I think I mentioned previously that I have a post card collection. I’ve been collecting post cards ever since I was a kid – it was the only souvenir that I could afford to buy for myself out of my tiny allowance, and the only one I could convince my parents to buy me if I had no money.
When I was younger, I covered one entire wall of my bedroom with postcards, from the top of the 12 foot high ceiling , down to the carpet. When I ran out of room, I spread out to the other walls of the room. Soon, every single wall had postcards tacked to the wall, with only the furniture or the doors and windows breaking up the space. I’ve got a photo of this wall somewhere – if I ever find it I’ll post it to show how crazy my style was as a preteen!
All told, I probably have a good 700+ postcards (last time I counted I was above 500, but that was years ago). Now that I have to share my living space with my husband, most of them live in a shoebox or an album instead of on the wall.
My friends and family know I have a collection, so they pick up one or two for me whenever they travel. I add one or two to my collection whenever I travel (though can you believe I forgot to get one while I was in St. Kitts? I’ll have to ask my friend to send me one!).
I wanted to do something with them for posterity, so I want to feature them on the blog (in no particular order). In fact, some of my postcards were sent between members of my mom’s family decades ago, and are written in Polish. We’ve never been able to figure out what they say, so I want to rely on the magic of the internet to see if people can help us translate them! My mom would absolutely love that.
Without further ado, here is the first postcard.
Hotel de la Monnaie: New Orleans, Louisiana
I picked this one to go first because it has the most meaning to me. The building featured in the image is Hotel de la Monnaie in New Orleans, Louisiana. My parents bought a timeshare here when they first got married. At the time, my mom thought my dad (typically frugal) was nuts! Who would pay to “own” a week at a hotel, and have to pay maintenance fees every year forever, when you could just go to a city and find a hotel for that week?
Well, my dad was fairly self-aware, and he knew he was a workaholic. He knew he would work and work and work all year and wouldn’t make time for vacation unless he made sure he had to take the time off somehow. So by owning this week, and paying fees that they would have to pay no matter what, he would make time to go on vacation for at least one week per year, if only to avoid wasting their money.
He also knew he loved the city of New Orleans. He had worked there for a while before he met my mother, and he fell in love with the culture, the people, and most importantly – the food! While he knew he would be living in the northeast to be near family, he would definitely want to return frequently to visit his favorite city.
It was a brilliant move. The timeshare also allows you to transfer your week to other destinations around the country, even at different weeks of the year. So when we were growing up, we would go back to New Orleans every three years, and for the two years in between, we would go to different states, climates, terrain, etc.
Every year, we received a big thick book filled with glossy photographs of each resort. There were little symbols indicating what amenities were offered at each place (as a kid, we cared mainly about the “pool” symbol, but my parents were more practical and looked at things like whether the suites had a kitchenette, or if there was a grocery store nearby).
When we were old enough, my brother and I got to help pick the destination out of the book. We’d make lists of our top choices, we’d debate and throw out pros and cons for each place, and we tried to go to new places every year. Other than New Orleans, I think we only went to one other resort more than once, because we had family that lived near that location. It was great to see new places, and to check off new states off our list every year. Clearly my wanderlust started early!