Old, authentic cowbells from Switzerland. We purchased these at a hardware store in our favorite mountain town - Adelboden. We asked the store clerk where they came from. She said that the farmers bring their old bells to the store (when the leather becomes too worn and the bells become too rusty) and exchange them for new ones.
When I was growing up on the farm, we operated a small dairy. I think of my dad when I see these bells. I know he would have loved them!
Decorations for spring from France.
Stroopwafels from Holland (these "mementos" won't last long!)
Chocolate from Germany. It was so fun to send care packages to our boys and their wives after we got home. I stuffed their boxes full of treats that they liked from their growing up years in Deutschland. It was also fun to share chocolate with colleagues at work. A lot of these brands can now be found in the States, but I think what is purchased "over there" tastes better! Swiss cows and German cows produce better milk! :)