Lili on the Loose: On Life and Getting Lost 

Souvenir Saturday: Guatemalan Jade

Souvenir Saturday is an every-other week series on the items that represent travel memories.

When traveling to Guatemala, I knew I wanted to get a piece of Jade jewelry. There are two stones that are considered “Jade”: nephrite and jadeite. Nephrite is more common and is often used for carvings, while jadeite is harder and denser and so is often used for jewelry. Guatemalan jade is of the jadeite variety and comes in a variety of green colors as well as more unique finds like lavender or black. Jade was precious to the ancient Mayan, Olmec, and Aztec civilizations as it was a status symbol of wealth, power, and life itself.

Thus, jade makes a beautiful souvenir from Guatemala. It is important to purchase from reputable shops, as many of the cheaper stores and markets actually sell cheaper Chinese carved stones that are likely not actual jade. I wandered in to Casa Del Jade, one of the fancier shops. It boasts many different designs and colors of jade in addition to a small museum. While it is on the more expensive side, it was a nice buying experience and came with a certificate of authenticity to prove that it was Guatemalan jade. I was at first looking for a traditional green jade, but fell in love with a pale lavender necklace. But like most shops, they will push you to buy more, so be firm with them. (Although now I do regret not getting the matching earrings…darn!)

Guatemalan Jade Necklace

 

Travel Missteps: Groped in Guatemala or am I just bad at Charades?

Travel Missteps is an every-other week series on how sometimes part of the journey is making mistakes and getting lost.

I had an eventful first day in Antigua, Guatemala. I made chocolate, I shopped a bit, sprained an ankle, and I also had the largest scare I’ve ever had while traveling.

Santa Clara

The ruins of Santa Clara

Before dinner I decided to squeeze in one last site. I was excited to see the many ruined churches of Antigua and there was one I could see from my hotel, a ruin called Convento de Santa Clara. Camera ready, I paid the Q40 to the bored man at the dark entrance.  As you enter to the left the ruined church juts out of the ground, with amazing cravings! I stood mesmerized for a little while as some young children ran around playing tag. After taking a few photos I decide to leave the church to the end, and instead head right to explore the grounds.

There was a huge courtyard surrounded by colonnades and other outbuildings. In the center was a large fountain. I skirted around the courtyard and wandered through the back buildings. It was peaceful and I was the only one around.  Occasionally I’d turn a corner and find a young teenager, sitting down and doing their homework. Or other locals just taking naps within the ruins. Here and there were disturbed ground, I couldn’t decide if it was due to archeological digs, or something else. (In the back of my mind I thought it would be an amazingly good place to bury a body.)

Some of the ruined buildings I couldn’t figure out what they had been before, others I could just instantly tell that this is where their kitchens had been, or this one was used as the living quarters. After a while I realize that my time is running out, that eventually the ruins would close, so I head towards the church.

The playing kids and their parents are long gone, and I seemingly have the place once more to myself. I walk along a dark hallway and into a large half football sized dark chamber. There aren’t many windows in this room, so not much to see, so I’m about to hurry out into the larger part of the church. A local man comes up to me and starts speaking Spanish. I awkwardly explain I don’t speak Spanish, and he obviously doesn’t speak English. He seems good natured so I just shrug and start to walk away. But suddenly he throws me face first against the corner of the wall.

The seconds tick by as my mind races. I had done multiple types of martial arts as well as specialized self defense class from an undercover detective. But I had never been tested before like this…and I froze completely. The man seemed good natured, I hadn’t even been prepared for him pushing me up against the wall. I hear him whispering to me, but i cannot understand it. And then I realize…I don’t sense him behind me. I slowly move my head from facing the wall and pan around looking for the man. I can barely see him at the other end of the dark room. I’m confused, as I can see him lean in towards the corner of the wall…talking to it quietly.

