Gnome Hits the Road ... Again

Feb. 14, 2006 — -- Like any proud parent, Marianne Severson will gladly show you her photo album. "This one is in Arizona," she said, pointing to a picture.

The album documents worldwide travels. "I think that's Thailand," she said, flipping a page. "It says here he got to go to Bangkok."

But the little guy on this trip is a 20-pound, concrete garden gnome.

College students Kelly Keeton, Mike Estes and Connor Glassey kidnapped the Seversons' lawn gnome from their Redmond, Wash., home last year and took the little fella on a wild spring break trip, documenting the journey in photos.

When the gnome canoodled with heiress Paris Hilton at a Hollywood gas station, he landed in People magazine. And suddenly the Seversons were hot in Hollywood.

"We were so tired after all of the attention. In fact, I really feel sorry for the movie stars now. I have an inkling of what they go through," Severson said.

So she and her husband sold their famous gnome on eBay for nearly $400.

"We were kind of relieved to get him out of here," said Severson.

Gnome Returns Home

But that wasn't the end of the story.

The gnome, who took a spring break trip without permission, just came back home without permission -- with pictures to prove he's seen the world again.

It turns out, co-workers of Marianne's husband, Don, were the secret eBay buyers. They took turns taking the gnome on vacations and on church mission trips around the world -- from Rome to Thailand and Canada to Mexico.

The gnome was in New Orleans just before Hurricane Katrina.

"He made it, I mean, thank goodness. He made it out just in time," said Severson.

There'll be no more eBay for this gnome -- it will stay in Redmond, for now.

"I guess we have to keep him this time," Severson said.

But who knows where or when he'll travel next.

This story was originally reported by ABC News affiliate KOMO-TV in Seattle.

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