27 May
Talking Shoes Guest Blog for Third Time

I am back home and ready to do a guest blog for Maureen Haddock, as she recovers from her latest Viking travel experience.  For those of you who are new to this column, I am Ivory Pluggz, from the Spring 2013 collection, and this is my third contribution to From the Cookie Jar. You can read, These Shoes Speak Volumes 2013 and These Shoes Were Meant to Travel 2014, by clicking on the titles.

I am happy to report that Maureen has finally learned the importance of comfortable feet. She weighs her shoes, walks in her shoes, and makes notes about what to wear inside her shoes to achieve the highest level of comfort. She always tries to combine fashion and function and will never give up trying new socks, toe covers, and hosiery. I have often heard her say that there are thousands of nerve endings in one’s feet and each nerve leads somewhere. Happy feet make for a happy body. I might add that when you find a pair of shoes as fabulous as me, you should, also, take care of them.

As we all know, if your feet hurt, you develop facial lines and a bad attitude. This is sad at the best of times, but is even more tragic whilst on holidays. Maureen has never found comfort in a running shoe, so her search for alternative practical footwear has been ongoing. During this recent trip, Maureen’s feet were very happy. It took a group of us to provide such comfort.

In late April, we were off to Barcelona, where we boarded the Viking Star, which took us on an adventure to Bergen, Norway. For this trip, Maureen packed a pile of shoes, all pretested for walking comfort and weighed to confirm their lightness. Maureen keeps an eye on the weight of her suitcase. Although I had many shoe companions, it pleased me that I was given a special place during the trip. I was concealed in the bottom pocket of Maureen’s carry-on bag, along with several pairs of glasses.

Maureen wears boots when she flies. Her boots, for this trip, were summer weight, with perforated leather uppers and flexible soles, featuring 2 1/2 inch heels. They enabled her to run through airports, balance on those moving walkways, and step on and off escalators, with certainty. However, once on the plane, Maureen removed her fabulous Felmini boots, and I adorned her feet, for the duration of the longest part of the flight. I certainly looked better than those silly airplane slippers.

We arrived in Barcelona in their late afternoon, completely disoriented, having gone from Saskatoon, to Toronto, to Frankfurt, to Barcelona. I was tucked into the carry-on, again, and the boots enjoyed the forty-five minute drive to the Hotel 1898. As soon as Maureen entered the charming hotel suite, she took off the boots, put me on her feet, and headed to the rooftop lounge. Pure relaxation followed.

The other shoes didn’t see the light of day, until the next morning, when the Quilted Black Pluggz made an appearance for a tour of Barcelona. Oh the stories they shared with me upon their return to the hotel. They enjoyed an outdoor lunch at Tapas Tapas, a peek at a fabulous market, shopping in the Mall of Spain, and were disgusted by a filthy public bathroom. I am glad my soles were not touched by that experience! Just as Maureen’s husband, the boy from the Get a Bigger Wagon stories, was about to design a better bathroom business, they stumbled upon a clean toilet franchise. There really is very little, new, under the sun! Would you believe, customers entered a retail store full of special bathroom accessories, paid 6/10 of a Euro to use a sparkling clean washroom, and received valuable coupons to use in the Mall of Spain? It is a win-win idea, and its called 2theloo. The Quilted Black Pluggz wished they had found the franchise facilities before waiting in line, for half an hour, only to use washrooms, so filthy, that Maureen had to clean her way into the stall, using her limited supply of antibacterial wipes. BTW there was no TP! In spite of all that, Maureen’s feet were comfortable, all day. The Quilted Black Pluggz are a half-size larger than she normally wears, allowing her to wear smart wool footlets inside, for added comfort.

Having been all over Europe and Russia on Maureen’s feet, I was not extremely jealous that she chose to wear her CC Resorts shoes for several of the fun trips ashore from the Viking Star. Those stretchy, woven elastic wonders have a good arch, a slip-proof flexible sole, and I admit they have a wonderful personality. Staying in the closet, aboard the Viking Star, allowed me time to get to know the shoes on the lovely Cabin Steward’s feet. They were from Macedonia, as was he, and I could have listened to them talk all day. The accent was very cheeky. I know they liked me too.  

Maureen’s CC Resorts told the rest of us all about their outings to the beaches of Normandy, the WW II tunnels inside the Rock of Gibraltar, and, towards the end of the trip, their exciting time in Bergen, Norway. I am proud of myself for not being jealous.

