My dad was an engineer. He traveled the world enjoying the cultures and beauty of far away places. This was long before we were such a global species and long before computers and the internet.
Each country he went to, he brought back incredible goodies. I would stand patiently with excitement as he opened his suitcases. There, nestled between clothes were the treasures .
Tiny bags of peanuts from the plane.
Little bottles of shampoo and toothpaste from the hotel.
Chocolates and candies that were not available in this country.
Then, ever so slowly he revealed the special gift for me. Of course, because I was a girl he got me dolls. Never mind that I was a tomboy who climbed trees and went fishing!
I had dolls from all over the world!
One had real hair and a beautiful skirt with tiny flowers embroidered on the suspenders. She was from Bavaria.
Another had black hair, a red lace gown and a black lace covering on her head. She was a Spanish dancer.
My favorite was the doll from Japan! She had a beautiful silk kimono and bright red obi. Her hair was spectacularly coiffed and decorated with elaborate hair sticks. Her face was made from porcelain. I became obsessed with everything Japanese and the obsession has lasted a lifetime. This is evident when you enter my home. There is my collection of Japanese woodblock prints, pottery and of course jewellery.
When I graduated college I was gifted my dream, a trip to Japan!
It was more magical for me than I could have ever imagined. Everything was so beautiful, so different, so unique! I was taken to a town that wove bridal silk. The next city had an overwhelming amount of artisan shops, everywhere the temples, the zen gardens and royal palaces, koi ponds, tempura, and of course mount Fuji!
We took hundreds of photos.
My favorite photograph from our trip was of me. I am standing on a red wooden bridge in the New Otani gardens. I am wearing my favorite blue dress and red sandals. The sun was warm, the summer day, lovely. I was leaning down taking a photograph. It was a pond and in the pond were fish.
It was a dream come true.
There, swimming in the pond were beautiful Koi.