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Women Worldwide Share Gift Shopping Tips...



Vicinity of Albany

I'd like to offer gift suggestions for Upstate New York:

There's Maple Syrup -- locally produced in lovely glass bottles from Up For Breakfast in Manchester Vermont (90 minutes noth of Albany) or Massachusett's Jericho Valley at Ioka Valley Farms (45min east of Albany)

Anything Shaker -- Shaker oval boxes make good gifts on their own, great for small gifts or trinkets. Also dried Shaker herbs in round cans, bottles of rosewater, cookbooks of Shaker cuisine. Available at the Shaker Heritage Society Gift Shop in Albany, NY and at Hancock Shaker Village, Hancock, MA (1/2 hr drive east of Albany) or the Shaker Museum and Library in Chatham, NY (45 min south of Albany).

Victorian Architecture Prints and Art -- of the City of Troy, the "Home of Uncle Sam" and surrounding environs available at Clement Frame and Art on the corner of Broadway & 2nd St. in downtown Troy. Ask about the note cards depicting Victorian Buildings in the city of Troy.

The Best Vanilla Extract in the World -- at Baldwin's Extracts, West Stockbridge, MA (30 min. east of Albany.) Shop for great gifts from this tiny country store while Jackie Moffett gets your bottle of vanilla with recipes ready for you. The store was featured in Martha Stewart Living magazine.
Debra, Albany, New York


The popcorn in Chicago is amazing! Anybody with a sweet tooth back home will love it. As you make your way along Michigan Avenue, you're bound to see a line-up outside Garrett Popcorn Shop at No. 670. The Caramel Crisp corn sold here is rated "the best in the world." Join the cue for an instant snack bag or purchase a pack to bring back home. This designer popcorn even has its own website --
Sharon, Chicago

Durham, North Carolina

There's Burt's Bee earth-friendly, people care products (including lip balms,shampoos, etc.) -- on sale in gift stores, supermarkets, specialty shops. Website:

I also recommend seven-pepper jelly from Foster's Market. Website: Sara Foster, who was director of catering for Martha Stewart, moved to Durham 16 years ago and opened a food market/restaurant in a building that previously housed a lawnmower repair shop.
Rosemarie, Durham, North Carolina

Los Angeles

I live in Los Angeles, California. I suggest T-shirts and sweatshirts from UCLA, the University of California at Los Angeles. I have seen fakes all over the world. Why not give someone the real thing! Also, See's Candies, great chocolate candies available with a huge variety of fillings, sold by the piece or the pound, and they will pack to ship. If I visited relatives without bringing some, they would put me back on the plane. Website:
Jerilyn, Los Angeles

New Orleans

Anything with a 'fleur de lis' graphic on it represents the city decorate self, home, or office. I also recommend Creole/Cajun cookbooks, Dixeland Jazz or Mardi Gras music CDs, Cajun spice products, pralines, coffee with chicory, beignet mix, etc. We still have a lot!
Susan, New Orleans, USA

New York City

Hello Everyone at Journeywoman. I LOVE this site and have passed it on to practically all of my girlfriends! I live in Manhattan and whenever I go overseas I try to take a gift of coffee from the Porto Rico Importing Company. Their Bleecker Street store is one of the nicest in town with barrels and barrels of whole beans. My favourite is the French-Italian Espresso blend. Check them out at Thanks and keep up the good work!
Jill , New York City

Street vendors all around NYC, especially in Manhattan, sell 'I NY' T-shirts for about $2.00 each. They're great souvenirs to take to those you left at home and - lets face it - who doesn't NY?!!
Suzanne, New York City

Seattle, Washington

Some of the best gift-shopping in Seattle (especially for foodies!) can be found at the Pike Place Market in downtown Seattle. One of my favorite things to do is to put together an inexpensive Seattle gift basket that includes Seattle's quintessential smoked salmon from Totem Smokehouse, where you can choose from vacuum-packed filets, canned salmon, even smoked salmon jerky. I love to add bags of dried cherries purchased from The Chukkar Cherry Company -- they are great for baking and cooking or just snacking straight from the bag. And beware: their chewy, tart, delicious chocolate-covered cherries are so addictive, you might not be able to give them away after all! Finally, I like to add something from Seattle's beloved DeLaurentis Specialty Food and Wine Shop, which carries all kinds of wonderful gourmet foods from all over the globe--cheeses, olives, flatbreads, gourmet sauces and vinegars, anything you can think of to tuck into a gift basket.

You can even give the gift of fresh-caught Northwest seafood by visiting world-famous Pike Place Fish, who will cold-pack it for taking home on the plane or ship it directly for you.

There are hundreds of other places to visit in the Market, as well, for our local products--everything from fresh pastries to locally-grown produce and lavendar-based products. And in the summer, you can treat yourself to a spectacular bouquet of locally-grown flowers for $10-$15 -- a great way to brighten up your hotel room or thank the hostess you are staying with. Enjoy!
Sue, Seattle, WA


Everyone who visits Oregon should return home with two tasty treats available at the Made in Oregon stores (or cheaper at the supermarket)--smoked salmon and marionberry jam. Both of these really "say Oregon" to loved ones expecting souvenirs. For the jokesters, there are canned slugs, billed as Oregon's state animal since we have so much rain here!
Linda, Tualatin, Oregon

Palm Springs, California

My favorite gift from this part of the world is a package of delicious dates. They taste wonderful and you can mail them very easy. I just called one of our very oldest date gardens (Shields Date Garden in Indio, CA.) and they said they send them to Canada and Europe all the time. Hope this helps. They really do taste great!
Carol, Palm Springs, California


I recommend Maple syrup, of course!
Debbie, Guilford Vermont

Washington, DC

Visit the Decatur House near the White House at 1610 H Street, NW. Take the tour and pick up an annual White House Ornament. They also offer many more uniquely Washington gifts. Decatur House website:
Michelle, Washington, DC.




I had a five-day stay in Vietnam. On my first day there I brought one of my linen shirts to Nam Silk to have it copied. They completed the job in two days and charged me $US16.00 per shirt for the linen, creating and sewing the pattern. The finished product was perfect and it cost me a fraction of what the original shirt had cost. This tailoring shop is located at 191-193 De Tham Street, District One. Tel: (84-8) 4042429. Do yourself a favour. If you're staying in the center of town, take a cab from your hotel. It shouldn't be more than $US2.00 and the cab driver will find the shop a lot faster than you will. P.S. Across the street is another shop called, Ninh Khuong. They sell the loveliest smocked cotton dresses for little girls (about $US20). This grandma couldn't resist and outfitted the two little ones in our family.
Eve, Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Vietnam


Women's words on giving gifts...

A gift -- be it a present, a kind word or a job done with care and love --
explains itself... and if receivin' it embarrasses you it's because your

'thanks box' is warped.
Alice Childress, 1956
We'd all like a reputation for generosity and
we'd all like to buy it cheap.
Mignon McLaughlin, 1963
It is tragic that some gifts have to be made so costly,
so damaging to the giver that there remains no

small part of the giver to go with her gift.
Bertha Damon, 1938
Why is it no one ever sent me yet
one perfect limousine, do you suppose?

Ah no, it's always just my luck to get

One perfect rose.
Dorothy Parker, 1926
We are rich only through what we give,
and poor only through what we refuse.
Anne-Sophie Swetchine, 1869








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