I got married quite young, which was very normal at that time in the south. We didn't have very much money, but we already had a passion for travel. No money and wanting to travel aren't a good mix! So we did what we could...we started small. We traveled within our own state. We stayed at the cheapest hotels we could find. We ate cheap food. And we had a blast! Knowing that we planned to travel our whole lives, we decided to start a tradition on our honeymoon. We would buy a souvenir spoon in each new state or country that we visited. We literally started this tradition ON our honeymoon by purchasing the spoon rack and our first spoon. It has been 19 years and our marriage and this tradition are still going strong!
There are some rules to my spoon collection.
1. It can only be spoons to places we have actually been.
2. They have to be in order of the places we have been. This rule has been interesting to keep considering we have moved several times and all the spoons have come off. It is a fun time thinking back over the last 19 years trying to put them all back in order. I got smart on the last move and took a picture first. :)
3. We don't repeat spoons. So if we visit a state over and over it won't take up too much room on the rack. One spoon for each place only!
4. The spoon CAN have the name of the city, but it MUST have the name of the state or country.
Trying to find the perfect spoon to represent each place is part of the fun. The hula dancer from Hawaii (who used to have an arm...oops) and the crown from London, England where we saw the Queens jewels on display at the Tower of London. One great thing about the spoons is that you can find them everywhere, even Europe and tiny islands in the Caribbean. Plus, they aren't expensive.I have paid as little as $1 and as much as $15. Not bad for souvenirs, especially when I know it will be displayed and seen for years to come, unlike some of the souvenirs I have bought for the kids. :)
Sometimes in my haste to find a pretty spoon, I forgot the function of it. This one from Kansas, above, has to hang upside down because it isn't balanced at the top. It hangs so crooked that it hits the other spoons. But that's okay, it makes for good memories and a good story.
Not all spoons are made the same. This one from Dresden, Germany is made out of porcelain. Although it is the only one in my collection that isn't made of metal, that is okay because Dresden is known for porcelain. Sometimes you make do with what is available and it turns out to be something special. :)
If you plan on starting your own spoon collection from your travels (which I highly recommend), don't beat yourself up if you forget to grab one, or can't find one wherever you happen to have been. One time we were on a Mediterranean cruise that stopped in Malta. We got off the ship for an excursion where we rode on these little Maltese boats. However, we never went into town or saw any stores. I was unable to purchase a spoon from Malta. So how do I have the perfect spoon above? EBAY! When I got home from my trip, I looked online for Malta spoons and found the perfect one. I don't like to do this if I don't have to, because I like to actually purchase in location. But there is always this option, just in case.
I hope you enjoyed seeing my souvenir spoon collection. Let me know in the comments what you have collected from your travels.