20 October 2009

Decorating the Fridge -- One City at a Time

IF YOU WERE like most kids you went through a period where you collected something . For me it was baseball cards and backpack patches. Kerri collected Smurfs and stuffed animals.

[Quick note on the backpack patches. I lived in Cambridge, England for a short time when I was 10 years old and whenever we would travel around the country my parents would buy me the little patches that you can sew onto a backpack or canvas bag. So somewhere in my collection of things I have patches from Bath, Ely, London, York, Edinburgh, Cambridge, Oxford, and St. Ives, etc. I have literally just remembered this as I am writing. I need to find those the next time I visit home.]

Our kids are into this phase now and Patrick has quite a collection of football (American) cards that he arranges constantly. Julia has made herself a collection of potholders that rivals any kitchen's stock. Henry collects snails (a long story for another time). But since we have come to France the kids have also chosen something to 'collect' when we visit cities around Europe. Patrick has chosen key chains; Julia has tea spoons; and Henry...well, he's still deciding.

But what is fun is that our family has a sort of collection that we are working on as well. Each time we visit a (fairly major) city we buy a refrigerator magnet. We tend to choose the three-dimensional ones but we have a wide variety. Many of the magnets now adorn our frigo, and many sit in a small bowl because they're broken. I took a picture of the side of our fridge this evening. Can you identify all the magnets (despite the bad photo)?

Here are some close-ups of a few:



Several are missing and I'm not sure where they are (Bordeaux? Strasbourg? Como? Basel?). We'll have to find them.

Here's the answer key from the first photo (from top-left): Maryland (our home state), Lyon, Carcassonne, Venice, Paris, Colmar, Luxembourg, Baden-Baden, Avignon, Milan, Bologna, Frankfurt, Washington, DC, Amsterdam, Annecy, Andorra, Monaco, Pont du Gare, Torino, Geneva, Chamonix, Barcelona, and Ireland.

What did you used to collect?
CJS

7 comments :

jennie said...

I do the same thing for every country I visit! I used to collect shotglasses, but considering that I don't drink alcohol, I thought magnets would be a bit more useful...

Monique said...

Ever since I started traveling cross country in 2007... and then across Europe the following year, I've been doing that for my dad!

When I was younger, he traveled a lot for his job, so he'd bring me back thimbles from everywhere he went.

So now it's my turn :) He's got quite the collection of magnets in his wine-making workshop in the garage... since my mom doesn't like magnets on her stainless steel appliances ha.

Akinoluna - a female Marine said...

I used to just buy random souvenirs, but over the last few years I've started buying books in each country (even short airport layovers!) usually a phrase book if I don't know the language. I also seem to have rediscovered my childhood rock collecting habit...I keep picking up rocks at each new place I go too...

Anonymous said...

Pint glasses from every Hard Rock Cafe that I visited!!

Friendly Possum said...

I used to collect matches from all the restaurants I visited. But that tends to be very American -- I'm not sure restaurants in Europe give away match books the same way.

Jennifer said...

I have somewhere in boxes felt triangular pennants from universities and cities we visited_collector items now I suppose.

Anne said...

My kids are collecting lapel pins although surprisingly there were none, absolutely none to be found when we were in Greece last summer. They particularly like the friendship pins -- a U.S. flag with the flag of the country visiting.