Subject: : travel buying experiences
Hi Ziners,

I am back from a wonderful trip to France &Germany to trace my friend Sharon's roots in the old world. I decided my driving was better than my navigating. It only took one wrong trip across the Rhine River getting back to our Cologne hotel this time with me driving &Sharon reading the map. A few years ago my, now deceased, husband drove &I navigated &it took 7 times! We laughed so hard! What a great memory.

I went to Crete alone for the last 5 days of my trip to just vege out & absorb some island ambience. I've just been re-reading parts of my diary as I printed out digital pics. An ah-hah moment came to me for a TravelZine thread: buying experiences while traveling. Since I travel alone a lot I talk to everybody &observe a lot, too. The results often provide special memories. My granddaughter, Gemma, was having her 1st birthday shortly after I got home so I went on a shopping expedition in Sitia, Crete where I was staying. It is a town of about 9,000 people &the little shops climb the hill in a jumble facing the lovely, picture-perfect harbor &beach. I ventured into a very small, children's clothing store to try my luck. The experience is worth relating. The store's owner was shouting into the phone & gesturing at the unseen person on the other end....who knows...supplier or family...he was upset but acknowledged my arrival. A customer was trying pants on her 4 or 5 year-old son. He was standing on a chair, crying, sobbing, &objecting to the indignity of it all while Mom pulled off one pair &on with another &Dad looked bewildered &wished he were anywhere else. A saleswoman was arguing with Mom over the price or the size or just saying how great the pants looked! It's fun to imagine what people are saying from their expressions &gestures. Unfortunately, the only Greek word I have is Kali-meer-ra(sorry, I can only spell it phonetically). Back to the children's shop...Grandma is sitting in the corner, dressed in dignified black, of course, smiling at the scene. What fun, a glimpse into Greek life, not for tourists. This scene went on for 10-15 minutes before the man completed his phone conversation, hopefully to his satisfaction, & was free to help me find a delicious headband &purse to match which Gemma will probably enjoy chewing on! Such energy it must take to be so animated all the time. Such a zest for life! One of my special travel memories.

Perhaps, Ziners, this fond memory will trigger your favorite travel shopping memory to share with us.

See you at the Cambridge gtg.

Carol Bailey high desert spring Madras, OR