Vacation Memories (and goodies)

I’m back! And I am sleepy. I’ve honestly never had jet-lag this bad before, despite the previous international travel I’ve done. Maybe the reason I’ve been trying to crawl under my desk at work and take a power nap is because we did too much on this vacation. We hit 4 cities in 9 days, stayed in 6 different hotels, took 5 trains between 2 countries, and went to bed around 1am every night. I have about a billion pictures to show you guys, but I’ve only uploaded a few from the very first day because someone left her macbook charger in a hotel in Ghent but didn’t realize it until she was in Bruges 3 days later. That someone might have collapsed on the floor of the hotel room and cried like a baby over it too, who knows.

The good news is that last night I went to the Apple store and shelled out $80 for a new one, and I would’ve gone straight home and edited photos all night but I had a hot date with my mom. She had made a huge pot of meatballs and spaghetti sauce so I wouldn’t have to worry about fending for food when we got back, so we had a girl’s night last night. You might be wondering where Boyfriend was for all of this; if you guessed that he had to wake up at 4am the morning after we got back to fly to Mexico for 3 days for a business trip, you’d be correct. Oy.

So, yes, pictures are coming, I promise! Starting Monday I’ll do a humongous (I’m probably just delirious, but that word looks wrong. Is that really how it’s spelled?) post each day of photos from the trip. I’m more excited about it than you are, trust me.

In the meantime, let’s talk about a topic near and dear to my heart: shopping! Obviously I didn’t do a ton of it on the trip, because I was too busy professing my love for the Eiffel Tower or imbibing sour cherry lambics all afternoon. And because, hey, I was on vacation! I made one pit stop in Bruges to a Mango store to eye some mint colored jeans, but that was it. Even in Paris I didn’t buy anything! Unless you count macarons or a tiny Eiffel Tower keychain.

I realize that vacations aren’t about the things you bought or the material items you bring back with you, but rather the things you saw and the memories you made. But if that were entirely true no one would have invented the terms “souvenir” or “no foreign transaction fees.”

Or plopped a Zara Home store a 5 minute walk from my hotel in Brussels.

Yes. A Zara Home store. I didn’t even know they had such a thing! All of my impressive self control flew right out the window when I saw it. I dragged Boyfriend inside and commenced the most materialistically satisfying half an hour of my life. Here’s what I managed to come away with:

Pillow / Tealight Holder

The pillow acted as a nice padding agent to cushion the beer we backed in our suitcase to bring home, and I’m keeping it far away from Fitz, Fabric Destroyer Extraordinaire. I’ve already lit a tealight in that candle holder, and I know I’m a total Crazy Candle Lady but seriously, it’s beautiful. And it was only €7! I could have spent the whole day in that store, but Boyfriend must have been allergic to some fragrance in there because he was sneezing uncontrollably so I took pity on him and made it quick.

However, here are some other goodies I spotted which I would have been more than happy to bring home with me, and that I’m slightly kicking myself for not snatching up when I had the chance.

1. Pillow / 2. Glass / 3. Fish Candle / 4. Magnifying Glass / 5. Tealight holder / 6. Napkins / 7. Picture Frame / 8. Door stop / 9. Mercury Jars

I can’t believe it was this many things. I only made one manic loop around the store, but apparently all this stuff caught my eye. How cute is that gold fish (goldfish, get it?? I’m so tired) candle? And that picture frame! It’s made from the floors of my dreams (painted white wood, fyi). I know the knoted rope door stops are a bit over done, and mercury glass accessories are too, but I love them.

Alright, kiddos. What’s the best thing you bought on vacation? And for the love of god, someone with a Zara Home in their city please send me that gold fish candle.

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May 24, 2012 / design / Travel / LEAVE A COMMENT / 19

19 comments

  • Oh gawd. Why don’t I already have number 8? Or number 9 for that matter. Dear Lord. I’m SO glad you’re back, dearie. It sounds like you had a wonderful, well-deserved trip. Inspiring! I can’t wait to see the photos. xoxoxo

    • Thanks, doll! I’m very happy to be back. Surprised even me, that. xo

  • Nothing cures jet lag like meatballs and spaghetti. Such great finds! There’s only one thing for it, you’ll have to come back again to pick up the last 9 items….