My mind is like “This guy is crazy…” until I realize…with my ear now against the corner of the wall I can hear him as clearly as if he was standing right behind me. And it dawns on me…this man is trying to make extra money by explaining things to tourists. What he had been trying to tell me before is that this old church has such good acoustics that you could easily hear someone whispering at one end of the room to the other.

I start to laugh at my fear! He hears me and comes running up to me. Now that I understand he’s not going to rape me, I relax. We walk together into the larger part of the church. This looks more like a normal old church, and I understand some of what he says. Things like him pointing to a pulpit and saying “Padre”.  I nod, yep, that is obviously where the Priest would give his sermon to the parishioners seated below. We move into another room, and I understand when he explains about the niches in the walls were for the confessional.

As we walk he takes my camera and takes photos of me. I have no idea why I just handed over my camera, I’m usually very protective of it. But I just felt so bad that I had thought he was going to hurt me when he was just over-eager in his explanations. (Hey I’m a history geek myself, and would have loved to be able to understand everything he said. Its not every day you get a local guide and so I was appreciative of his time.)

We then go down some stairs into a dark area. I know he says the word for Nun, but the rest i don’t understand. I stare blankly as he tries to tell me a story. I feel bad as I’m just not understanding it. So I nod anyway as if I understood, while my mind makes up a story to go with what he says. He kept pantomiming something about the nuns hair (or hat?) and how something was wrong about it. (In my mind the story I made up was, if nuns were bad and cut their hair, they were imprisoned in this dark dungeon like area.)

View from Santa Clara choir loft

View from Santa Clara choir loft

When he was satisfied that I had enjoyed his story we walk up some flights of stairs that overlooks the main church area.  Its obviously was the choir loft. I take some photos as we start playing Charades again trying to understand his story. He is explaining its the choir loft, but there was something he really wanted me to understand. He pointed to his crotch, and made an X with both hands. Like “No Penis”. He then points to his chest and also mimes an X. I just stare confused (and likely still affected by jet lag).

He then steps closer to me touching his crotch, then X, and then touches my crotch, then X, and then he grabs my boobs, and then X. I just go dear in the headlights again. Part of my mind is like “Oh my god! I’m getting groped!?” the other is like “No…he’s just not understanding that this is culturally inappropriate to me, but likely not to him. He’s not doing this sexually…but only to try to explains something to me.” My dear in the headlights look and my confused look is probably the same, so he starts doing it faster. His crotch, my crotch, my boob, X. Over and over. I keep trying to work out this bizarre Charades riddle. This weird touching continues for an inordinate amount of time. In the back of my mind I’m still freaked out that he is touching my crotch and boobs. And I realize that he has my camera still.

Still I try to understand. After what seemed like the 20th time he touched me I realized that 1. I’m not comfortable with this. 2. I’m never going to understand this and 3. I need to get the fuck out of this ruined church. I just start backing up and trying to wave him off. I try to get my camera but he won’t give it back, he’s still sadly trying to get me to understand why he is touching me. I try to hand him money (in exchange for the camera) and he refuses. I can tell he is trying to tell me there is much more to see. I hurry him down the stairs but he stops me a few times for a few more photo ops.

This was my "Oh shit...how do I get my camera back" moment.

This was my “Oh shit…how do I get my camera back” moment.

He leads me back to the fountain and takes some more photos of me. Then he lets me check to see if they turned out okay. I grab the camera, say thanks, and drop 40 dollars in cash in his hands…and sprint away as he politely yells at me to stay.

I was freaking out, and just wanted to get back to the hotel. After this photo he handed my camera back  to check to see if the photo was good.

I was freaking out, and just wanted to get back to the hotel. After this photo he handed my camera back to check to see if the photo was good. I then bolted.

