I love to travel and it was one of the things I made a point of doing a lot of before I had children. Europe is a beautiful continent rich in history and culture and I feel blessed to have visited it a number of times.
And, being the
pack rat collector I am, I have quite a bit of European memorabilia and souvenirs as a result. I also have a very bad habit of getting overly nostalgic from time to time, so bear with me while I recall exactly where I found some of these goodies. :)
Here's what's inside:
And, being the
Here's what's inside:
Stickers. Lots of stickers! I purchased these for my Europe scrapbook pages (btw, let me know if any of you are interested in seeing these pages - I'm happy to share them!), but I didn't end up using them all. Most were purchased at places like Archiver's and Michael's, but the four at the bottom left are from the various countries I visited.
Miscellaneous souvenirs. I just love that linen doily, which I purchased from a little old lady at a tiny shop in Limerick, Ireland. The two ornaments on the doily are from a beautiful Christmas shop in Rothenberg, Germany (one says "Ich Bringe Gluck", which means "I bring luck"). The Pinocchio ornament is from a shop in the Piazza Navona in Rome, Italy, and the wooden boy is from this German toymaker. The little Eiffel Tower is, obviously, from Paris, France. The Matryoshka nesting dolls are from a Russian store in the US and are a gift from my wonderful sister in law. I have yet to paint them and I'll be sure to post about them when they're finished.
Pieces of Europe. I think these items are some of my most favorite possessions. The pouch on the left contains Edelweiss seeds, which I purchased in Salzburg, Austria. I am a HUGE fan of The Sound of Music and the song, Edelweiss. The sand inside that little bottle is from Omaha Beach in Normandy, France. For those unfamiliar, Omaha Beach is the same beach the US Army stormed in World War II. While we were visiting France, my very patriotic husband made a special trip there to pay his respects to our fallen soldiers. The chunk of rock at the top right is an actual piece of the Berlin Wall. I remember standing under the Eiffel Tower and reaching down to grab a handful of pebbles - they are the same you see in the bag on the far right. Funny thing, there's a small rusted nut included in that bag... I wonder if it fell from the Tower? The multi-colored stone is a wishing stone from Galway, Ireland, and that little bit of rubble in the tiny bag is a piece of the Colosseum in Rome, Italy, extracted by yours truly! :) I have a few larger souvenirs, such as a beautiful beer stein purchased during a fun excursion to Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany, and I'll be showing them to James when the time comes.
Music and artwork. We are a family of music lovers and have always had a wide variety of music in our home. The Spanish Guitar music was one of the first CDs I ever purchased and the other CDs are all a part of the brilliant collection of children's music by Putumayo. I found the art work on Google images.
Postcards. As I mentioned before, I've been collecting postcards since I was a young girl. This selection is just a small sampling of them. Some of these are from friends and family, others are from my travels.
Special mail. The unique Romanian postcard to the left was sent to us by a lovely blog friend, Ramona - James loves this postcard and spent the first few days of its arrival carrying it around with him. The colorful painting at the top was sent to us from a sweet little boy in Spain as a part of our International Postcard Exchange. Ditto with the letter, which is from a boy in Wales and is written in his own adorable script.
Spoons, patches, and pins. More of my spoon collection and a few patches and pins from one of my most memorable experiences - a backpacking trip through Europe with my best friend. We traveled through Europe with literally just a backpack and we had plans to adorn our packs with patches and pins from each of the countries we visited. Somewhere along the line we lost interest in the idea, though, and these are all that remain from our big plan. :)
Various emphera and a book. A ticket from a visit to the Neuschwanstein Castle in Fussen, Germany, a bag from a gift shop in The Netherlands, a map from my trip up the Jungfrau in Switzerland, a newspaper from Munich, and a small bag from a shop in Paris. The book is a gift from my sister in law who used to live in Germany. It's the Grimm Brother's tale of The Bremen Musicians and is written entirely in German. I studied German for years and could just about speak and read it fluently. Of course it's one of those "use it or lose it" situations and I now struggle to translate even a simple sentence.
Three part cards and animals. Yes, there are just two measly dogs representing our collection of European animals. I think Safari Ltd. needs to make a Toob for each continent!
Brochures, photos, pictures, and three part cards. The cards and pictures come from here and the brochures were collected by me as I traveled. I have quite a few photos from my travels and, when the time comes for us to explore our Europe bag, I'll pull them out and share them with James. This particular photo - the one in the upper left hand corner - is of me on the very dark and narrow staircase within the Blarney Castle in Ireland. For some reason, James really likes this photo, so I thought I'd include it.
Money, stamps, and stampers. The coins and some of the stamps are real, but most of the items in this photo are images I found on Google and then printed and laminated. The 1000 Lire bill above has an image of Maria Montessori on it! Unfortunately, my stash of European currency (some date from before the Euro was introduced) and stamps are not here in Bermuda with me. The stampers will make for a fun activity when we explore this continent.
Recipes and three part cards. This book is great and has a good variety of recipes from around the world. About a month ago, on my Facebook page, I asked if anyone wanted to share an authentic recipe from their country and a few of you were kind enough to send some to me - thank you so much! If anyone else would like to share, please email me at countingcoconuts1(at)gmail(dot)com.
Flags from Ireland, Russia, Germany, and England.
I hope you've enjoyed this photo tour of our Europe Continent Bag! You might also enjoy these other posts from my Continent Bag Series:
Our Continent Bags
Our Continent Bags - Storage
Our Continent Bags - North America
Our Continent Bags - Asia
Our Continent Bags - Antarctica
Our Continent Bags - Africa
Our Continent Bags - South America
Our Continent Bags - Australia
Also check out my Continent Bags photo album on the Counting Coconuts Facebook page.
I'm linking this post up to The Preschool Corner and Montessori Monday.
~Thank you for your comments!~