You can see that it's been a while...
I'm hoping for next spring
I posted this in 2010, but thought it might be helpful to bring it around again - especially now that it's travel time for many. Along with planning an itinerary and making a packing list, this is one of my favorite things about preparing for a vacation.
I have found a great way to come home from a trip with a keepsake that I will enjoy for years to come.
BEFORE LEAVING ON VACATION:
I like to purchase a Cambridge 6"x9" spiral bound drawing tablet, for it has good, heavy paper. For this particular one, I found some pictures of England and made a collage for the front cover, then laminated it.
The inside of the drawing tablet has a pocket which is nice for storing adhesive mailing labels which I pre-print and take along, so that it's easy to address postcards to mail home. On the inside front cover, I glue the print out of our flight and itineraries. I also use adhesive labels to keep important contacts and phone numbers close at hand.
The only other items I need to take along on my trip to make my keepsake, then, are a gluestick and camera. The gluestick has to go into that one TSA-allowed quart-size Ziploc baggie of toiletries, such as shampoo, toothpaste, and soap. When I once packed a bar of soap separately, I found out that even bar soap scans as a liquid, so I make sure to pack my gluestick in that baggie as well.
Wherever we go, I collect ephemera, and when we're back at our hotel in the evening, I tear our pictures from brochures, postcards, etc. and glue them here and there on the page. Then I start journaling around them. If I've taken a certain photo that day that I'll later want to include, I make a note of it in the journal so that when I print out the photo after arriving home, I'll make sure to place it in the journal.
I think it was about the time of the Churchill Cabinet War Rooms that I realized I need to make better use of my journal space. That's when I started overlaying, as you can see in the photo above. The two WWII posters are hinged at the top, so that I could lift them up and write under them. Same thing with the photo of Winston Churchill. He's hinged on the side. You don't want to see Churchill unhinged.
Tickets, receipts from the grocery store, ale labels, and business cards all went into making my journal a fun keepsake to read and re-read (if you're like me). :-)
Occasionally, I'd even sketch in my journal. This is supposed to represent the holiday cottage we rented with our daughter and son-in-law in Sutton on the Forest, near York. Okay, the illustrators of the world have nothing to fear from me. By the way, I was fascinated by the many chimney flues that poked out of the tops of the houses.
If you're ever in London, it's definitely worth the small cost to take a London Walks walk. They're greatly entertaining and we learned so much from them! It just so happens that the man who owns London Walks and writes the fun brochure (see link), is from Wisconsin! Who would have thought!
More 'layering,' allowing me to lift up the photo and write in the journal underneath.
I'm trying to visually scan these pages and see if I'm giving away any family secrets. I hope not. But you can see by this page, above, that we paid $110 per room per night in downtown London, near Victoria Station. (That's US Dollars, not British pounds.I think the exchange rate at the time was 2:1, USD:GBP. It's not that bad now, although airfare has gone up dramatically.) For someone who generally stays at Super 8, (like we do) that may seem like a lot, until you compare it with other hotels in London - or even Duluth, MN!! It was really quite a find, and our hotel room, though microscopic, was very clean, and our hosts very friendly and accommodating!
UPON RETURNING HOME:
By the time we returned home, I already had most of my journal done - all except for the occasional photo I would add later. Above, the beefeater is 'hinged' on the edge so it can be moved to reveal more text.
In summary, this is a great way to remember a trip. It's so easy and inexpensive, and unlike the huge project of making a scrapbook after you return, it's almost done by the time you get home! I happened to have enough space leftover from the 2007 trip, that I decided to take it along on the 2008 London adventure with Joe and Anna. Now my journal sits on the bookshelf next to our England guide books. :-) It occasionally comes down so I can enjoy it all again, and will continue to do so until airfare comes down!
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