

    Marcela said...

    I love to bring home a calendar with pictures of the place I have been, to accompany me the following year, and, something edible, like tea, etc. For eg, I just came back from Paris and I brought home some Hediard blend tea to drink in the evening, before going to bed and dream of going to Paris again :)

  • 07/26/10
    7:40 am

    Reply

    La Belette Rouge said...

    Perfume from Paris. Teas and scarfs from London. Chocolate and cheese from Sweden( I used to bring it home on the plane).

  • 07/26/10
    7:53 am

    Reply

    CDS said...

    I do like those clips!

  • 07/26/10
    8:01 am

    Reply

    metscan said...

    I don´t buy actual " souvenirs" on the few trips I make. I do make purchases though. I won´t enter the label shops we have here in Finland. I admire your sanity with this" shopping craze ", we all seem to be a part of. Paying full price, sales, secondhand shopping, thrifting- they all involve money being spent.

  • 07/26/10
    8:03 am

    Reply

    Suburban Princess said...

    But those bowls would look great in MY house!

    I was wearing clips on collars back in 1985 – that guy is well behind :O)

  • 07/26/10
    8:09 am

    Reply

    materfamilias said...

    My (current, at least) commitment to carry-on only makes the choice of souvenirs very limited. Generally, I don't mind, but sometimes it's frustrating. That gorgeous china would be a serious temptation to buy an extra bag and check it. Except then I'd worry about baggage handling and breakage and loss. Which is why I do carry-on. Oh dear!

  • 07/26/10
    8:28 am

    Reply

    hostess of the humble bungalow said...

    I never plan to buy anything particular when on holiday…it's usualy photos and memories and sometimes a feather.
    I occasionally get swept up in the moment and if something speaks to me that's what I buy.
    Those clips intrigue me…remind me of my days playing with Barbie…hanging her ballgowns on the miniature line…
    LIsa, "buy that china" it looks like it would integrate divinely with your decor! very High Wasp indeed.

  • 07/26/10
    10:07 am

    Reply

    Marti said...

    I wake up every morning and slip my feet into wool slippers and am reminded of an extremely hot weekend in Vienna; at breakfast, I serve soft boiled eggs out of stainless steel egg cugs purchased in Munich, a sprinkle of sugar from my sugar shaker on my berries takes me back to Winnenden, and I grab a napkin from a Parisian napkin holder: and when I hop in the car, I think of Budapest as I take my sunglasses out of a handmade Hungarian sunglass case. Every day I am reminded of my travels!

  • 07/26/10
    10:36 am

    Reply

    LPC said...

    JMW – I'm sorely tempted

    Paula – OMG you are right! It is like my shirt. At least I'm consistent:)?

    Patsy – If your grandmother had a coronation I would hope you would get more than a mug out of the whole shebang:).

    Marcela – Eats are good, especially if you want to keep clutter down.

    La Belette – Cheese on the plane? Scandal…

    CDS – Thank you!

  • 07/26/10
    10:39 am

    Reply

    LPC said...

    Mette – I think also I was so saturated by the sights that the familiar shopping urge never reared its head much.

    Suburban – You can order them online, you know…

    Mater – I have given up carry on for overseas trips, since it seems to also mean lug around and I'm tired of lugging.

    Hostess – How cute! Barbie clotheslines. Very High WASP, huh? Well then I guess I have to get them to eat Cheerios from, right?::)

    Marti – Wow. You have the art of souvenirs down.

  • 07/26/10
    10:40 am

    Reply

    Marti said...

    Oops, typo – Marti should be http://www.astringofpearlsblog.blogspot.com

  • 07/26/10
    10:43 am

    Reply

    Pink Martini said...

    I liked the bowls very much but just for the sake of their design since I'm not a collector of royal commemorative things. When my mom downsized to her last residence I found an unopened sampler of British tea with the newly engaged Charles and Diana's picture on the wrapper. This was after they divorced and I knew an item such as this would have value in the collecting world but I didn't hesitate putting it on the garage sale table. I also added a plate for the Queen's Jubilee. For some reason I felt it was bad luck for the royals to appear on such public capitalistic, as you called it, display. Just looking at the pieces made me sad. Perhaps the Swedish royals aren't as dysfunctional and are a happier lot plus you had a lovely vacation and reunion. They would make a nice keepsake. Love the tea towels as well.

  • 07/26/10
    12:32 pm

    Reply

    Meg said...

    Are you ready for this? Because this comment is too good to be true (but it is).

    My grandmother has the back-up set of china made for Queen Victoria's Jubilee. You know, in case any of the first set broke. Not royal wedding china, but close. My family was traveling, and thought that would be a nice souvenir. As you do. (Who you have to know to get a souvenir like that is maybe a more interesting question than how much money you have to have).

    Anyway. How do I feel about it? It's truly horrific. Brown and floral and awful. And the shapes are all sort of lumpy. Clearly that was not a good period for design. It's going to my great aunt, since none of us could buck up and agree to take the stuff. Because as you know, once you have inherited stuff like that, you can't get rid of it. Ever. It's like a haunting.

    But this pattern is lovely. Maybe you could get the backup set? ;)

  • 07/26/10
    12:33 pm

    Reply

    Miss Cavendish said...

    I would bring home perfect coffee cups from Europe–cups that are smaller than their American counterparts.

    And fabric! As many half-metre cuts as possible!!!!

