I just married my husband over a year ago, and I can still remember my honeymoon like it was yesterday. My husband and I ventured to the Caribbean island of St. Lucia to a Sandal’s resort to celebrate tying the knot. The weather was a balmy, tropical 85 plus degrees ’round-the-clock. We were greeted by palm trees, banana plantations, and the local people who were so kind and happy to have us as visitors we almost didn’t want to leave. Our resort was just as beautiful as every picture the AAA Travel guide showed us. We were surrounded by lush landscaping and trees that bloomed flowers the colors of a rainbow. The flowery plants attracted an array of hummingbirds; these birds so small and fast, you could only catch a glimpse of them out of the corner of your eye then they were gone. We had three different pools to pick from for our lounging pleasure each accompanied by its own unique poolside bar. There were daily activities galore: beach volleyball, catamarans, kayaking, shuffleboard, and beach-side massages. The pictures we took and the memories we shared will last a lifetime, but nothing will I treasure more than the daily walks we took together on the beach.

The second day of our trip my husband and I decided to explore the beach front property in front of our hotel. It was considered a public area, so we passed groups of local St. Lucians sun-bathing and chasing their kids around the sandy lots. At first we just walked down the beach enjoying each others’ company until my husband spotted his first piece of sea glass. It was a green, smooth piece of glass that had once helped form an old soda bottle; most likely Coca Cola was my guess. He stuffed it into his pocked without saying a word; I watched his action and then quickly followed suit. Soon we were both walking the beach, head down swiveling side to side as we searched for the sea-formed treasures hiding in the sands.

The first day we came back to our room with a pocketful each. We collected our hardware into a plastic bag. From that day on, every morning and afternoon we would spend about an hour beachcombing for our sea glass. We even set guidelines: no brown glass allowed, no sharp pieces, only well worn pieces, and no pieces smaller than the end of our thumbs. We greedily snatched up all we could; we didn’t see it as stealing. We saw it as us helping to make their beaches a cleaner, safer place.

When we arrived home a week later, tan and relaxed from our trip, I pulled a big plastic bag from my suitcase. Inside was at least 5 pounds worth of sea glass we had sorted and soaked in clean water. Each piece had been lovingly dried and polished. I headed to the grocery store and found a quaint glass canister with a clear glass lid that had a hinge to hold it on. We poured our glass into the container until it filled the top. Snapping the lid shut, we stood back and smiled. We didn’t need expensive, fancy trinkets to help us remember our honeymoon. Instead, this canister and the glass that it held was a simple reminder of the time we shared together collecting each piece to help form a unique, one-of-a-kind souvenir.

Today’s simplest pleasures:

1.) Sometimes the best memories and souvenirs are not the ones we buy but the ones we build ourselves.

2.) Find or start your own unique hobby during a vacation to help you remember your trip for always.