This is the question we get a lot, right after So, how was your vacation?
It's not an easy question to answer simply because the trip itself is the gift: the airline tickets, the nice accommodations, the fine meals, the entrance tickets to museums, the adventure of it all . . . these are the things we got.
Then, there are four males in my family and not one likes to shop. As much as I wanted to browse the ceramic shops in Sorrento, I knew it was more important for our vacation to be an experience of eating gelatos, riding the funicolare, or exploring Pompeii and not of waiting around for Mom to shop.
So for us, shopping was not a priority; when there was a choice of shopping or visiting something, we visited.
That is not to say we didn't get anything, because we did, and it was fun. The boys came back with legos (don't ask), World Cup jerseys, and (of course) a snow globe, or two. Joe bought a wallet.
As for me, I try to find ways to bring Italy home with us by purchasing simple things that, when we use them, tell a story. A dish towel with a limoncello recipe from Sorrento, a ceramic salt and pepper shaker, some Italian coffee. Nothing big, but it is the memory behind each purchase that really matters.
And then there is this . . .
But two days before returning home I woke up with the idea that I just had to have a Romeo and Juliet statue. For the first time I didn't see it as a souvenir, but as a Verona tradition. How could I not bring one home? So I asked my beautiful cousin, Martha, to pick one up for me; to her credit she didn't even tease me.
So, what did we get?
The long version: a trip.
The short version: a statue of Romeo and Juliet.
Of course, there was also the watch Joe bought me on the island of Capri . . . but more on that tomorrow.