I run the 2 blocks back to my hotel, run into my room, and finally let it sink in that was probably the stupidest thing I’ve ever done while traveling. And I just start laughing that kind of panic laughter one gets while stressed. My room is hot so I decide to get some air, and thankfully run into a guy my age. We talk and find out that we are on the same tour that starts the next day. I relay what happened to me, and he offers to stick with me that evening and the following day. I gratefully accept as I realize now that wandering alone on my own might not be the best course of action.

But the story doesn’t end there! After returning home, I share this story with some friends. One friend in particular had been to Antigua before and he watched as I mimed out the story. And he was able to solve the riddle for me.

What has no penis, no vagina, and no boobs and sings in a choir loft?

 

Little boys….castrated so they can hit the high notes.

To my strange guide that day: I probably could have done without that random factoid.

 

Souvenir Saturday: La Befana

Souvenir Saturday is an every-other week series on the items that represent travel memories.

On Monday we discussed the story behind La Befana, the Italian gift giver around the Epiphany. I wanted to share with you the little La Befana that I got in a roadside shop on the way from Rome to Venice.

La Befana

The witch has wide eyes, warts, and a fur hood. She carries some straw on one side, a broom on the other, and a bag that held candies on her back.

Travel Missteps: La Befana

Travel Missteps is an every-other week series on how sometimes part of the journey is making mistakes and getting lost.

 

Walking through Piazza Navona in Rome, Italy I hear the unmistakable cackling laugh of a witch! I turned towards a nearby stall and spy hundreds of flying witches hanging from the roof. Big ones, small ones. Some like an old woman, while others looked like a creepy old hag warts and all! Some even were animatronic whose eyes glowed red (and made the cackling laughter that caught my ear.) But surely this must be a mistake? For its not Halloween time, but after so soon after Christmas!  I was confused but had no one to ask about this strange sight, and anyway, I was quickly distracted by some hot roasted chestnuts!

La Befana stall at Piazza Navona Christmas Market in Rome, Italy

La Befana stall at Piazza Navona Christmas Market in Rome, Italy

But later on in my trip, we stopped frequently at roadside diners and stores on our way from Rome to Venice. And each of these little stores had their own witches! I picked one up, and it had a little bag on its back, some had black coal-like candy, while others had normal candy. Being a lover of Halloween I decided to buy one of these out-of-place witches to bring home with me.

It wasn’t until later when our Guide saw what I had bought that he exclaimed “Ah I see you’ve gotten a little La Befana!” Seeing my strange and confused look he explained to me who this witch was.

La Befana was an old woman who lived in a small village. One night the Three Wise Men stopped at her home, asking her for directions to see the new baby king (Baby Jesus). They pointed up at the sky, at the shining star. La Befana was unsure of the way, and offered to let them say at her home for the night. The next morning the Three Kings offered to let her come with them, but she declined because she still had much housework to do.

Later, when the star went out, she realized that this new king was important and so she should go and pay her respects with a gift. But she did not know the way, and so she hopped on her broom, and would go down the chimney’s of each house she saw to look upon the sleeping children. But she was unsure which one was the Christ-Child as they all looked peaceful while they slept, so she would leave little gifts in their stockings for the good children, and coal or sticks for the bad.

And so in Italy, it is not Santa Claus that brings children gifts. But La Befana, who comes on the eve of the Epiphany (the night of January 5th). And instead of milk and cookies left out as offerings, the children leave out local foods and a glass of red wine for La Befana!

So maybe if you leave out some Wine and snacks La Befana will come visit you tonight!

To learn more about La Befana see these links

2014 The Year of Changes – Part 3: Travel

This is Part 3 of my 2014 Year in Review.

Travel

With most of my time and energy for the year being tied up in job hunting, job getting, job starting, putting things into storage, moving, house hunting, and moving again –  I didn’t travel much this year and ended up not going on my trip to St. John, USVI. USVI got the axe mainly because I wanted to save money for my new home, and because the trip had originally been scheduled for my first week at Wayin.

