Monday, January 31, 2011

I'm afraid of Americans

Oh wait. I am American.

ASICS Men's GEL-Strike 2 Running Shoe,White/Navy/Gold,11 D USYou'll immediately know us in other countries because we're the one in awkwardly large gym shoes, usually white and fluorescent colored, and we pair them with shorts (any color) and a t-shirt emblazoned with the name of the last place we've been.

At least that was my experience on my amazing cruise through the Gulf of Mexico and western Carribbean. In Belize, you can spot the American because he's the one with the Washington DC shirt. And then there's the lady wearing the brand new shirt she bought in Costa Maya. It's orange. How subtle.

Yes, people dress obnxious, but it was the "logical" and "comfortable" footwear that never failed to appall me. You'd think flip flops or sandals would be OK for the beach, but apparently Crocs are the new tropical footwear. And please don't forget your socks with any of the afore mentioned shoes.

Shrimp in boots
No, I didn't wear heels while hiking through the rain forest jungles of Honduras, in fact I didn't wear heels a lot due to the large amount of walking we did at ports. There's a shoe for every occasion and every function, (including that awful hiking heel) and I understand that you can't bring a million pair of shoes on vacation, but maybe we can pick one that's not edged in neon green, makes your feet look bigger than they really are, and inadvertently advertises your country of origin.

When traveling abroad be sure to bring footwear that's functional and not embarrassing. You are representing your country. And in South America even the crustaceans try to get in on fashionable footwear.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

I'm back

Sorry for the hiatus. I was on vacation. My first real vacation in years, and an amazing one at that.

Predictably I am now also eyeballs deep in work that has piled up while I was gone. If you miss me (and I know you all do), follow me on Facebook or Twitter, which I have been updating because they both take less time than a real blog post, which I promise to do soon. You know I can't go all the way to South America and back without having something shitty to say about people's footwear.

In the meantime, I leave you with my newest obsession. Camouflage heels. I don't have any and am pretty sure I need some. Pretty sure it was inspired by my hike through the rain forest jungles of Honduras.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Picking and packing

A few years ago I used to occasionally travel for business, and I'd be gone for a week or more at a time. Every day I was expected to wear a suit and look my best, then run my high-heeled butt off all over a hotel for 20 hours a day.

On one trip somewhere (I don't even remember where) I checked my bags and the baggage handler kindly informed me that one of my bags was 2 pounds over the over 50 pound limit. "Why don't you take a pair of shoes out of there and put it in your other bag?" he helpfully suggested.

"Because the other bag is all my shoes," I said, starting to stress.

He stifled a laugh, said "Never mind," and shuffled me through the line, allowing the additional two pounds.


Now I find myself again packing for a long trip (although this is an actual vacation) and I'm stressing again about shoes, outfits, and how many pounds my bag is going to weigh.

Do I bring a different shoe for each outfit, or pick a minimum number of shoes and then plan my outfits accordingly? Then I also need shoes to walk in, flip flops, shoes to work out in.... Oh, and did I mention that my husband and I are trying to fit everything in one bag?

Needless to say this has brought on some arguments over why I need red or purple shoes, and what's the point of bringing shoes that only go with one outfit. So I've hidden shoes among the clothes and toiletries, and I may get away with this.

That's assuming the baggage handler doesn't tell me the bag is too heavy and suggest I take out shoes.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Drunks and lucky charms

On New Year's Eve I wore out my new Christmas present. Black, red and white leather peep toe platforms with a horseshoe cutout and a wide wooden heel by T.U.K.

To make them extra special they have a little horseshoe charms on the inside of the heel. A tiny, dangly little charm that no one sees.

Unless of course you get drunk and try to show the charm to everyone who says they like your shoes. Which is everyone. Because they're amazing.

Lucky horseshoes on my lucky shoes
So New Year's I boycotted the sequins that everyone else would have on and actually dressed pretty normally in a pair of black pants, black vest and red button down, with all the focus on my shoes.

The advantage of the chunky heel was added stability. The horseshoe cutout was a little uncomfortable at first, but then the shoes were broken in, or I drank more. I honestly don't remember which it was.

Unfortunately all the stability in the world couldn't help me later in the night when I was standing outside in a small alcove of the building, trying to stay out of the wind while my hubby hailed a cab. Suddenly a door that generally remains locked and no one uses pushed open. I hollered and pushed back, which apparently prompted the drunken ass on the other side of the door to push even harder and send me flying down two steps and sprawling onto the sidewalk all heels and leopard fur coat.

I yelled the only thing I could think.

"If my shoes are scratched I'll friggin' kill you!"

A friend helped me up as I drunkenly tried to focus on my shoes and inspect for scratches and the jackass who can unlock doors but can't read was tossed out of the bar.

Luckily the shoes weren't scratched and all the tiny charms were in place. And while my ankle was a little twisted, it took me until the next morning to realize it. And overall, it was a pretty small price to pay for keeping my new shoes new.

Pretty lucky, huh?