The world’s largest orange!

Orange World Gift Shop – Kissimmee, Florida

 

If you’ve ever been to Kissimmee then you will know about the assortment of quirky gift shops that line the Highway 192 – the mermaid, the wizard, the giant animals, amongst others – and no doubt you will have popped in to one or two of them for a bargain price souvenir.

Mermaid gift shop on Hwy 192 Kissimmee

Magic Castle Wizard gift shop on the Hwy 192 Kissimmee

Jungle theme gift shop on Hwy 192 in Kissimmee

But my favourite gift shop on the 192 has to be Orange World – the world’s largest orange! We decided to go for a little drive one evening and explore the Kissimmee area and couldn’t resist the draw of parking up next to a massive orange at the side of the road.

Behold the orange!

Orange World Kissimmee Orlando

As we approached the entrance to the shop we were greeted by a member of staff (or possibly even the owner) who said as they would be closing in a little while, would we like some free of charge orange and grapefruit segments? Well, who were we to say no! Can’t beat a bit of Florida citrus.

At this point I was wondering whether everything within the shop was just orange coloured or orange flavoured, of course much of it was, but there were other fabulous and tacky gifts to be bought.

As I mentioned before when I wrote about the world’s largest gift shop in Las Vegas, I can be quite impulsive when I am on holiday, so of course the excitement of free fruit plus a shop shaped like an orange got the better of me and I ended up purchasing some ridiculous tat…

A mariachi seashell band.

mariachi seashell band

Grow your own pet flamingo.

growing pet flamingo

Don’t judge me. And don’t ask why. But what is a grow your own flamingo? I hear you ask. Well, you pop the little egg into some water and in a couple of days it hatches!

So what about you? What fabulous tat have you purchased in a moment of madness when on vacation? Leave me a comment below or you can email me at quirkylittleplanet@gmail.com and write your own guest post!

 

Travel and Treasure

So I’ve been a little quiet on the blog for the past week or so but things have still been ticking away in the background. I’ve contributed to a guest post about beauty on the road over at Heels In My Backpack – so go check it out (after you’ve read this post of course!).

And I’ve been gaining some inspiration from the world around me, so please feel free to follow me on twitter and pinterest – let me know you found me through my blog and I will follow you back!

In my last post I mentioned this gorgeous necklace I bought while on honeymoon in the Maldives. Anyone who has been reading this blog for a little while knows I love a good souvenir, so I thought I would showcase a few of my travel gems.

This necklace, being a honeymoon memento means alot to me, so I try not to wear it too often because I’m scared of breaking it or losing it, but when I do wear it, it does attract a lot of attention.

quirky-necklace-from-the-maldives

Although there isn’t a particularly fascinating story behind it, other than I happened upon it while in the island gift shop, I thought I would share it as it’s so unique and reminds me of that special time.

jewellery-from-the-maldives

I’m normally one for quirky costume jewellery rather than expensive jewellery that I will probably break, and while I don’t stroll down the street jingling like Mr T, I am a typical female when it comes to jewellery shops – stood agaze at all the sparkly pretty things around me. I’m like it in shops at home and I was like it in the souks of Marrakech.

It sounds completely cliché to refer to the souks as ‘Aladdin’s cave’ but that is pretty much what they were! A labyrinth of small stores packed to the brim with tea sets, jewellery, pashminas, spices, leather, shoes… so much colour and chaos it is easy to become distracted. I ended up buying 3 bracelets in Marrakech.

moroccan-bangles

The multi-coloured one came from a fixed price store at the entrance of the souks, but for around £5 GBP who could argue! The pink one was a hasty purchase to use up some dirham, but what makes it interesting is the hand symbol on it is the Hand of Fatima –  which is said to bring protection and good fortune.

moroccan-jewellery

My favourite of the three bracelets is the silver one. This is one I haggled for in true Moroccan style. Although I don’t think I’m ever taken very seriously as a customer, with the help of hubby (who is from the school of ‘don’t ask, don’t get’) managed to get a decent price for it that both I and the seller were happy with.

We didn’t stop at bangles, we took home a tagine and a couple of pashminas too (some were gifts)! All in all I had fun in the souks and urge all you jetsetting magpies to not miss them when in Marrakech!

Gorgeous gifts for globetrotters

Gorgeous gifts for globetrotters!

It’s been a little quiet on the blog for the past week but that’s because I have been preoccupied… it was my birthday the other day you see. I had a great day and received lots of lovely gifts, many of which were travel themed, which has inspired me to write this post about gorgeous gifts for globetrotters!

