I’m not what you’d call big on shopping (my wife may disagree) but I do like the idea of collecting keepsakes while traveling to remind me of past journeys. Some are very transient, while those who follow me online know I enjoy tasting the flavors of each and every destination while traveling. Take-home tidbits are a great way to relive a holiday in your kitchen – hot chilis from Mexico, fleur de sel from France and of course Belgian chocolate.
We find that many of our guests on a Hawaiian vacation often want something local and unique to this destination, especially if it mentions the name of the island. Even with a relatively small population, you wouldn’t believe the amount of talent we have, perfect for creating great keepsakes from a trip to paradise. Gallery owner Mike Carroll came to Lanai many moons ago and pays tribute to the island in oil and watercolor. If you send him a photo you took on holiday, he’ll make you a print, or will memorialize your holiday in a commissioned oil panting – talk about a great memory. We even have someone creating very unique necklaces from opihi (Hawaiian limpet), carving tako (octopus) and ula (lobster) shapes into the delicate shells.
The non-profit Lanai Art Center sells a variety of items from Spam candles, yes Spam candles, and jewelry to tea towels and paintings, all made locally. The proceeds support children’s art programs on the island and you can usually find the artists gathered in the store, working on a project and ready to “talk story.”
Whether it’s a gift for yourself, friend or a family member, there are so many unique items out there in our globalized retail world. Finding them isn’t often that difficult and with the added bonus of meeting the artist, it may turn out to be one of the highlights of your trip.