    • That might be the best idea of all time, Niki! Why didn’t I think of that?

  • That door stop looks like a great dog chew toy to me. And, I have a Tiffany crystal candle holder almost exactly like that if you want it.

    • Ha, it does look like a chew toy, good point! And no, I couldn’t possibly take that off your hands! xo

  • PS love the pillows

    • That second one would look great in Myrtle Beach, right?

  • Erin – I had no idea Zara Home existed either, but I’m happy I’ve never had the pleasure to happen upon one. I don’t think I’ve ever walked out of a regular Zara without a dent in my wallet so I’d be in big trouble. I can’t even imagine what kind of heaven you were in with all things home – I love both of the pieces you scooped up -especially that lovely candleholder. Perfect for when you invite friends over for a dinner party/European photos slide show:) Did you say you brought home beer? Must be pretty special?!? Sounds like you were treated to a great meal to welcome you back. Glad to have you back and can’t wait to see your photos.

    • Oh gosh, I know, I always say I’m going to go into Zara “just to look” and then I find a million things that I want. It’s a similar aesthetic to their clothes, and everything is just awesome. Really, it was torture having to leave! Might have been my favorite part of Brussels… ;)

      Thank you! I’m happy to be back! We brought back some yummy Belgian beer, yep! It’s so much cheaper there than it is here. It’s like €2 for my favorite lambic there and $9/$10 here. Insane!

  • Did you notice that the watercolor pillow you picked up looks very similar to your new header?! That pillow is now your blog’s official mascot. Honestly, I don’t know how you’re still awake and able to put together a coherent (and great, I might add) post. You’re like a blog triathlete.
    PS~Ugh, poor BF!

    • Ha! It totally does! Boyfriend made the exact same comment in the store between sneezes! I think that’s why I was initially attracted to it: I love a good watercolor.

      I’m honestly still laughing over “blog triathlete.” That made my day! xoxo

  • Yeah Zara Home is a doozy- I never thought I wanted kids until I walked past their window display of cribs and baby furniture and accessories and I got all broody JUST to have a reason to buy the lush stuff. How sad is that?

    There’s a few of them here, so if you need anything picked up and sent, do tell. Obviously payment in horseradish and chocolate. You know the deal.

    • Um, SAME. The downstairs was all kids stuff and I tried to reign in my delight so as not to freak out Boyfriend but DUDE. Adorableness everywhere. The stuff is so amazing. If I ever get knocked up I’m making a special trip there to decorate. No biggie.

      I love our bartering system. It’s so amazing. I might take you up on it!

  • Your tealight holder is gorgeous, I’m a sucker for candles too so the fish I’d love also. So Zara home stores have not reached the US yet? I’m surprised by that. I salute your resistance to purchasing more things whilst you were away, I know you were busy elsewhere but I was certain you’d come back with extra booty. I’m with Susk – we send you Zara things and you return the favour with things from Crate & Barrel or West Elm. Wadya say? :-)

    It’s fab to have you back and I’m excited to see more of your trip, keep ’em coming! But well done too for posting in such a woozy state x

    • I know, right? They have stores in Mexico and Costa Rica but that’s as close as they get. Yet another reason for me to move overseas, I guess! Seriously. I’d do it just for Zara Home. That must be how you feel about C&B and West Elm! I’ll gladly send you stuff from there. I live walking distance to a West Elm (this has gotten me into trouble before) and I’m happy to share the love!

      Haha, thanks darling. I’ll be back on Monday with more trip related stuff, and hopefully I won’t be sleepy by then!

  • Oh, yes the allure of a Zara home store. I felt it on my last trip to Germany. My mom had the same problem with sneezing in the store. Maybe they use some kind of fragrance in the stores? Great purchases! I have to second Theresa the pillow really does remind me of your header.

    I always pick up something small to fit in my suitcase on vacation but last year (or the year before?) I brought home a bike basket that I had liked for a while but always thought was too expensive.

    • The must use some kind of candle or something! That’s too coincidental, don’t you think? Did you pick up any goodies when you were there? So funny that pillow reminds you of my header, too! Clearly I have a pattern going :)

      That bike basket is amazing! Good for you for treating yourself to it because you liked it. I thought when you said “expensive” it was going to be like $200. $70 is totally reasonable!

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