I have this vague recollection about a trip we took to Disney World with my family…but in my younger years. So that would have meant my Grandmother, who lived in Central Florida, would have been involved or taken us.

I remember becoming entirely in love with this maroon/pink umbrella, or parasol. It had my name on it- and believe me, back when I was a little girl I was one of the only ‘Erin’s’ around. So being able to get something with my name on it was a very big deal.

But it wasn’t just that it had my name on it, there were also pretty flowers. Hand painted. I can vividly remember it being my pride and joy for so very long after the trip. I would twirl it around, laying it on my shoulder like I was Scarlett taking a stroll on a warm Southern day.

Or I was holding it high in the air, pretending the wind would carry me away and just like Mary Poppins it would magically, and gently set me down.

It made me feel special, but more than that…it made me feel fancy. There was something about Easter time and wearing a bonnet and having a parasol. We had always taken those trips in the Spring.

So years ago on a trip to Disneyland I spotted the stand where I could see an artist recreating what I had so, so loved as a child…those beautiful parasols. I quickly ordered one for my daughter, who…being maybe 18 months at the time quickly destroyed it.

Then came our latest trip to Disneyland for the Social Media Mom’s Celebration. I knew it was finally the right time to try this again, and even if my daughter showed little interest or destroyed it once again…I was getting MYSELF one too.

So purple for Hala and the very same maroon/pink for me. Our names in cursive. The flowers just perfect. And just like that I was transported back to feeling fancy in Florida and then back home in Michigan.

Umbrella 2

It now makes me feel fancy at our home in California where I’ve added it to my growing Small World doll collection. (China, India, Kenya, and a very old one with a key from Poland. The ride was my grandmother’s favorite and my mother’s) All memories that just make me smile every time I enter my bedroom.

They take me back to when something as simple and wonderful as a hand painted umbrella could make a young girl dream of bigger things. Of how I would need a larger one when I was an adult because of course only fancy ladies used them…of how my grandmother and mother had a hand in making sure I finally had something with my name on it because I was never included in the tourist keychains or A-Z named orange bobble heads from the roadstop gift shops. No, I had something even better.

And I was fancy.

*I was invited to attend the DSMM Celebration. I paid my own conference fees and received gifts during the conference. All opinions, experiences and thoughts are my own.