While in Ottawa I met the nicest people from New York. This husband and wife team work at Cornell University. He does something with a software system called Fedora and she is in nursing. We hit it off quickly. (I'm fairly lucky in this regard. I meet nice people everywhere I go. Maybe, because I strike up conversations with anybody and everybody I meet, sit next to on the bus/airport shuttle/airplane or stand in line at a tourist trap. I'm sure they are annoyed).
After we gave our presentations and the conference was over we all went out to dinner. While Dan stuck with a regular beer and I my usual red wine, Pat went for something a little more exotic. Or exotic for me. I'd never seen a small carafe of lime juice accompanying a very large beer before. I've seen lime wedges with beer before but never a carafe. It seemed like overkill. Then again, look at the size of that beer. I doubt if a tiny lime wedge would have done it justice.
I was intrigued enough to take a photo but than I am intrigued enough with a common daisy to take a photo. Pat is very much enjoying it. And, I very much enjoyed taking Pat's picture. Isn't she beautiful? Love the smile. I should paint her.
After dinner Dan and Pat decided to walk me back to my hotel. It was a fairly long walk and I wasn't sure why they wanted to, it wasn't like it wasn't still daylight out and the streets of Ottawa were still peopled enough to be safe and it's not like I don't walk alone down a lot of crazy streets (Bourbon St. to name one) but I guess they just wanted the walk after our big meal but it was super nice of them and we got to know each other a little better. So much so that I want a reason to go up to Cornell. Not for work. For fun.
As we walked along we talked about some of the things, places, and people we had seen while in Ottawa. We started talking about what was the quintessential tourist geegaw that must be purchase when you travel to any given place, i.e.:
Washington DC = a Washington monument statue (extra value in this item since it is not only a memento of your trip but a phallic symbol. You know he was the father of our country)
New Orleans, LA = a voodoo doll or
something anything with a fleur-de-lis.
Ottawa (and I imagine most places in Canada) = a beaver dress as a mounty.
Phoenix, AZ = anything with a saguaro cactus on it.
The list goes on but you get the picture.
They started telling me that in Ithaca, NY you have to get something with a moose. A plush animal, plate, spoon, etc. But, the thing that caught my attention was this:
A moose bottle opener.
I had to have one.
Pat was kind enough to stick one in the mail for me. It arrived yesterday. Isn't it great? JR was most pleased.
Now, the question is what do I send back to her?
What screams TEXAS to you?
A Texas star?
I'm hoping to find a bottle opener fashioned like longhorn cattle where the horns are the bottle opener part. Wouldn't that be awesome?
To show our appreciation we will be heading to the "Made in Texas" store at the dreaded mall to find something equally nice.
Is there something in your area that is quintessential?
Has it been made into a bottle opener?
If so, will you send it to me? I think this would make a great Christmas gift for JR. I'll reimburse.
Let me know in the comments section and don't forget your email if I don't already have it. I'll even take things from Australia and Ireland (Mumme and Vince) as long as the shipping isn't outrageous.