So instead I focused on experiencing more of downtown Denver. I tried out many new restaurants and bars. I went to the “Money Museum” at the Federal National Reserve which FYI, is not a museum and instead more of a small hallway with some facts about money. (I actually asked for a map of the Museum thinking it was much larger…to be laughed at the woman at the front desk as she pointed to the small area.) I went to the Denver Museum of Nature and Science and the Denver Zoo more often. I even did a huge trivia night at Punch Bowl Social. I knew Boulder really well, and so its been exciting getting to know Denver better.

But I did end up going on two small trips in 2014. The first was back to San Diego, CA for a family trip over 4th of July. I’ve been there so many times that San Diego doesn’t seem that adventurous to me but it was nice to get away and relax. My other trip was a work trip to Boston, MA in October. I didn’t get much free time on this trip, but the first afternoon was able to see the Old North Church, and a few graveyards (I love Halloween things!) I also was able to do a night haunted trolley tour through multiple graveyards at night and had much fun jumping into piles of fall leaves.

 

In Closing

While a lot of other things happened in 2014 this year in review sums up the major changes really well. This past year for LiliOnTheLoose has been more “On Life” than “On Getting Lost” but now that things has settled down who knows what 2015 will bring?

Read Part 1 and Part 2.

2014 The Year of Changes – Part 2: Home

This is Part 2 of my 2014 year in review.

Home

With my change in jobs, I ended up commuting from North Boulder to downtown Denver which was a much longer commute than I was use to. But to be fair, I lived 7-10 minutes away from LifePics and so for years was spoiled with being able to go home for lunch, play with my dog, take a nap, and then head back into work.  So the hour plus commute was a big change.

Right after I accepted the job at Wayin (but still at LifePics), out of the blue my old realtor called me to see if I’d be interested in selling my North Boulder condo. I had owned that little (30 year old) 1 bedroom condo for around 5 years, and had outgrew the space. The realtor informed me that the market in Boulder was going so fast, with such little inventory out there I could sell my condo at a decent profit. I was skeptical, I had bought my condo at the high point right before the housing bubble burst, and so for most of the time I owned the condo I was actually underwater. Most similar condos in my complex had sold for 30-40K less than what I had bought it for. When they suggested to put it on the market for 50K above what I had paid for it, I thought it was impossible, but I decided to roll the dice and give it a chance.

It took me every day for a month (all while starting a new job) to pack up and put all of my geeky things into storage to get my condo “show ready”. Sadly my pup had to go live with my parents during this time, but that ended up being helpful now that I was working in Denver and couldn’t come home a lunch to take care of her.

I had a lot of people see my condo, and even had an offer the first few days of it being on the market. I was overjoyed, even though the offer wasn’t much more than what I had bought the place for. But then the offer fell through. It took another few weeks before the next offer came in, for just a little less than the (outrageous) listing price. However, the buyer wanted it in less than 30 days, and so I started packing up the rest of my things to put into storage. And so in mid April, I said goodbye to my first home, and moved into my parents basement with just a bag full of clothes and my computer, with everything else going into storage. (I actually remember watching the beautiful Blood Moon at 2 in the morning while I was moving items out of my house.)

At the same time I accepted the offer on my condo, I started hunting for my own new place. I wanted to move closer to my new job, but didn’t want to buy a house and have to take care of maintenance and a yard. I also didn’t know Colorado well outside of Boulder and Longmont and so I went on an epic quest to find the perfect place to live. I think the first weekend out I saw 20 places. The second weekend another 20. Things and areas just started to blur together. We drove up and down the front range, from Aurora, Erie, Centennial, Thornton, DTC, Lakewood, Wheat Ridge, Arvada, Westminster, Denver proper, and wherever else we drove…I lost track.

If it was in my price range and was for sale between March and May of this year, I saw it. I learned how to spot the tell tale signs of water leaks, of thin walls, of foundation issues.  I became an expert at seeing the angles of photos and being able to tell when they were stretching the photo to make rooms seem bigger, or hide the painful negatives of a unit. There were some where we drove up and didn’t even go inside. And then there were some I fell instantly in love with. And slowly my “max” price kept creeping up and up.

