What souvenir or memento that you got on a trip is amoung your most cherished possessions?
I decided years ago that I wanted to be in Barcelona, Spain on my 35th birthday. I talked to friends about things I intended to do and see, but confided in some that I wanted to buy myself a traditional Spanish veil (mantilla) as my wedding veil. Now, I'm about to turn 38 and haven't had a man want to marry me since the one who used to beat and sexually coerce me. I don't know if I'll ever find someone who actually loves me and doesn't just say it when they're repenting of breaking my ribs. Nevertheless, I dream that I'll get married with my head covered with a mantilla. My kind friends didn't laugh at me for trying to get one.
We were in Barcelona for three days before going on a cruise. Everywhere I went, they did not smell mantillas. I was ready to give up, but figured it didn't make a difference, since I'm apparently never getting married.
On night #3, I went back to Sagrada Familia to take pictures of the cathedral at sunset. Well, I was a little early, so I turned around to look for a place to window shop.
I immediately saw a wall of shawls in bright colors and wondered if this shop also had mantillas. So I went in and asked and the woman guided me to an entire section just for mantillas. I selected a lace one with flowers and a scalloped edge. The next day, I brought my friend back with me and she got one of her own and helped me find a black and turquoise shawl for our mutual friend.
My mantilla is still sitting in a closet, waiting to be used, but it's my favorite memory of Spain.