I am not much of a shopper and yet love wandering through local markets. It doesn’t matter if we are near home or traveling abroad, we make sure we take the time to go.

Some markets are driven by lunch hours, or holidays. Others are places to get fresh produce, or the daily catch. Some are selling local art, and still others offer veggie starters for your own gardens.

But trust me when I say there are two things you will always find at local markets: flowers and food.

What intrigues me the most about markets is…

I think they are the best places to learn about its local people and their culture.

Not quite sure what this implies at Seattles Pike Place Market, but it is clearly a marketing genius that came up with the sign.

There is always a line to get a pound or two of the grapes. And make sure while you are here you watch the show at the famous fish stand.

The smells resonate, through the streets, a block from Borough Market in England. This is a mecca for those looking for lunch.

The street markets in Paris are famous for their street artists and the photos often depict landmarks and French culture.

And you have not had a macaroon until you get one from Paris.

Tuscany is famous for its wine, yes. And pasta, and pizza, and beautiful views.

And just so you know, I will never eat American breadsticks again.

The Native American Market in Santa Fe, New Mexico is a most graceful look at culture, and their jewelry is meticulous and beautiful. What I loved most about this day was, the time this gentleman gave me in an effort to explain the meaning of the item I bought. If you have followed my blog in the past, you will recognize the journey pendant.

And make sure you get some fry bread while you wander around.

The markets in Germany, during the holidays, make Christmas come alive. The gingerbread hearts are a favorite of mine, but the handmade ornaments and decorations, along with the tradition German food is a place we return to over and over again.

This one is a bit Edward Scissorhand looking, isn’t it? Originally, cultivated from China, the Buddha’s Hand fruit made it’s way to California in the late 80s. This market stop was fun as we learned about its history and its culinary uses. The fruit is mostly used as a zest.

California (and Arizona) are also the place to find homemade salsas.

And finally, does a tall, icy glass of lemonade take anyone else to the simple days of summer?

The good ole USA is notorious for some fresh-squeezed lemonade at any market, and if you are lucky, a roadside stand might be run by a cute little kid.

And I think to myself….What a Wonderful World.

Wind Kisses, Donna