Last week I wrote about Christmas ornaments I’d picked up in cities all around the State of Texas. However, I shop for ornaments wherever I am and sometimes these places are hard to pronounce.
Ornament Shopping in Sedona
Take Tlaquepaque for instance. An approximation of the way to say it would be Cha-lah-kah-pah-key. But however you pronounce it, it’s a great way to spend an afternoon.
Tlaquepaque is a picturesque shopping village inside the town of Sedona, AZ where you can watch artisans and craftsmen create beautiful things in a wonderful setting. Someday when I’m talking about archways I’ll share some pictures from the first time I visited Tlaquepaque. Bill went nuts for the architecture and I have several pages of arch shots in my photo album. However, today we’re talking Christmas ornaments.
When I bought the miniature moccasins they were not pink. They were a hot red and they were about eye level on an out-of-season Christmas tree. I was not visiting a Christmas shop and it was summer, but the shop had a Christmas Tree as a permanent fixture. (If I could get away with it, my Christmas Tree would be a permanent fixture, too.) All of the boutiques in Tlaquepaque are devoted to handcrafted items and most dedicate at least a corner of their space to Christmas. So if you love Christmas, Tlaquepaque should be on your list. Well, truth be told Tlaquepaque should be on your list, regardless of your interest in Christmas ornaments
Ornament Shopping in Germany
Oberammergau is another place with a funny name that has lots of Christmas ornaments available. I’ve made several visits to the lovely German town, which is probably most famous for it’s Passion Play, but also well known for wood carving. Oberammergau represents everything charming about Bavaria, including the buildings covered in gorgeous murals. The ultimate purchase in Oberammugau is a hand carved creche, but since most tourist have spent the better part of their discretionary income to get there, they can’t afford the astronomical prices of the creches. So, the city offers you other Christmas-themed ways to spend your souvenir money. Shop after shop displays amazing arrays of everything from the beautiful to the insane. The place is so Christmasy, that even when I visited one July day I felt like I needed to be singing carols. My favorite ornament from Oberammugau is a wooden Santa descending by parachute, but after several attempts I couldn’t take a picture that did it justice.
Souvenirs Extend the Vacation
I find souvenirs a great way to extend the value of a vacation. Once I return home, every day life quickly crowds out the experience of traveling. Putting together my photo album keeps the memories fresh for a while, but eventually the album is complete and I put it on the bookshelf, where it will stay unopened unless something reminds me to take a look. Thankfully, souvenirs liberally sprinkled around my home, keep my travels top of mind. That’s particularly true as I decorate my tree and handle all my ornaments. In fact, after decorating the tree, I spend a good amount of time enjoying it while I peruse my photo albums about the places I bought my Christmas decorations.
How do you go about remembering your vacations to faraway, hard-to-pronounce places?