Ornaments: Travels

I think I mentioned somewhere that Mr. Cookie and I have a tradition of buying ornaments whenever we travel somewhere new.  It’s one of my favorite family traditions and one of the few that is ours completely.  It’s not something that was passed down by our families or anything like that.  No, this is one that we came up with early(ish) on in our relationship.  I adore it.  Each year when we decorate our tree, we get to see the ornaments and relive all the places we’ve been.  We save the new ornaments for nearly last and then solemnly decide where these new baubles will go on our tree.  Read on to discover some of the places we’ve been!

Now, let’s see if I can remember what order these trips went in (I’m sure once Mr. Cookie sees this he will make me change many dates.  His memory works better).


The first trip we ever went on was to the Berkshires, the summer of 2002.  Our favorite memory came from Tanglewood, where we went one evening for a concert by the BSO.  We have two ornaments because this is where Mr. Cookie later proposed in July of 2007 (we don’t normally double dip on ornaments from one place, but this seemed fitting).


Then, during Spring Break ’03 while many of our friends where winging towards beaches, boobies, booze, and places warmer than Worcester, MA, Mr. Cookie, Girly-Q, and Mr. Transit were boarding an Amtrak train bound for D.C.  Yes, we’re totally nerds.  I get it.  This is another place we have, of course, revisited many times.  Mr. Cookie spent a summer working down there during law school for one and we also went down this past summer to visit friends.

Wow.  That’s really shiny.  Umm, it’s supposed to be the Lincoln Memorial statue.  Heh.  Moving on.


Of course, we lived in Chicago for several years (Mr. from ’03 to ’06, Mrs. from ’04 to ’06).  We didn’t officially get this ornament until we visited last summer, but I’m putting it here in the line-up since that’s when we started to live there together and since, otherwise, we would have nothing in the 2004 slot.


Keeping up with our Spring Break tradition of avoiding beaches (no comment on the other two), we spent Mr. Cookie’s second law school Spring Break in New Orleans (2005).  This ornament is the cathedral in the French Quarter.

It was, of course, in August of the same year that Katrina hit.  I hope we get back one day to see how the city has rebuilt, but I’m very thankful we got to see it pre-Katrina too.


The next Spring Break (2006), Mr. Cookie and I got together with a large group of his classmates along with one or two significant others and went on a hiking and camping trip into the Grand Canyon.  Mr. Cookie lived in fear of gila monsters (which one guide book happily warned us about) but we made it out to tell the tale and have this ornament to show for it.


We didn’t travel again until after law school, when I was firmly planted in grad school in Boston in January of 2007.  We decided to take a cruise of the Eastern Caribbean because 1) I was on school break 2)  Mr. Cookie was able to get time off of work and 3) turns out last minute cruise tickets are cheap.  We have, again, a couple ornaments to remember this.  The first, a replica of the ship we were on, was purchased in the gift shop after we realized that most of the islands we were stopping at did not peddle Christmas ornaments (sad).

Then, we stopped at a little local museum on Antigua and found this young man holding the Antiguan flag:

As with Chicago, Maine is a place I called home for many years.  Mr. Cookie came to visit me several times during college and we also came back together.  But, the following ornament was purchased during a miserable long, 60 mile bike ride that we took in the summer of 2007.  I whined the entire ride (there may have even been tears) and toward the end, Mr. Cookie was riding way ahead of me (I’m guessing out of hearing distance).  And to think, just a couple short weeks later, he proposed!  What a trooper.

Later that year in December 2007, we made a trip to NYC because Mr. Cookie’s firm sent him there for work and I had time off to join him.


2008 was not a year of lots of trips because we were saving our pennies for the world’s best honeymoon.  There aren’t many ornaments from this year, but the ones we do have are epic.

This ornament is actually the hotel we got married in.  It is the Hawthorne Hotel in Salem, MA.  We still like to get up to Salem on occasion to see the sites and remember our wedding day.  🙂

Immediately after, of course, we honeymooned in Costa Rica.  We were very picky about buying our ornament here.  I’m glad we held out.  It’s a lizard… wearing a Santa hat.  What’s not to like???

Our final trip of 2008 came in November.  We went down to Memphis, where Mr. Cookie ran his first marathon.  Two ornaments again (once more, an example of buying one and then seeing one we liked better)

The second ornament, of course, commemorates the March of the Ducks at the Peabody Hotel.  It’s just as cool as it sounds.


This seems to have been the year of many trips (making up for all those years are poor students, perhaps?).  We kicked it off with a trip to Philadelphia in February.

We’re total nerds.

Then it was off to  San Francisco in April of 2009.  I knew going into the trip that I really wanted to find a trolley because that’s how I always remember San Francisco.  My grandpa was a great traveler and one year I remember getting a small replica of a street car when he and his wife visited San Fran.  I found my street car and it now hangs on our tree.

That summer, we went on a meandering trip to see Chicago, Las Vegas, and Seattle.  What a trip! Here are the ornaments for Las Vegas and Seattle:

We rounded out the trip with a trip to Birmingham, Alabama where we saw two friends from law school tie the knot on Halloween.

No, that’s not a Statue of Liberty replica in the top right corner.  That is the statue of Vulcan (uh, not Spock.  The god).


We kicked off the year right with our trip to Texas in February to run the Austin Half Marathon.  There are two ornaments here, one to commemorate the race and one to remember the trip to the Lone Star State.

It’s a boot.  With a spur.  And the Texas flag in the shape of Texas.  Yes, we hit the jackpot.  No, you may not have our ornament.

Then in April of that same year, we went to Alaska to see Mom Cookie and her  husband Sparky (he’s an electrician.  Let’s roll with it).

Finally, we come to our trip this past August to Bar Harbor, Maine.  We weren’t sure if we should buy an ornament since we’d been to Maine already but decided that we might since this was a new part of Maine.  The decision was made conclusively when we rode our bikes into Bar Harbor one day from our campsite and found this ornament:

It’s hard to see from this ornament, but the boy is smiling and the girl looks like she’s about to pee herself.  I’m pretty sure this is not what the artist had in mind, but it fit perfectly for us.  There were parts of this bike ride where I thought I was going to die because the road into Bar Harbor is very hilly and the downhills will take your breath away.  Add to this the fact that the shoulders often had sand and potholes all over them, the roads were very curvy, and I hadn’t spent much time on a bike lately, and I was an incredibly unhappy camper.  We parked our bikes in Bar Harbor and right across the street was a little Christmas shop.  We walked in and perused the ornaments and there was this one.  It was destiny, I say.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this trip through our past!  Check back next Christmas to see if we’ve taken any more trips.  Happy New Year to all of you.


1 Response so far »

  1. 1

    Mr.C said,

    Excellent, as always. Updates:

    – Tanglewood was 2003 (after I graduated, before leaving for Chicago)
    – NYC was December 2006, not 2007
    – I think you meant to say we rounded out 2009 with a trip to Birmingham, but it seems like we went Seattle-Vegas-Chicago-Birmingham, which is almost as crazy as what we actually did (Chicago-Seattle-Vegas-Chicago)

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