We’ve all experienced it. The confused looks and raised eyebrows some people give us when we mention our souvenir building collections. “You collected what?” they smirk. Only when the naysayers see the miniature skylines in person do they truly understand. Skeptics can sometimes be family members as well. While on vacation, a teenager named Carolyn bought a miniature building replica as a memento. Her dad, however, thought she was crazy to spend money on such a tacky item. Years and hundreds of miniature replicas later, Dad became a convert and, in fact, now has a larger collection than Carolyn’s. (I’ll write about Robert, AKA "Dad," in another post soon) “We come from a line of collectors,“ Carolyn said. While in her home town last week, I had the opportunity to visit Carolyn and see her collection. Displayed in a few glass cases in her St Paul, Minnesota home, she is unsure how many they number. “I’ve never counted them.” She said. “It’s not about quantity to me.” She only buys replicas of places she’s been or those which hold special meaning to her. Her ultimate building to find is the Hollywood bowl because, as a child, she remembers attending concerts there. On glass shelves, she groups them together geographically and clusters different versions of the same building together. Finding building and monument replicas mostly at flea markets and auctions, she agrees its becoming more difficult these days. Avoiding online auctions, she likes the thrill of the hunt. She also enjoys buying unusual replicas for her dad and then saves them for future holiday gifts.