A Trip Down Memory Lane

There’s nothing like taking a trip down memory lane. Reflecting on fond memories, spending time together, and generally having a good time. Unless your version of memory lane is less than thrilling, that is. And who hasn’t experienced life’s not-so-pleasant moments?

So today, since it’s still winter and I’m ready for spring, to put hope in the hearts of those who need it, and just for fun, let’s take a trip down memory lane…vacation style….with Christmas ornaments.

I love a good souvenir. Whether it’s a hoodie, some killer postcards, or a piece of pie made by the hands of people who live in the place where I’m traveling; they’re all amazing. I also love Christmas. And somewhere along the fifteen years my hubby and I have been vacationing together (can you believe it’s been that long?) I started collecting ornaments from the places we’ve traveled to.

There are still many more to collect and a few places I need to return to because I didn’t pick up an ornament the first time I was there. Here are what I have so far.

Jamaica: The land of tiki dolls, water falls, and the constant thought: I can’t believe I made it to this exotic place!

Jamaica Christmas

It’s Jamaica!

Pennsylvania: That was the year our family dynamics changed (again). We heard “Do you have family there?” a million times in response to our telling folks where we were headed. The amazing things: the tire swing, what an apple orchard looks like, and the moment your uber conservative husband stands out like a hooker in church because he wore a blue button down to the Mennonite church instead of the customary white button down. Rebellious, that’s what that man is. Pennsylvania is also where the whole “let’s renew our wedding vows” bug bit me. We have yet to make it happen.

Amish buggy

Traveling Amish style

Cozumel, Mexico: This was in fact our second trip to Mexico, but I don’t have an ornament from the first time. Both times though, I teared up a little. I feel like I belong when we travel there. It’s my chance to show my kids where my family heritage stems from. Fun facts: I can read/understand some of the language (fun because hubby & kids actually need me to translate), bargaining, and knowing that even though I wasn’t born there and know shockingly little about my family history, this country is the place where I come from.

Cozumel Mexico


Orlando, Florida: It’s a cliche place to go visit and somewhere along the way I swore I wouldn’t take my kids. Best memories: Disney World in a thunderstorm (epic!), the kids swimming at night in the pool, and mini golf. Unbelievable: I lost my engagement ring while on this trip.

Disney World

I love Mickey!

San Francisco, California: The place that changed my writing life. SFWC, expensive parking, living the city life for a weekend, and sea lions. Love the sea lions.

San Francisco Sea Lions

San Francisco

San Francisco

San Francisco, sea lions, SFWC.

Catalina Island: If I ever retire, I can imagine doing so here. Cute town, golf carts for cars, and the view. So pretty. Interesting tidbits: this blog post received more retweets on Twitter than any other I’ve written, it was a port on the 1st cruise my family ever took, and the place our family first crammed into a golf cart for a self-guided tour of an island.

Catalina Island

Island tour, anyone?

Seattle, Washington: We go here a lot. We love the market, Elliot’s fried oysters, have walked many miles the length of the DoubleTree Hotel, and love the Cedarbrook. It’s almost like a second home for us. Did you know: In the summer it is cheaper for us to fly to / spend a weekend in Seattle than it is to go to Anchorage during the summer / tourist months? P.S. Go to Sharp’s/Roosters. Their iced tea and burgers are AMAZING!

Seattle Washington

Let’s go to the market


They make the BEST burgers!

Seattle Market

So fresh & yummy!

Alaska: A place we never imagined visiting only to end up living here. Best. Move. Ever.


The last frontier.

Alaska, snow

Alaska winter

Where do your travels take you? And what do you collect for souvenirs?


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