So now you are contemplating, "What is so awesome? And why does she repeat it FIVE TIMES?" And I contend that the hand-painted Mexican tiles that we discovered IN MEXICO while on our Christmas vacation are that fabulous and I gave one awesome for each box of the stuff that we brought home. "Isn't tile kinda heavy? How in the heck did you get that stuff home? Did it survive?" And that deserves another "awesome" because they did indeed weigh a lot (150 pounds by our estimate) and the majority of them survived! Eric and I carefully wrapped every tile in newspaper, replaced some in boxes, swaddled others in our vacation clothes and distributed them among four bags to be checked and two carry-ons. Hence, each of us lugged about 30-35 pounds through the airport on our backs between flights. "Don't they have a weight limit?" You query? Indeed they do. It is 50 pounds. We very unscientifically guess-timated the weight of each bag based on something we are very familiar with - bags of dog food. If a bag of dog kibble weighs 40 pounds and I can lift it, and I can lift my bag and it feels heavier, but not too much heavier, we should be OK, right? They make you put each bag on a scale at the airport before you even hit the counter. Eric and I held our breath as they put the smallest bag up....35 pounds.....Then the duffle bag.....42 pounds....then my suitcase and the scale wavers...54...52...and settles on 49 pounds! Then Eric's GIANT stuffed backpack...49 pounds! Woo-Hoo! We felt like we just won the lottery! The luggage gets checked. The plane gets delayed. We make it through customs in Houston and onto a waiting plane. The duffle bag comes off the baggage carrier in Columbus.....and nothing else. Twelve hours (and much airline/courier wrangling later) our remaining three bags reach our house. We'd unpacked the carry-ons and duffel...everything survived! The others were not quite as perfect, we "lost" a total of MAYBE 20 tiles (out of a couple hundred). And you can bet we creative kids will come up with a use for those! Best souvenir EVER!
(Photo explanation: In the pic with at row of 8 tiles, we have the green fleuret in the lower lefthand corner. Probably for a bathroom. The single yellow & blue tile is maybe for a kitchen backsplash and is shown in the other photo as the fleuret it makes when four are put together!)