Luxurious Retreat Tip: Shopping at Ethnic Markets

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“From Greenland’s icy mountains, from India’s coral strand, where Afric’s sunny fountains roll down their golden sand.” -Reginald Herber (Missionary Hymn)

Ethnic Shopping is the next best thing to taking a vacation. The aromas, vibrant colors, textures and flavors of these little shops are a feast for the senses. This will change the way you look at shopping forever. Two of my favorite places to indulge in ethnic marketing are World Market and Epcot. Here are some of my favorite ethnicities to explore, and lists of goods each country specializes in. Bon Voyage!

ITALY: espresso, wine, pastas of all shapes, spicy deli meats, sauces, truffle honey, truffle oil, olive oil, hand blown glass (wine bottle stoppers, venetian glass chandeliers, drinking glasses, vases, light fixtures, flowers and even candy ornaments!), and leather goods.

FRANCE: perfume (Guerlain is one of my favorite brands of French perfume), heavenly bed linens, Provence tablecloths and napkins, lavender soaps, art, baguette, pastries, chocolate, champagne, and every kind of cheese known to man.

MEXICO: blankets, glassware, pottery, terra cotta, chimineas (outdoor, patio fireplace) pinatas, ponchos, silver, turquoise, sombreros, hot sauces and salsas, mole sauce, strings of dried hot chilies and garlic, pure vanilla, fresh tortillas, pan dulce and the ingredients for homemade tamales!

ASIA: green tea, teapot sets, hand fans, chopsticks, sake sets, paper shoes, paper lanterns, porcelain rice and soup bowls with matching spoons, rice-paper journals, stationery, take-out boxes, bamboo placemats, dim sum steamers, large paper parasols in bright candy colors, kimonos, bento boxes, silk, sake, plum wine and yummy noodles and soups.

INDIA: curry, exotic spices, basmati rice, saffron, saree material and other luxurious fabrics, floor cushions, wall hangings, handcrafted jewelry boxes, jade, jewelry, exotic bedding, marquees (colorful party tents), cotton goods, wonderful massage lotions and body care goods, gorgeous rugs and incense.

What is your favorite “ethnic” shopping pleasure? I am always looking for new simple pleasures to experience.

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