Bon Voyage bag

Bon Voyage handbag from Accessorize

This was actually a pre-birthday present I bought for myself, but it got quite a few favourites and retweets on my twitter that I couldn’t not include it here. I have always wanted a vintage suitcase covered in stickers so this is the next best thing! It comes with a shoulder strap too so you don’t have to carry it like a suitcase if you don’t want to.

£29 from Accessorize

Gandys flipflops

gandys flipflops

After being inspired by Rob Forkan (co-founder of Gandys) at the Destinations Show, I had a look at the different flipflop designs and fell in love with these map print ones. Money from every sale goes towards building children’s homes for orphans in places such as India and Sri Lanka.

gandys flipflops and box

Even the box and the logo are beautiful.

£22 from Gandys

Travel journal

I wanted a cute journal to keep a diary for my upcoming travels and couldn’t find much more perfect than this map print journal by Wild & Wolf. It’s A6 in size so small enough to carry around too.

Wild and Wolf travel journal

£8 from John Lewis

The Book of Everything

Lonely Planet Book of Everything

I must confess, I have a bit of an addiction to coffee table travel books. I am running out of bookshelf space, but perhaps one day I will write a blog post about all of them. The Lonely Planet Book of Everything is a fun and factual book about, well, almost everything. It’s definitely a dip in, dip out sort of book but there’s some pretty useful stuff in there (how to survive a shark attack for example because you never know!).

There’s also stuff like the Northern Lights

Lonely Planet Book of Everything

Or even Egyptian Hieroglyphs

Lonely Planet Book of Everything

£14.99 from Lonely Planet

Globetrotting Percy sweets

Marks and Spencer Globetrotting Percy sweets

Need some sweeties for the road? Grab a bag of Globetrotting Percy jellies. Percy Pig is a bit of a mascot for Marks & Spencer and there are several different types of Percy sweets you can buy, including vegetarian options.

Available in store at Marks & Spencer

Disney Pixar Up pin

Disney Pixar 'Up' pin badge

Not strictly travel themed but if you’ve seen the move Up you’ll know that the characters go on a great adventure. I was actually looking for this pin when I went to Disneyland Paris but I couldn’t find it as I think it may have been a limited edition promotional item or something but my clever husband managed to track one down from who knows where – and I love it!

Note: all items featured in this post were gifted to me by family, apart from the handbag which was from myself to myself. Prices and availability correct at time of publishing.

My Disney Haul!

So as you know, I was lucky enough to visit Disneyland Paris twice this year so I thought I would share with you my Disney haul. I also bought some of these goodies when I visited Orlando a couple of years ago but I’m pretty sure most of this stuff is available at any Disney park.

Collectables

alice-in-wonderland-snowglobe

Disney have so many adorable snow globes! In all honesty I liked them all, but I owed it to my younger self to purchase the Alice in Wonderland one simply because this was one of my all-time favourite films as a child (still is!). I’m not really someone who tends to collect a lot of ornaments but I can imagine there are a few people out there with an impressive collection of Disney snow globes, they’re all so beautiful.

grape-soda-pin-from-disney-up

Disney Pins are also quite collectable, the parks even have Cast Members who offer pin trading although I don’t know a lot about it since this is the first pin I’ve bought. I really wanted something Up related because I adore that movie. Unfortunately there is a severe lack of Up merchandise available. I really wanted something with the house and balloons on but all I could find was this grape soda pin, like the one Ellie gave to Carl in the film.

Pocket money purchases

disney-keyrings

Not everything at Disney has to cost an arm and a leg, there are plenty of smaller purchases to be had, for example these keyrings. The one on the left was bought at World of Disney in Downtown Disney, Orlando and celebrates the 40th anniversary of Walt Disney World. The one on the right was bought at Disneyland Paris because I really wanted something with the castle on it. Which leads me to…

disney-magnets

I think I have an obsession with the Disney castle because as well as the keyring, I also bought a castle fridge magnet. And although I’m not someone who collects “collectable stuff” as such, I do tend to buy a fridge magnet of some sort whenever I go on holiday, so the one on the right was bought at Walt Disney World Florida (founded 1971).

The Mickey merch

steamboat-willie-mickey-mouse-souvenirs

No one can leave “The Happiest Place On Earth” without some kind of Mickey merchandise, so here are a couple of beauties we picked up at the World of Disney store in Orlando – black and white vintage style Mickeys! The bobble-head sculpture is based on the cartoon that Mickey made his debut, Steamboat Willie. And the other is just a rather cute cuddly toy. Which leads me to…

Another cuddly toy!

lotso-bear-from-toy-story-3

This is Lotso from Toy Story 3, he was bought in the Buzz Lightyear gift shop at Disneyland Paris. He wasn’t a favourite character or anything (I totally love Ken in TS3!) but he’s ever so cuddly and he smells of strawberries!!