There was this one neighborhood I found that I loved. I had seen a unit, and when we put an offer in, it was already under contract. That was a common thread during this dark and crazy period. The market is so hot right now that units would go under contract within hours of being put on the market. But I loved this neighborhood and so kept an eye out. I had this app that would instantly notify me of new listings based on my given parameters. There were so many times I’d have to leave work early, hop on a bus, and have my realtor pick up me so we could rush over to see a just listed unit in my dream neighborhood. My life became commuting to my new job, working, and looking at new listings.

I got into many bidding wars, and watched as my “max price” went higher and higher. My banker said I could afford it, and I thought about getting (multiple) roommates to help cover the ever increasing costs. In hindsight, my max went almost 70K more than I had initially been willing to spend. And in some bidding wars I just went higher and higher…knowing I wouldn’t win, but not wanting to let go without a fight. House hunting (and temporarily living with you parents) makes you crazy. Finally after putting in offers on over 10 units, I won one! I had gotten to see the unit and made an offer on it after it had been listed ONLY ONE HOUR.

I was so happy to be done house hunting, and my future new home had a fireplace, 3 bedrooms, granite counters everywhere, wood floors, the whole works! But when inspection day rolled around…it was weird. Firstly, there were 4 or 5 small dogs and multiple cats in the townhome roaming around. The Inspector thought that strange. And the place was a mess. It had looked amazing the day I saw it, but on inspection day it looked like the owners had left in a rush, and left it in chaos. There was food all over the counters, toilets not flushed, clothes strewn all over, and (used) dog pee pads on the floor. As we were doing the inspection upstairs…the garage door started to open. My parents were with me and we just looked at the inspector. He was in shock too, realtors tell their clients never ever be present when the inspection occurs, so why were they here? So the inspector went downstairs to find out.

The screaming answered that question for us very quickly. They had mixed up the days, and thought the inspection was the next day. I could hear the woman of the house in horror say how she was so embarrassed, that the place was a mess and she had been planning on cleaning it. I then went down and we introduced ourselves. The woman was  then so happy, she thought it was fate to meet me and learn who would be owning their home. She told me about how I would need to feed the wild rabbits, and stories about the neighbors.

It was fate all right, as the owners proceeded to talk to me and my inspector they told us things we would never known. Like how the foundation is bad and had broken their gas line, and instead of reburying it, the HOA just ran the gas line ZIPPED TIED to the gutter of 6 other units garages and that it was likely not up to code. Or how the owners of the units were in lawsuits with the builder over the foundation issues AS WELL as issues with the roof (something about massive killer icicles that I would need to knock down to protect myself and my dog) and that the balconies on all units had been CONDEMNED due to someone nearly dying when the barrier gave way. I was heartbroken to learn these issues applied to ALL townhomes in this entire neighborhood. My dream neighborhood that I had spent the last 2 months in bidding wars to get a unit.

And so I backed out of the contract (much to the anger and sadness of the owners who thought we were going to be BFF). At this point I became despondent as I was back a square one. I started looking into renting…but renting near Denver is insane. My mother pressed me to see a unit in a different neighborhood I had been to before. I had kind of discounted this area as I had only seen downstairs units…and they left me with a feeling of a depressed nursing home (mainly because the first unit I saw was a recently deceased handicapped old woman’s place, and her family was trying to sell me her ancient 60’s retro furniture in addition to the condo. It weirded me out.)  I almost didn’t go see the upstairs unit because I had written off the whole neighborhood. But, the unit was at my actual ideal price, and so decided to again throw the dice.

