With Christmas just 5 short days away, we wanted to share the final installment of our Ornament Collection Series! We have so many cherished ornaments on our tree we simply couldn’t fit them into one post. (In case you missed it, check out Part 1 & Part 2 here). To see some snaps from where the ornament is from, click the arrow on the right to see some more photos – enjoy!
This hand-blown glass ornament was bought on Murano Island during our time in Venice. This was the final leg of our trip through Italy with our Mom’s, which was filled with getting lost down tiny streets and enchanting gondola rides. Learn more about our time there in our previous post: Visiting Venice.
Visiting Killarney and driving the Ring of Kerry was one of the most memorable parts of our trip to Ireland with Mark’s parents. This ornament says in Irish “The Blessings of Christmas be with you.” Our last stop while driving the Ring of Kerry was in Cahersiveen, where Mark’s great-grandmother was from. I was able to surprise both him and his father by visiting the church she was baptized. It’s a moment I will never forget. Check out: Driving the Ring of Kerry to learn more.
Prague, Czech Republic
This small wooden ornament depicts Old Town Prague. While we only had 2 days in Prague, (and are looking forward to returning some day) we had a blast during our short stay. I’m reminded of a late night pub crawl to various bars and clubs across the city, as well as trying some delicious open-faced sandwiches from a local deli. We also almost missed our train to Budapest so I remember us frantically trying to run and read signs in Czech to find our platform (and we don’t speak Czech). For more info: Czech Out Prague.
Dubrovnik is up there in one of our favorite cities! This hand painted ornament is actually a small bell. Looking at it I’m reminded of watching a stunning sunset from Srd Hill with Mark, sipping on some Croatian beer. We stayed up there much longer than we expected but watched the city transform from day to night. I also fondly remember walking the city walls for some of the most incredible views of Old Town. Dubrovnik is one of those cities that transports you back in time. Check out our Dubrovnik City Guide for all the other can’t miss things to do there.
While Mark and I have each been to Martha’s Vineyard, we’ve never been there together. This ornament was a gift from my Uncle & Aunt (thank you!) who read our Martha’s Vineyard blog post for some inspiration before their trip this past year. In Oaks Bluff you can find these colorful cottages, nicknamed the gingerbread houses, which is what the ornament is depicting. I spent a lovely long weekend exploring the island and eating delicious food with my Mom. Looking forward to going back someday with Mark!
We’re not sure if this cow bell was ever meant to be an ornament but we were innovative. Lucerne was such a wonderful city to visit. We spent an afternoon swimming on Lake Lucerne, taking in the views of the mountains before enjoying some drinks downtown. Check out our post Lucerne.
Machu Picchu, Peru
Machu Picchu is one of those bucket list trips you dream about and it didn’t disappoint. We found this fluffy llama at a market in Aguas Calientes (the town you stay in while visiting Machu Picchu) and couldn’t resist bringing them home to turn it into a fun ornament for our tree! We came across many furry friends while hiking around Machu Picchu so it felt fitting to represent this part of our trip. Our favorite memory was waking up at 3am to catch the first bus up to see Machu Picchu at sunrise. Being the first group there, it felt like we had the entire place to ourselves. Seeing the ruins for the first time took my breath away! Check out our post: Machu Picchu: World Wonder.
We took a day trip to Kotor from Dubrovnik on one of the hottest days of our vacation. By the time we arrived at 9am it was already well above 95 degrees. For some reason, we thought it would be a good idea to try to hike up to the top of the old city walls for a view of Kotor Harbor. We barely made it 1/8th of the way up before deciding to turn around, drenched in sweat and defeated. Instead, we enjoyed multiple ice cream cones and mojitos while finding shady spots in Old Town. This hand painted ornament is a bell and reminds me of that relentless summer heat we faced that day. Check out our post Kotor.
How could this not be one of our favorite ornaments on the tree?! Sevilla is where we called home for over 2 years while teaching English there. This flamenco dancer was most likely meant to be a figurine but we decided she would be a better fit dancing on our tree! One of our favorite nights in Spain was spent in a similar outfit to this ornament at Feria, dancing the night away at the week-long festival. Check out one of our favorite posts: Un Color Especial: Feria Part 2 to learn more about this traditional party. Our Sevilla City Guide highlights our favorite things to do in our home away from home.
Niagara Falls, Canada
Niagara Falls was my Dad’s first trip outside the country! He’s not a big traveler but we convinced him to take a road trip with us in April. Little did we know that Canada was about to experience a massive ice storm (yes, in April). We made the most of the storm by hopping to different vineyards, enjoying game nights in our cozy Airbnb and walking through the snowy mess to a pub downtown for dinner in the evenings.
Munich is lucky enough to have a few ornaments on our tree. The first set is a gift I bought Mark while visiting the Christmas Markets. It’s on our bucket list to visit Oktoberfest so these little traditional outfits and beer keg felt fitting. (We always joke it will be his retirement trip since he’s a teacher and won’t be able to travel in September). The second ornament was a gift from my mother-in-law who I went to Munich with to visit the Christmas Markets. It’s such a gorgeous hand painted ornament that depicts a simpler time in Germany. Looking at it reminds me of the wonderful time we had together there. Check out our posts Christmastime in Germany or Munich City Guide for more inspiration.
Galway was the final stop of our Ireland trip. While there we were able to visit some incredible places like the Cliffs of Moher and Kylemore Abbey. My favorite part about Galway though was this beautiful pub called O’Connells where we enjoyed some drinks on their outdoor patio. Later that night we caught a live band at the King’s Head and danced the night away until almost 1am. It was the perfect way to end our trip. Check out our Galway post to learn more.
Tuscany is truly a dream for wine-lovers. On our first trip to Florence, we took a day trip to two vineyards to do a wine-tasting on my Mom’s birthday. My second trip back was for work and I was able to spend some time in a quaint town called San Gimignano, where I bought this ornament. Check out the posts Wine Tasting in Tuscany and San Gimignano.
We have two Paris ornaments, representing the two times we’ve been there together. The first picture is the ornament we bought when we visited with our Moms, and the second is when we went for a weekend just the two of us the year prior. Sadly, the first one we bought broke on our way home but Mark’s brother was able to glue it all back together for us so we can still hang it on our tree! Paris is one of my favorite cities in the world. Seeing the Eiffel Tower Sparkle for the first time brought tears to my eyes, and I was so grateful I got to share that experience with Mark and our Moms too. Check out our Paris City Guide for more details.
Our ornament collection is something we will cherish for the rest of our lives and we are excited to continue to grow it over the years, with more adventures! Comment below which ornament was your favorite.
Merry Christmas! Much love, Amanda
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