  • 07/26/10
    12:54 pm

    Reply

    Anna said...

    Haha, I used to have tons of dark-blue napkin clips when I was little. SAS has had them for ever.

    I also fell in love with the royal dusty light blue. Absolutely lovely. I watched the wedding online and they used the color everywhere: not only sashes and carpets but also flowers and dining hall decorations… Absolutely lovely. Bet it's going to be a trendy color next season.

  • 07/26/10
    1:18 pm

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    Faux Fuchsia said...

    that china is 11/10

  • 07/26/10
    2:49 pm

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    DocP said...

    Normally, I run in the other direction from commemorative linens, china, etc. However, there are exceptions to every rule. This is one. The color and pattern are tasteful and few outside of Sweeden would even recognize it as a wedding souvenir. It can stand on its own without the need to justify it as a souvenir of the Sweedish royal wedding. I also vote to order something before it all sells out.

  • 07/26/10
    2:50 pm

    Reply

    DocP said...

    Perhaps I should learn to check the spelling of Sweden before I post – sorry!

  • 07/26/10
    5:00 pm

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    QueenBeeSwain said...

    love love love love! and you are right, I'm in the piece about rowing in Quest :)

    xoox

    kHm

  • 07/26/10
    5:28 pm

    Reply

    Loretta a/k/a Mrs. Pom said...

    No as to royal china, but those dishtowels! I would have loaded up a suitcase with those crisp, clean colors and then made them into table runners or placemats or curtains. Or just piled them up and stared at them.

  • 07/26/10
    7:23 pm

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    glaciercountyhoney said...

    All china is good. From Fiestaware to royal ware, it makes the humble grilled cheese and tomato sammie just a little bit more comforting.

  • 07/26/10
    8:26 pm

    Reply

    Rachel Elizabeth said...

    When I went to Europe for 6 weeks last summer I somehow left without buying a single souvenir (thanks to a combination of thriftiness and limited backpack space). Now, like you, I am looking online for something to commemorate the trip–I love those runners! Your pictures are magnificent!

  • 07/27/10
    2:45 am

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    Paula said...

    Pink Martini, maybe the Swedish are less dysfunctional? I just found this:"The concept behind The Official Wedding Series is that it will do well for others. Part of the revenue is donated to the Crown Princess Couple’s Wedding Foundation, which aims to prevent social isolation and promote good health among children and youths in Sweden." Lets hope the part aint too small.

  • 07/27/10
    9:16 am

    Reply

    Booklady said...

    I think you've not only been to Sweden, but have also invented time travel: at the top of your post it says Thursday, July 29, while the first comments were made yesterday, the 26th. :-)

  • 07/27/10
    9:42 am

    Reply

    LPC said...

    Pink Martini – Aw. That's poignant.

    Meg – Why am I not surprised? But the ACTUAL set? My sights are set on something I can order online:).

    Ms. Cavendish – Fabric, now that's a great idea, for someone who sews.

    FF – That's it. I'm ordering.

    DocP – Done.

  • 07/27/10
    9:55 am

    Reply

    LPC said...

    QBS – Congrats. I will read through the whole thing now I know you're in there.

    Loretta – Ha! I know. I love to just gaze on things of good design.

    Glacier – Yes, and I particularly like porcelain.

    Rachel – Thank you. Tea towels and runners do make good souvenirs.

    Paula – Yes, I knew about the foundation and that's part of what interested me. Thank you for correcting my omission here.

    Booklady – Ha! I hope I have fixed it now. Blogger is weird sometimes about dates. Thank you.

  • 07/27/10
    10:22 am

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    Deja Pseu said...

    Ohhh, LOVE that china. Wowee.

  • 07/27/10
    11:47 pm

    Reply

    dining room tables said...

    Wow! For me all those things are a good vacation souvenir. I wish I can have at least one of those souvenirs. What I really love is the shirt. It is so simple. It will fit me for sure.

  • 07/28/10
    1:01 am

    Reply

    Shelley said...

    Yep we have a few coronation and weddnig mugs around. I understand that all school children were given one at the time of some event or other. My best souveniers have been a salt-pepper-paprika-toothpick set from Slovakia, some candle holders that look like houses in Greece, some clothes I bought in the 1980s in Montreal and wore til they fell apart. Some scarves I bought in a shop at Rocomadour, France, but mainly because the woman in the shop was lovely. Bill still has a thing for coffee mugs, but they barely all fit in the cupboard. We did fridge magnets for a while, but now I like a less cluttered look. Loads of digital pictures do me fine; I can take a photo of something and almost feel as though I own it! I like those table runners, though….

  • 07/28/10
    8:59 am

    Reply

    Pro-Portional said...

    Lol Scandinavian Preppy FTW!

    SO jealous of your trip. A couple of friends of mine went to Sweden a couple of years ago super on the cheap and I have really wanted a chance to go as well.

  • 07/29/10
    2:27 pm

    Reply

    Vintage Simple said...

    I am dying to go to Sweden…! Sigh. One of these days..!

    I'm glad you had a good time. Photographs. They're pretty fantastic souvenirs. And our retelling of those travels, no? I've thoroughly enjoyed this one.

    I hope you've been well…. I've been useless in this heat. It's too much. Really. I have no opinions about royal china, but the heat? I'd like some fall weather now, please.

    xoox,
    -maria

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    3:43 pm

    Reply

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