An Italian-American living la dolce vita in the Deep South

An Italian-American living la dolce vita in the Deep South

Sunday, July 18, 2010

So, What Did You Get?

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 . . .

Verona is the home of Romeo and Juliet and I have seen statues like this all my life. There are also Romeo and Juliet plates, spoons, ash trays, t-shirts, baseball caps . . . typical tourist souvenirs that, until this visit, held no interest for me.

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.


Tiziana said...

Ehi!!! Non ho visto quasi nulla di quello che hai comperato!!! Però ricordo benissimo cosa MILLIE ha comperato in piazza delle Erbe: la maglietta che poi ha cambiato (eh! eh!). La prossima volta che vado a Verona voglio anch'io prendermi la statuetta di Giulietta e Romeo.
Ciao (come sei brava a scrivere).

GrandmaK said...

Wonderful post! Ours have become just that too. The trip is the "What did you get?" Have a grand day!! Cathy

Laura said...

I agree with Cathy- great post. When we were in Spain we pretty much "opted out" of the buying sprees that seemed to pressure us.
A little piece of art is what we aim for- to hang on our walls and help us remember THE TRIP!

Therese said...

How beautiful! I was able to attend our city's Festa yesterday-what a wonderful experience!

Ellen Stewart (aka Ellie/El) said...

There's a weird vacation-gotta-buy-something vortex we fall into when we travel.

After donating many such "finds" to Goodwill (notice I don't have an "isn't my home gorgeous" decorating blog!), I've opted instead to browse, and sometime if something fits my mental list of wants, I buy it.

In other words, if I'm at an art fair, I don't have to buy for the sake of buying, but if I'm at an art fair and I see a pair of (affordable) purple earrings and I've been looking for such earrings for a while I will get them.

There's then something nice about picking such an item or accessory up, say, during a dreary winter month and thinking, "I bought this this summer when we visited..."