Sunday, April 8, 2018

Going Home

Preparing to go home from a trip is never easy.  It's not like you just zip open your suitcase, throw in the clothes and walk out the door.  For me, it involves shopping to buy gifts for my family and friends. Mostly, they're very small gifts -- just something to let them know I was thinking of them while I was away.  But even very small gifts can say a lot.

This isn't an easy blog post to write.  I had intended to document my Spanish shopping excursions and  show you all the cool items I found.  Then I realized that my family and friends read my blog.  The question suddenly becomes:  Do I destroy the element of surprise and write an awesome blog post showing all of the nice gifts; or, do I keep the surprise and not show anything to my loyal and faithful readers?

Sorry, loyal and faithful readers.  My family and friends won this round.

Buying for my wife, María, is the most difficult.  When I give her a gift, the exchange usually goes something like this:

Me: "I really put a lot of thought into it and hope you like it."

María:  (ripping open the box and wrapping paper) "Oh, I love it!  I love it!  (long pause)  But, you wouldn't mind if I exchange it for another color would you?   The green doesn't really go with anything I have.  And if they had it with a different neckline...  You know, I have several sweaters similar to this, but I saw one that was really cute in another catalogue...  You wouldn't mind, would you if...."

Don't worry.  I'm used to it.  The only problem is that whatever I choose this time has to be right, because I can't return it.

So, I won't show you what I'm buying, but I'll show you a few of the shops I've checked out on my gift-buying ventures.  You'll see some gift shop windows that I might or might not have found something to buy. Family and friends, you can use your imaginations!  Loyal readers, sorry, you'll have to use your imaginations, too!

You can probably guess that I didn't buy anything here.  I can wait until I get home to buy the M&M's and Twinkies.  (You can click on photographs in this blog for a closer view.  Hit the "escape" or "esc" key to exit to an normal view.)

This is a nice shop for typical food and drink products of León.  You can bet that I didn't buy the meat since customs doesn't like it when I pack it in my luggage.
Meats, pastries, cheeses, and drinks are in this window.

A souvenir shop in front of the Cathedral.

All sorts of figurines.
More from a souvenir shop display.
Ceramics are always popular gifts.
A bottle of local herb liquor.  Very tasty.

Bracelets.  The scallop shells represent the Way of St. James (the Camino de Santiago.)

Anyway, now you've seen some of the cool shopping options I've had.  Hopefully, I made some good decisions.

This will be my last blog entry from Spain, but I've much more to share, including a road trip to Astorga, a fantastic restaurant and trout soup in Órbigo, tapas, more reflections on Holy Week, etc.
Tune-in in a few days after I'm back in Illinois, and I'll still be blogging about my trip to Spain.

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