One of my favorite things about traveling is the shopping!
I love spotting handicrafts that are indigenous to that country’s specific culture. Yeah, you can probably buy the stuff online, but it isn’t the same as actually going to the country, seeing all the artisans and their handiwork, haggling for the best price (or scouting out where you can get it for cheap) and actually taking a souvenir of your trip in the form of something.
That’s how it went with the Mexican punched tin lanterns I purchased in Cabo last March. I had actually first spotted those Mexican punched tin lanterns during my first trip. I love the detailed and intricate artwork – it’s all hand punched tin! – and especially how the light inside the lantern illuminates the night sky with gorgeous patterns. Talented tinsmiths in Mexico are known for crafting these, and I saw them everywhere – on decks and patios in homes and restaurants, or as sidewalk light fixtures. I wanted them for my deck in California, too!
So, off I went to investigate where to purchase these and at a good (ahem, wholesale) price, and was directed to a warehouse of Mexican artifacts, including a whole room of Mexican lanterns (different shapes, sizes, etc.). I purchased two lanterns, but since it was a factory, I only had the lanterns (not the actual electrical guts). Of course, I returned to the U.S. thinking it would be very easy to find a cord with a bulb socket. No such luck! Lighting stores told me it would cost several hundreds of dollars to outfit the lanterns.
Well, call it procrastination, but I did nothing and the lanterns just sat there in a box in my living room. It wasn’t until last week when I actually returned to Mexico and went to a Wal-Mart in Playa Del Carmen (as part of my Cancun trip) and found the right cords for these lanterns (at $6 each!).
So now, I have two beautiful Mexican lanterns just in perfect time for summer dinners on the deck. I love these and the craftsmanship. Check out a few I snapped all over Mexico.