Tag Archives: keepsake

One person’s Mexican sugar mold is another’s bludgeon

Before becoming a favorite home décor item, wooden molds like this one were hard at work creating cones of brown sugar in Mexico. But as I found out when I tried to get one home on an airplane, a sugar mold isn’t just a great souvenir; it turns out one person’s Mexican sugar mold is another’s bludgeon.

Too large for my checked luggage, I affixed a rope handle and then slipped it only the belt of the x-ray machine. In a pre-9/11 world, little thought would have been paid to my travel find. But with post-9/11 goggles on, security told me that it would not be allowed as a carry-on. “It could be a bludgeon,” I was told.

Luckily, I had plenty of time to get back to the check-in counter and check the mold through to my final destination. However, with a tight connection, you can kiss that puppy goodbye. USAToday travel writer Laura Bly’s recent travels sidelined a precious memento. Read the saga here.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Authentic, Home Furnishings, Mexico, Uncategorized, Wood Carving

Tortuga Rum Cakes named “Best Cruise Souvenir”

rum cakes from the Cayman Islands

Tortuga Rum Cakes

Foro the sixth straight year, Tortuga Rum Cakes have been named “Best Cruise Souvenir” by the Ft. Lauderdale-based Porthole Cruise Magazine.

Editor-in-Chief Bill Panoff says that the consistent quality and great taste of these rum cakes made it easy to honor the company yet again. “I can’t remember a time when I returned from a cruise without [a rum cake] — or several,” he says.

Made from a well-guarded secret family recipe — Tortuga Rum Cakes have been baked fresh daily in the Cayman Islands for four generations. The history of the rum cake dates back to maritime days when the men would come home from their journeys with barrels of rum. The women of the islands discovered that the rum could be used to make these delicious, moist cakes. The Tortuga Rum Cake Company, which also produces its own rums, uses a special blend to give the baked treats their unique flavor.

Visitors to Grand Cayman can visit the headquarters to learn more about the history of sugar and rum, watch the cakes being made and, of course, sample some of the product.

The rest of us can buy products from the company’s online store.

1 Comment

Filed under Caribbean, Cayman Islands, Food and Beverage

A decade of starfish

silver bracelet from Hawaii

Heather bought this bracelet a gift shop near Waikiki Beach in 2004.

This silver bracelet with starfish charms is no ordinary piece of jewelry to its owner Heather Gooch, co-owner of Gooch & Gooch. Not only is it a fond memento of her trip to Hawaii in 2004, it also became a source of comfort on her flight home.

“I’ve always been a nervous flier,” she says. “When I saw there were ten starfish, I realized it was the same as a decade of beads on a rosary. I could say the rosary discreetly on my way home on the plane without freaking out other passengers.”

Purchased at a gift shop near Oahu’s famous Waikiki Beach, the bracelet’s charms are inlaid with mother of pearl.

“I wanted something nice,” Heather remembers. “This was a once in a lifetime trip and I wanted something nice to remember it by. I still wear it six years later. If there’s an important meeting that I have to go to, you might find it on my wrist. Truth be told, I see it as my good luck charm.”

Cost: approximately $12

Can’t get to Hawaii? Here are a few starfish bracelets you can order online:

Leave a comment

Filed under For Her, Hawaii, Jewelry, Oceana, United States

The Sumo Wrestling Radish

Sumo Wrestling RadishBecause the Taiwanese name for radish, “caitao,” sounds like the word for “good luck,” radishes have long represented luck at temples, elections and ribbon-cutting ceremonies.

But what’s the story with the radish in the sumo loincloth? Is it a cartoon imported from Japan?A good luck charm for wrestling matches? A Google search turned up nothing but a recently released Mandarin film called “Radish Warrior.”

This particular sumo-wrestling radish is intended to go on a car license plate, thus the nut and bolt on its backside.

The item was purchased on Jan. 19, 2009, in Taipei. It was a gift for a friend who likes personified fruits and vegetables.

Cost $80 TWD or $2.50 USD


Leave a comment

Filed under Car, Cartoon, Food and Beverage, Miscellaneous, Souvenir, Uncategorized

The Souvenir Museum launches Flickr group

Search for “tacky souvenir” on Flickr, and you’ll find something you’d never expect to see. That’s why the Souvenir Museum has launched a Flickr group, where Flickr users can add photos to the group pool and nominate their favorite finds.

If you have a Flickr account, join the Souvenir Museum group, and start nominating photos for the Kitschy Keepsake Contest (details will be forthcoming).

To add your own photo to the group, make sure to tag it “SouvenirMuseum,” then go out and nominate other wacky wonders. Instructions on the Flickr’s Souvenir Museum page includes code that can be pasted in the comments field of the photo you’re nominating. The message should appear like the example below.

We look forward to seeing you on Flickr!

This deserves to be in the Souvenir Museum!
Tag your photo with “SouvenirMuseum”

The place for travel keepsakes, both tacky and terrific.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Welcome to the Souvenir Museum

Welcome to the Souvenir Museum, the place for travel keepsakes, both tacky and terrific.

Do you have a travel keepsake that is begging for a new home, defies all explanation or is just plain kick ass? Then, let us know about it. It deserves a place in the Souvenir Museum, the place for travel keepsakes, both tacky and terrific.

Email a photo of your souvenir to the museum curator at souvenirmuseum@gmail.com, and include the following information.

1. WHAT IS IT? (Besides a description of the object itself, describe the motif and its background or significance to the place from which it comes. The more specific, the better.)

2. WHERE DID YOU GET IT? (Tell us if it was a gift from Aunt Jenny, or that you bought it at Kuma’s Souvenir Shop in downtown Lagos, Nigeria. The more specific the better.)

3. WHEN DID YOU GET IT? (Do you still have the receipt that says the exact day it was purchased, did you buy it at an antique mall second-hand or do you just remember that you got it on vacation in Hawaii circa 1963? The more specific, the better.)

4. WHAT WERE YOU THINKING? (This is your opportunity to justify the purpose behind the purchase. Were you swept up in the moment, did it sound like a good idea at the time, but when you got it home it just didn’t work with your decor?)

5. SOMETHING ABOUT YOU. (It could be a memory from the trip the souvenir pertains to, or something unique and interesting about yourself)

6. WHICH STATEMENT APPLIES:
a. I am willing to donate the actual object to the museum or traveling exhibit.

b. I want to keep the object, but I’m willing to loan it to the museum for specific exhibits.

c. I prefer not to relinquish the item, the photo is good enough for me.

7. YOUR NAME. (You can choose to be anonymous if you prefer)

Leave a comment

Filed under Souvenir