Category: Gifts

The Place We Stayed at in Cabo San Lucas Was So Nice and Fun That We Forgot to Take Any Pictures

I wanted to take my wife on a vacation we would never forget. We went to Cabo San Lucas and stayed in one of the luxury vacation homes in Cabo. It was beachfront property. At the end of the terrace you stepped right into the water. I am not so much for swimming in what I call wild water. I am more of a swimming pool and spa kind of guy. My wife is like that too. We enjoy seeing the ocean and enjoy the beach. Maybe we will even wade a bit into the water. However, when it comes to swimming, we go find a pool. Our cabin had everything including spa tubs. One had a waterfall.

The place is ultra-luxurious from the kitchen to the furnishings. This is one of the beachfront luxury vacation homes in Cabo. I cannot even compare it to the best hotels I have ever stayed in. It is way beyond that. This is the kind of place you would own if you were a sports megastar, Hollywood elite or the CEO of a huge company. (more…)

What Makes a Perfect Prague Souvenir?

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Many travelers ask themselves the question what to buy for a memory of their trip to Prague, in order to avoid imported crap and to get something really valuable, genuine, local and best of all hand-made.

There are two kinds of Prague souvenir you can get in Prague – those nice and those useful. Let’s examine the useful ones first.

First of all, there are T-shirts, sweatshirts, baseball caps, shopping bags and other kinds of apparel. Such souvenirs are useful and, at least when it comes to the motive, also genuine. If you select a reasonably expensive and quality product, you may expect it to be durable as well.

Unfortunately, the original motives printed on local T-shirts can be easily copied by mass-production digital printing companies who steal the design and offer it printed on-demand on their textile materials.

Then, there are wooden watches and other wooden products modeling the famous Prague Astronomical Clock. The Clock is by far the most attractive sight of Prague. It can be seen on the southern facade of the Prague Old Town Hall on the Old Town Square. There is huge crowd of tourists waiting for the hourly presentation of bells and moving figures in front of it all year round. A wooden watch can be a good useful souvenir in your living room.

These watches are designed and manufactured locally using special printing technic of local wood.

Last but not least, there are thousands of Bohemia Crystal glass products. Bohemia Crystal is definitely the most renowned local Czech product worldwide. It may be boring to the locals but still overwhelming to all tourists as there is no other place in the world where such high-quality lead crystal glass can be manufactured and decorated.

It is available in numerous shops in the city center but there is one that carries out the best pieces – the Erpet Store on the corner of Melantrichova Street and Old Town Square.

Beer is also kind of typical Czech product that has hardly any competition worldwide. Yet it is not a souvenir – you better enjoy it onsite!

Then there are the things that are (just) nice. Here you need to be careful to select items that were really designed and manufactured locally and not imported from Asia. You better go for labels like “Miniatury Art”, “suvenyry.com” and “Aureta Figural”. These are the local vendors who design and manufacture their products locally.

Personalizing Your Wedding Souvenirs

14If you’re a soon-to-be bride and already planning your wedding, one of the most exciting and enjoyable aspects of the process will be deciding what wedding favors to give. Wedding favors are little knickknacks that you’ll be giving away to your guests as souvenirs of this special day in your life of which they have been a part. If you want that memory to stay fresh and beautiful in their minds and hearts, be extra creative in choosing what type of souvenir you’ll have them bring home.

There are many kinds of wedding favors you can imagine. In fact, you can enter any bridal shop and find all sorts of items and designs of all shapes and sizes. Some will be traditional while others can be very bold. But the best souvenirs you can give are those that don’t only remind your guests of your wedding but also of you and your groom as two separate individuals who somehow found their way to be one.

Yes, personalization is the key. But it doesn’t even mean that you create your own handicrafts to give to your guests. You can find a shop that specializes in these things. Obviously, this would be a bridal shop but don’t just pick any of that you can find, whether online or offline. You have to be able to see the souvenirs they’ve done in order to assess the level of quality that they are capable of producing.

Since you will be personalizing your souvenirs, you have to find a shop where you can talk to someone that you’ll be comfortable with. It has to be someone to whom you can give your clear and specific instructions and who will follow them to the letter. Most of all, this person or the shop itself should be wiling to devote some time for you to be able to create the best personalized souvenirs that you have in mind. There could be shops that will create personalized items but won’t necessarily give you enough time to be able to explain extensively what you want them to do.

For any bride, everything matters right down to the littlest details when it comes to her wedding, so don’t let a cold, unwelcoming shop attendant spoil your desire for giving away the best personalized souvenirs to your guests. After all, they are special people in your life and you deserve to be remembered in the best possible ways such as through carefully planned and produced wedding souvenirs that will remind everyone of their part in that most special day of your life.

If you’re looking for a Minnesota wedding planner or wedding day coordinator, you’ll have a great chance of finding a good one who can give all the best leads as far as creating quality personalized souvenirs for your wedding is concerned. These people have the expertise not just in helping you create the most perfect souvenirs but also in pulling your whole wedding together and flawlessly at that. When you have a good wedding planner, you can just relax and focus on your excitement. After all, you can’t afford to be stressed out on your big day.

