Part of vacation is visiting the gift shops in search of the perfect tchotchke to commemorate the trip. Sometimes the tchotchke search is part of a traveling tradition (Lainey and her hubby collect refrigerator magnets, my significant other collects shot glasses, and his parents collect Christmas ornaments from places they visit), sometimes it is a random object that just fits the trip (see below for one of my souvenirs from Kilimanjaro).
Usually these souvenirs end up collecting dust on a shelf until they make it into a garage or estate sale. If they are unique or extra kitschy, people like me will pick them up even if they’ve never been to that particular locale (meet Henrik from Oslo that I found cleaning out my great-aunt’s).
All of this is to say that you never know what you’ll find in a gift shop while on vacation. While in San Francisco, we took a tour that included a stop in the famous Muir Woods. The trees are incredible, the air is sweet, and the sounds of nature are music. If you haven’t been, put this on your bucket list and go!
Like any good tourist stop, Muir Woods had a gift shop filled with lots of tree-themed standard gift shop items. The shop also had replicas of vintage advertisements and postcards for the park, which my brother and another guest on the tour picked up. I thought these were so cool (was a little jealous that I’d missed them in the shop) and would look great hanging on the wall. These are definitely a step up from your typical dust collector!
Sometimes the gift shop is going to be your standard mass-produced snow globes and t-shirts. Other times you may get lucky and find things that not only remind you of the memories, but can also find vintage-inspired art that makes an awesome decor contribution.
P.S. The tour we took when we walked through the woods was awesome! We spent about an hour and half in the park, went to 4 Sonoma wineries, and had lunch at a very cute cafe! You can find more information here.