Posts in the category "Souvenirs":

Sleepless in Seattle vs. Fifty Shades of Grey

What becomes a classic?

The 1993 move Sleepless in Seattle was a big hit. So big that, even at $31.99, Sleepless in Seattle nightshirts are still a big seller at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.

Sleepless in Seattle

So, twenty years from now, will Fifty Shades of Grey souvenirs still be front and center at airport gift shops? I doubt it – but we’ll see….

50 Shades of Grey

Souvenir Sunday: bags made of Southwest Airlines seats

Southwest Airlines duffle

When Southwest Airlines did a cabin design that included, among other things, 80,000 lighter seats, they were left with 43 acres of leftover leather.

That leather ended up in Portland, Oregon with Looptworks, a company that takes high-quality excess material and upcycles it into limited edition, high-quality goods.

In this case, Looptworks has taken the leather from those old Southwest Airlines seats and turned it into a line of fashionable and functional bags that include a convertible tote ($150), a duffle ($225) and a backpack ($250). In addition to keeping the leather out of the garbage, the company partnered with a non-profit to employ disabled adults to deconstruct and clean the repurposed material.

Southwest LUV SEAT

The duffle and the tote are available on a 4 week turnaround time and Looptwork is about to launch the backpack and a toiletry bag.

On the auction block: Elvis Presley’s planes

Lisa Marie plane owned by Elvis Presley

If you’ve been to Graceland you’ve probably seen them. Now you can own them.

Two of Elvis Presley’s private planes, the Lisa Marie and Hound Dog II, both of which have been on display at Graceland for more than thirty years, are headed for the auction block.

One plane is a Convair 880 Jet that Elvis purchased from Delta Air Lines on April 17, 1975 for $250,000, refurbished, and rechristened the “Lisa Marie” in honor of his daughter.

Bedroom on the Lisa Marie plane

Inside the airplane cabin there’s lounge and club seating area, a conference/dining table, a club room and a master bedroom with a custom-made queen size bed, an executive bathroom with gold faucets and gold washbasin, a videotape system linked to four televisions and a stereo system with fifty speakers.

The Hound Dog II is a Lockheed JetStar that Elvis also purchased in 1975 for about $900,000 while waiting for Lisa Marie make-over to be completed.

Hound Dog II

The planes cannot be flown and are being sold as one lot, with an option to buy a piece of land next to Graceland (but unaffiliated with the Presley Museum) to display them.

Here a video from Julien’s Auctions, which is taking sealed bids for the plane through February 2, 2015 at 5 p.m. PST.

Vending machine full-o-art at Kansas City Int’l Airport

Here’s a fun new airport amenity that should soon spread to more airports around the country: Kansas City International Airport has a vending machine that dispenses locally made art and souvenirs.


Curated by SouveNEAR, a company that produces and sells authentic local goods, the machine is located in the Southwest Airlines area of KCI’s Terminal B and is stocked with jewelry, original art, small-batch hand-printed T-shirts and a wide array of travel-sized mementos by Kansas City-based artists and makers.

Prices range from $2.50 to about $40.

SouveNEAR co-founders Suzanne Southard and Tiffany King spent months surveying art going on around Kansas City at galleries, art fairs, and indie craft shows and travelled to other cities to see what people are making to help them figure out what they wanted the collection to look like. “In some cases,” when we really liked artists but their existing offerings couldn’t fit our machine, we worked with them to develop items specifically for SouveNEAR,” Southard and King said via email.

KCI_SouveNEAR vending machine two

The art-filled vending machine has been in place at KCI for just about month, but sales have been so strong – and response from travelers and artists so positive – that SouveNEAR is already planning to add additional machines at KCI and to install new machines at other airports around the country.

“Finding meaningful souvenirs is always a challenge, especially when you’re rushing to find something at the last minute,” said Southard. “We want to provide a convenient way for people to get mementos that are artistic and that have a real connection to the city.”

Souvenir Sunday at Portland Int’l Airport

Elves for sale at Portland International Airport

Elves for sale at Portland International Airport

I had the great pleasure of visiting Portland International Airport this week to help Travel Portland welcome the tallest freestanding cuckoo clock in the country to the spot where it will entertainingly tell time till the end of March 2015.


I also had a chance to see, smell and taste some of the Oregon-sourced delicacies offered up at the farmer’s market that pops up twice a week at the airport.


The market is the brainchild of Christian and Annette Joly, who own Caper’s Cafe at the airport, and they were on hand during my visit offering tastes of cheese and freshly sauteed mushrooms as well as intoxicating whiffs of Oregon truffles, from a table also laden with fresh Oregon produce and other tasty treats.

PDX Oregon market

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