This time, I liked the unit. The upstairs had a lot of light with big windows, and this particular unit had been professional painted and had certain upgrades the other units hadn’t had. I was still on the fence as it was off a major road and so noisier than I had wanted, but I just couldn’t keep house hunting. It was putting a strain on my new job, it was hard on my parents (me living at home and me asking to see each place I was putting offers in), and my realtor was starting to get ancy as well with the whirlwind the last few months had been. So I said yes! And moved into it in mid June.

It wasn’t exactly smooth sailing. During the hottest part of the summer I found out the Air Conditioner wasn’t working. I was given the option of replacing it entirely or just doing a $100 part. But I was warned, when the AC failed again, it would likely take out the Furnace too. For the 3rd time this year I rolled the dice and took a chance on the $100 part. This time…my luck didn’t hold. The AC died in spectacular fashion a month later, not only leaking and destroying the Furnace but also molding up the entire utility closet due to the leaking condensation. So I ended up replacing the AC, Furnace, and Water Heater (for good measure) which was an unexpected expense.

But beyond that little hiccup things went well. After many trips to goodwill to donate things I no longer need, and many trips to Ikea and other stores for items I “had to have”, my place looks amazing. Gone are most of my dumpster dived or craigslist-free furniture. Instead I now have furnished it with tasteful adult decor. And I used the 2nd bedroom for housing my extensive collections of books, my office, and a closet stuffed entirely full of Legos.

And now that I have my pup with me, I finally feel like I’m home.

Read Part 1 and Part 3.

2014 The Year of Changes – Part 1: Work

When I wrote 2013’s Year in Review my only plans for 2014 included another trip to St. John, USVI and work more on the blog. As you can surmised from the blog – neither of those plans happened because I had no idea how different my life would be this year. So instead of doing my favorite travel memories of 2014 I’ll share the big changes that happened this year. And as I started writing, I realized that there were so many changes that I needed to break the 2014 Year in Review into multiple posts. So here is Part 1:

Work

The changes started off quickly with a recruiting firm contacting me in December 2013 about a position with a startup in Denver. I had always discounted jobs in Denver because of 1: it was a long commute and 2: I hated driving and parking downtown and 3: I just didn’t know Denver that well. But this position seemed perfect for me, it exactly what I was looking for, all the employees seemed awesome (and was right next to the downtown bus station eliminating my driving concerns). So after interviews in December 2013 and January 2014, I accepted the position and started working for Wayin in February.

After almost 8 years at LifePics, it was scary being the new person at a company but I loved the fast pace and challenging aspect of the position. And I absolutely love all of my co-workers! I love coming into work every day and love the wide range of clients that I get to work with. And I’m getting to know Denver a little more each day!

Here is a collage of my social activity that I made with Wayin.

Read Part 2 and Part 3.

Travel Missteps: A Smashing Good Time

Travel Missteps is an every-other week series on how sometimes part of the journey is making mistakes and getting lost.

 

Some travelers are against “All-Inclusives” since the best part of going to a foreign country is to experience the local culture first hand and that’s nearly impossible to do behind the secluded walls of the resort. But even in this type of setting, sometimes you are surprised and can experience the local culture in unexpected ways. At least, that is how we now look at my mother’s birthday while staying in an All Inclusive resort in Rivera Maya, Mexico in 2003.

Relaxing Beach

A relaxing beach in Mexico.

It was a relaxing trip. Full of hanging out at the beach, shopping, lots of swimming, and a visit to Tulum and Xel-Ha. But the main reason why were down there right before Christmas was to celebrate my mother’s birthday. My father had planned out her birthday dinner with the hotel to make sure it was spectacular, including her favorite type of cake. The dinner was going great and our waiter was definitely trying to keep everything exciting and being very attentive to us.

And then came out the cake, and the rest of the wait staff. Instead of placing the cake on the table they held it in front of my mother. It seemed a little odd and as we were singing something dawns on me. I turn to my mother and say “Oh my, it’s just like Sister Cities!” She looked confused and I said again “Just like Sister Cities” in horror at the realization on what is about to occur. I still remember her confused look in her eyes as they finished singing Happy Birthday…and then smashed her head into the cake.