The Best Argentine Souvenirs

13Argentina is a country that is rich in natural resources. Visitors to Argentina will have no difficulty finding a wide variety of high quality products to bring home as souvenirs from their trip or gifts for family and friends.

Weekend markets in Recoleta and San Telmo have a wide range of items, from touristy trinkets to carefully hand crafted artisanal goods. Buenos Aires also has excellent shopping, with designer boutiques throughout Palermo Soho and a variety of chain and independent shops along major streets such as Santa Fe and Corrientes.

Certain items sold at the tourist markets can be found throughout the world and are not unique to Argentina, but if you’re looking for a souvenir that you’d be unlikely to find elsewhere, you’ll have plenty of options.

Rodocrosita

At the weekend ferias in Recoleta and San Telmo, vendors sell a variety of jewelry, ranging from antique and vintage pieces to hand-made specialty pieces. Many pieces are made from silver and you’ll notice one stone that is particularly popular: rodocrosita, Argentina’s national gemstone. Rodocrosita is a pink stone that is often striped with thin white lines. The clarity of the stone varies depending on the quality – and price also increases accordingly. Some cuts of rodocrosita appear more orange or coral in color. You can choose a rock and setting depending on your preferences.

Mate

Another Argentine item you may want to take home is a mate gourd. When visiting Argentina, you’ll learn how important mate is in Argentine culture. Groups of friends gather in parks on the weekends to share a mate and enjoy spending time together, and you may want to take this custom home to share with your friends and family. Mate gourds are abundantly available at any touristy attraction, but you can also find them in most supermarkets and any store that sells kitchen supplies. You can buy a variety of types of mates; traditionally they’re made from an actual gourd, but more modern versions may be made of plastic, glass, wood, or other materials. They’re usually more expensive at the ferias, but they’re also more ornately decorated than the simple mates you would find in your local supermercado. If you’re looking for a bargain, you may want to try to learn to speak like a porteño (local) with Spanish lessons in Buenos Aires.

Leather

Finally, Argentina is world renowned for its beef, and this cattle production also results in some very high quality leather goods. Purses, jackets, and even leather notebooks are sold at the weekend ferias and in stores throughout Buenos Aires. Quality varies, as does price, and to avoid getting ripped off-particularly at ferias or other touristy locations-you’re better off negotiating the interaction in Spanish. If you learn Spanish in Buenos Aires, you’ll be able to find some great deals on high quality leather items and impress your friends with your Argentine souvenirs!

Souvenirs of a First Dance Competition

12There I was, knees quaking with anticipation, hardly noticing my partner, whose knees were equally quivering.

Just moments before, our category of the competition was called early; a well-planned surprise attack by the organizers, I’m sure. My partner, figuring he had a couple of hours before being called up onto the ballroom dance floor, had drifted out into the hallway of the classy hotel to drool over the concessionaires’ many items for dance fanatics. “Novice Latin!” the announcer exclaimed. I whipped my head around to look at him in disbelief. Cold beads of perspiration dotted my forehead as I listened to the numbers of the couples being called up to the dance floor. “#143!” the announcer bellowed. In shock I sprang to my feet, my partner nowhere in site. Finally, after a few seconds which felt like centuries, my partner raced in to join me. I uttered a sigh of relief but that still didn’t quell the flurry of butterfly wings in my stomach. I’m sure my eyes were as large as the taillights of the latest Alero! (as a matter-of-fact they were…shown in photos taken by a wandering photographer hoping to profit from the numerous couples dancing that day.)

And now, feeling like specimens beneath a magnifying glass under the scrutiny of the dance judges strategically positioned around the ballroom floor, here we were, about to embark upon our first ballroom dance competition experience, dazed and shocked at actually being on a competition floor. The myriad of watchful eyes surrounded us from the crowd of people consisting of family members of the competitors, friends, general public, the competitors themselves waiting to be called or just biding their time in hopes of a callback or a win.

“Cha Cha!” called the announcer. “Cha Cha? What’s a Cha Cha???” the thought passed through my dazed brain. The beat of the Cha Cha permeated through the ballroom as my partner thankfully led me through the dance without a stumble or without me passing out from sheer terror. With cold, clammy hands we moved from one dance step to another, desperately scanning our memory banks for clues to the routines we had practiced for the last few months in preparation for our very first dance competition. “Oh God, please let this be over soon!” conveyed my subconscious. Finally, after about a minute and a half, the disk jockey ended the Cha Cha and the competitors scattered to find the perfect positioning on the ballroom floor for the next dance to be called.

“And now the Rumba – dancers please take your positions” bellowed the announcer. We waited tensely for that first beat; I glanced nervously around and couldn’t help wondering if the other couples felt as stressed as we did. As my partner and I took our first Rumba step I had the strangest feeling come over me – a sense of pride at actually being a good-enough dancer to participate in a ballroom dance competition. We completed the Rumba and as we drifted off the dance floor to take our seats, my partner and I glanced at each other. In a fleeting moment I felt his elation; I knew that whether we won or not, we still had accomplished something that many dance couples never experience in their lifetimes, and from that moment on we would never again experience the fear of the unknown as we stepped out onto the competition dance floor.