The Bronze Pluggz spent a morning at Sendro A Campo Abierto, a Spanish farm where they breed and raise bulls. Oxen lead the bulls and keep them calm. Dogs are used to herd them. Horses, both fancy and working, are raised on the farm, too. The Bronze Pluggz told us they saw a re-enactment of a cattle drive. Bullfights aren’t as frequent as in the old days, so there are more theatrical presentations and competitions demonstrating the skills of the animals. Later the same day, the lucky Bronze Pluggz toured Tio Pepe, home of Fino Sherry, and Maureen and Gord enjoyed tapas and sherry tasting. The Bronze Pluggz had a good day, but they smelled of sherry and old wooden barrels for days after that experience. They are still raving about seeing kegs that had been signed by celebrities like Marilyn Monroe, Liz Tayor, and Winston Churchill. Sigh. I may have felt a tiny twinge of jealousy.

In Lisbon, Maureen wore her Milano wedge pumps. According to Maureen, they feel like walking on foam. They are flexible, light, and provide a little height. Maureen enjoyed her interaction with a gypsy lady who sold scarves. The lady pulled scarves from inside her waistband, from her bra, and even under her hat. This is, apparently, all done to elude the authorities. It was windy, and the scarves blew around the women in a swirl of excitement and camouflage.   

In the evenings, Maureen could choose from two pairs of pumps. Her Peter Kaiser kitten heels are so well designed that she could walk, confidently, in the ship’s halls even when it was a little rocky.  The gentle rocking was obvious, on occasion. Of course, her neutral coloured Calvin Klein slingbacks went well with almost any outfit. One night, in London, at the end of her trip, Maureen walked easily through Piccadilly Circus wearing the Peter Kaiser pumps. After seeing Jersey Boys, she enjoyed a late night dinner at an outdoor restaurant. Apparently, the Peter Kaisers make Maureen feel as if she is walking barefoot. That’s MY claim to fame, but as I mentioned, I am confident she likes me best.

One day in London, Maureen and a dear friend went to the Victoria and Albert Museum. Maureen wore the Quilted Black Pluggz. It was raining, so they took a cab. The V and A Museum was exhibiting the Alexander McQueen story, Savage Beauty. There was a short line for tickets and an hour’s wait until they could enter the exhibition. Once inside, they spent hours taking a journey through fashion madness and genius. It was a multi-sensory exhibition according to the Quilted Black Pluggz. I admit it; I became jealous. It should have been me at that exhibition. Next time, I will slip inside Maureen’s purse. 

It is getting late. I better sign off now and free up this computer for Maureen. Hopefully, you will hear from me, again, next year. I haven’t overheard the travel plans, yet, but I am sure I will be in attendance. Thank you, dear readers, for letting an old pair of shoes have a moment in the sun. 

 

Maureen’s Travel Packing Trivia:

One pair of Ivory Pluggs weighs 10 ½ ounces.

One pair of CC Resorts weighs 13 ¾ ounces.

One pair of Peter Kaiser pumps weighs 12 ½ ounces.

Maureen’s Felmini boots weigh 30 ounces, together, meaning each boot is almost a pound. That is still very light, as boots go. Gord’s jeans weigh a pound and a half, while Maureen has an eight-ounce dress.

 

Directory:

While there are many wonderful shoe stores in the world, this trip featured shoes from two stores in particular.

Traxx Footwear is a Saskatoon store, billed as the largest shoe store in Western Canada. They also have an online business. They carry Peter Kaiser, Felmini, Milano, Pluggz, and hundreds of other lines.   

Step Ahead Shoes in Saskatoon carries CC Resorts and other comfortable lines.

 

 

       

 

 

 

 

Comments (7)

  • Wilma Poole
    June 4, 2015 at 09:29 am

    I want to be those shoes and slip into your purse!!!!

  • Phyllis Kube
    June 3, 2015 at 04:25 pm

    You are a wonderfully entertaining writer. I wish I was your shoes tucked away in your suitcase. Can't wait for the next trip.

  • Marion Murawsky
    June 2, 2015 at 11:17 am

    Great story Maureen. Loved it.

  • Chang Li
    May 29, 2015 at 09:03 pm

    Happy feet make for a happy body. So true! Thats why foot massage business is so popular in China. It would be nice to see 2theloo in Vancouver, I think it will do very well in this city. Nice pictures! I am surprised shoes can type, I thought only gloves could. lol

  • Bev Gardner
    May 28, 2015 at 02:59 pm

    Great writing Maureen! Glad you had a wonderful vacation and that your shoes rambled down the Ramblas and rocked at Gibraltar! Good photos -- where is the sea serpent(if that's what it is?) Thx for the tour. Hope to see you both soon! Bev

  • ralph johnstone
    May 28, 2015 at 08:50 am

    Well done. Entertaining, descriptive, enjoyable and fun. I loved the clever biz name 2theloo. The pics were nice to see. Til next year...

  • Margaret Jones
    May 27, 2015 at 10:49 am

    Hi Maureen, Love "your" blog. I know when you are away as there are no "shares' during that time. Your vacation sounds wonderful, I'm glad you and Gord had a great time. Much love, Margaret

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