I’m just a big kid at heart.
Something I try to do in every new city I visit is find and ride a carousel. I love the music, I love the intricate artwork, and I love how every carousel has a story to tell.
Carousel comes from the French word carrousel and the Italian word carosello. The word originated in the 12th century as a way to describe a combat exercise and game played by Turkish and Arabian horsemen. The carousels we’re more familiar with were first built for fairs in central Europe and England in the early 19th century.
I loved riding the merry-go-round as a child, but my first carousel ride as an adult was at Forum des Halles in the heart of Paris, France, in 1998, and that’s when I became interested in them for their history.
The year after, then-boyfriend-now-hubby bought me a beautiful musical carousel for Christmas that plays 15 different old time songs and 15 Christmas carols.
I took a trip alone to Nashville in 2001, and the first thing I did after hitting the hotel was walk down to the Riverfront Park at 1st and Broadway to find The Fox Trot Carousel. This one is really fascinating to me because it features thirty-six hand carved figures representing famous Tennesseeans.
A kind, older gentleman had fun taking photos of me on my 29th birthday as it went round and round. He had a camera himself, so I convinced him to get on the carousel, too, so I could snap a picture for him. I think we made each other’s days.
You cannot be in a bad mood and ride the carousel at the same time. You just can’t. That’s why it tops my Favourite Things list.