I left Pam, my HHHP partner in crime, behind for a few days while I went camping with my family (remember them?) on the "other" cape in Massachusetts, Cape Ann.
Souvenir shopping, a ritual endured for years while camping with kids who bled our finances dry for such nonsense as beach buckets, slurpies and trashy trinkets, is now a pleasure. Skipping the gift shops and tee shirt stores (with the exception of Gloucester's Harbor Goods) led me to more creative and tasty treasures.
My haul began in the New Hampshire liquor store, conveniently located at a rest area (!) along route 93. Armed with my list, compiled weeks before, I shopped the liquor aisles with glee. First I got the staples Pam requested for Pammy's Pub. Then a look at the vodka aisle to see what new flavors sparked creativity. The liqueur lane held such delicacies as limoncello and maple liqueur, though I was disappointed not to find the promised Sapling Maple (Vermont) that I simply will not go without. I chose a bottle of Fabrizia Limoncello, since it's made in New Hampshire (buy local!) and the price was drastically low.
Laddie 10 Scotch. Pam and I had learned of its existence while reviewing the Cowboy in Lake Placid and its name dictated that we must own a bottle. I do like sipping scotch on occasion; it's my winter comfort drink, but flavor was not a factor in this purchase (I had never tried it) but it was the name I was after. To my astonishment, I located the coveted jewel and gulped at the price (apparently also not a factor). "What the hell, I'm worth it!" I thought to myself, hoping my husband was nowhere near the cash register to witness the final total. I look forward to the occasion which prompts the opening of the Laddie 10 ten-year-old single malt I will report when the seal is broken and the contents have been sampled.
Another must-have is something from the Cape Ann Brewing Company, and the Fisherman's Catch collection of Fisherman's Brew, Ale, IPA and Sunrise Saison serves multiple tastes. On impulse, just because they were there, I also selected a Shipyard Brewing Company's (Portland, ME) Smashed Pumpkin Ale (9% ABV) and Blue Hills Brewery's (Canton, MA) Watermelon Wampatuck Wheat. Again, I look forward to reviewing each and every one of these when I hold the beer session.
Souvenir shopping is all about what you put into it. Do you really need another shot glass or tee shirt with "Atlantic City" or "Lake George" emblazoned on the front? No. Better to contribute to the local economy by supporting local companies. Think about that as you peruse the shops in the next tourist trap. Reflect on craftsmanship and product pride. Buy the wine, beer, liquor, food, candy, books or other products readily available and made wherever you go. You won't be sorry.