The meaningful souvenir

minnie-mickey-proposal

Ok so it might sound cheesy or it might sound incredibly cute but we bought this ornament in Downtown Disney Orlando (I think it was The Art of Disney Store) because my (now) husband proposed to me in Florida. He didn’t do it at the theme parks or anything but it seemed an appropriate memento to have.

The must-have

minnie-mouse-ears

Last but not least, no Disney park shopping trip is complete without Minnie Mouse ears! They’ve had several wears already and I look forward to the next!

Kit Kat Krazy

aka Things I did buy in Japan.

aka Vacation Shopping Insanity – Japan edition.

You may or may not know this, but the Japanese love Kit Kats! Why? I hear you ask. Well, the reason for this is because the name is similar to the Japanese phrase “Kitto Katsu” which roughly translates as “surely win”, or in other words “good luck”, hence why students are often bought Kit Kats before their exams. So Kit Kats are basically a good luck charm. They even have a crazy amount of Kit Kat flavours in Japan, which vary region to region. You name it, they probably have it.

So when I found out that the world’s first ever Kit Kat boutique was opening in Japan shortly before I was due to travel there, I was very excited. And I wasn’t the only one, I’d read a couple of articles about it and there was much hype and anticipation about this chocolate paradise.

But, I’m not going to sugar-coat this (or chocolate-coat this, if you will). The world’s first ever Kit Kat boutique was a big fat disappointment! Firstly, it’s not a shop. It is a section of a department store and a very small L-shaped section at that. Secondly, they did not have the massive array of flavours I was expecting, there were literally 3 or 4 flavours to choose from. and that. was. it.

kit-kat-chocolatory-tokyo

Even though it was quite expensive, we still made a purchase – one solitary box of Sakura green tea flavour.

chocolatory-kitkat-special

Sure, the packaging is pretty and it did taste quite nice but I’m not sure it was worth it. Although they did have a really cool chandelier.

kit-kat-chandelier

After the visit to the Kit Kat Chocolatory it became my mission to track down these mysterious and exotic Kit Kat flavours, I made a point of looking whenever we popped into a 7-11 or a Family Mart but I could find nothing but the original milk chocolate flavour.

After consulting the internet and keeping my beady eyes open, I did eventually manage to find the following flavours (although I hasten to add that I didn’t purchase ALL of these) – green tea (minus the sakura), cinnamon, rum & raisin, strawberry cheesecake, strawberry (minus the cheesecake), purple sweet potato, red bean, apple, chili, orange & lemon and wasabi.

Some of these were bought in random gift shops dotted around Tokyo and Kyoto but I will let you in on a little secret… the best place in Tokyo to buy Kit Kats is a little shop under Tokyo train station. Unfortunately I don’t know the name of this store but it was on a corner in the basement of Tokyo station near Yaesu Central Gate. And it looked like this –

tokyo-station-kitkats

I was an actual kid in a candy store. I probably would’ve got swept away with emotion and bought a box of each flavour but fortunately I had my husband there to calm me down. We still ended up buying about 4 boxes though, which came to about 20 quid (£20 on chocolate!!! Ack! See? Vacation Shopping Insanity!). I will also like to state that we didn’t keep all 4 boxes for ourselves, some were gifts.

The remaining Kit Kat purchases we made were, as I said above, at random shops we found on our travels but Narita airport was also a good place to find some interesting flavours – that’s where we bought the Hokkaido Red Bean flavour amongst others. The shop is easy to find, it’s pretty much the only shop you can use up all your yen coins in without breaking into a note.

So which Kit Kats did I actually try? Well here they are…

japanese-kitkats

Cinnamon, Green Tea, Rum & Raisin, Strawberry Cheesecake, Hokkaido Red Bean, Sakura Green Tea, Purple Sweet Potato, Strawberry and Shinshu Apple. Yes, we bought quite a lot but these were gifts for family and work colleagues too.

Surprises? The bars are more like “fun-sized” bars, a lot smaller than we’re used to but you get several in a box. Purple Sweet Potato is quite nice, just sweet really and Green Tea just tastes like white chocolate.

The strawberry ones went down a storm at work, the other flavours taste pretty much how you would expect them to. And Hokkaido Red Bean? I didn’t mind it, I can’t really describe it, I found this ok-ish but my husband thought this particular flavour was foul!

Have you tried any random Kit Kat flavours? What were they and what did you think of them?