Out of context…that seemed like a really shitty thing to do. And my mother was understandably pissed and confused as she wiped off frosting and cake off her face. My father also had a horrified look on his face as the perfectly planned cake he had prepared was now ruined.

What I had realized was something I had experienced during the Sister Cities program. My city had a sister city in Japan as well as one in Mexico. And I had recalled that one of the Mexican exchange students had a birthday while he was visiting and at the end of singing Happy Birthday they had smashed the cake in his face. He said it was a common tradition in Mexico to do this, and wasn’t a mean prank. It was just something that was always done. I quickly explained this to my shocked parents as the wait staff made themselves scarce after figuring out my mother wasn’t aware of that particular tradition.  So even in our All Inclusive bubble, the local culture snuck up on my family in a very unexpected way! And while they were upset then, this travel memory we can now laugh about!

 

Travel Missteps: The art of Dim Sum

Travel Missteps is an every-other week series on how sometimes part of the journey is making mistakes and getting lost.

 

San Francisco is known for its food culture and one type of dining is truly unique: Dim Sum. Dim Sum is a type of Chinese food style, where bite sized portions of foods come to you already cooked and you choose what you want to order. It is fun and a different type of experience to eating. And if you aren’t sure what is going on, you are certainly up for some surprises.

We had Dim Sum twice. The first time was in a fancy restaurant that my sister and I happened upon. We at were the only people there at first, and the waitress came with menus. When we asked for Dim Sum she rolled out a cart of faux food, explained to us what was what, and let us point to what we wanted. Then our food was brought out. This is not a traditional Dim Sum experience, but it was good as our first one to get a feel of how things worked.

Our second experience was not as orderly. We decided to find the local’s Dim Sum, where things weren’t artificial or fancy. And we succeeded in that point. We found a busy restaurant full of locals and where the staff were hard to understand. We waited for a table, the last one in the corner. Let me tell you, you don’t want to be the last table in a Dim Sum restaurant. The key reasons why is that the food isn’t as fresh when it gets to you, and the more popular dishes will have already been snapped up. But we didn’t know this, and couldn’t understand the server when we asked what was in each dish. So we haphazardly just starting to get one or two items from each cart, not knowing what it was. I kept waiting for the main dishes, but we seem to only get the desert and random dishes to us. It was always a surprise when you put in the first bite, not knowing what it was. By the time the main dishes came out we were already stuffed and had to pass on them. It was chaos, but boy was it fun to try out all those new things! I would recommend trying tit out if you ever get the chance!

Read More at:

Souvenir Saturday: Shot Glasses

Souvenir Saturday is an every-other week series on the items that represent travel memories.

 

A Brief Un-History of the Shot Glass

Shot Glasses have become a common souvenir staple the world round. It surprised me to learn that there really isn’t any idea on who first created the shot glass and what their initial purpose was for. There are actually so many stories and legends on why they were created and how they got their name, ranging from the plausible to outright legends. What can be said is that in 1940’s the first use of the term “Shot Glass” was printed in the New York Times in reference to a standard measurement of alcohol. Although countries standard definitions of a single or double shot size are not always equal.

Brief Buying Notes on Shot Glasses

A typical shot glass must be a tumbler, meaning it has no type of handle, and no “foot” on the bottom. It is usually short and has thick walls, although a taller version is also found. They are commonly made of transparent glass, although they may also be made of metal, pewter, and ceramic. Many of the cheaper shot glasses are made of ceramics which are more colorful and opaque. However, note that some types of glazes could contain toxic materials and should not be used for drinking. I’ve also noticed that airbrushed style shot glasses, are actually truly airbrushed, and the designs can easily be washed away. A characteristic of novelty shot glasses might include figurines or items within the inside or outside of the glass and these generally should not be used for drinking.