Saturday, March 19, 2011

A Hollywood Tale: Hollywood Walk of Fame

As she closed this glitz and glamour chapter of her tour, the red shoes briefly considered if she should stay and seek out her fame and fortune or if she should continue her international travels. Heady from contemplating the lives of these famous stars, she pondered the proverb, "One who walks in another's tracks leaves no footprints." She was clear. She was an independent pair of shoes. She was brought into this world to make her own path and leave her own unique footprint. She was, after all, traveling shoes!

She made one last stop along the Hollywood Walk of Fame—a fifteen-block tribute to the entertainment industry. The ruby slippers stopped on the star of Judy Garland who sang, danced, and acted in many films, including the Wizard of Oz. She found her heels clicking together as she heard herself uttering, “There’s no place like home…there’s no place like home…” She knew that deeply in her heart and soles.

But for now, she had places to go, people to see, and her life to live. After all, they call her the International Traveling Shoes!

A Hollywood Tale: Graumann's Chinese Theater

As the sun sets in the west, the scarlet boots keeps on walking—yes, because that is what they were made to do. A quick stop at the Graumann’s Chinese Theater allowed for some opportunities to step in the prints of showbiz greats. The Chinese opened in 1927 by Sid Grauman and Cecil B. DeMille was the first to premiere a film there.

Aside from finding Gloria Swanson’s foot and hand prints, el zapato rojo imagined legends Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers whose elegant dance routines revolutionized the Hollywood musical;

Jane Russell and Marilyn Monroe, who played showgirls and best friends in the musical Gentleman Prefer Blondes; and how the California granola theory might be the absolute truth when she sidled up to none other than the former Governator, Arnold Schwarzenegger.

A Hollywood Tale: Hollywood and Vine

The rouge es chaussures rambled past the renowned intersection of Hollywood and Vine, which gained its fame because it included a large concentration of production facilities—the heartbeat of the entertainment machine. Now it is a lively corner with restaurants, clubs, and shops and is teeming with tourists and locals alike.

A Hollywood Tale: The Capitol Building

From her curvaceous vamp through her lucid mesh upper, the blushing kicks noted an unusual building resembling a stack of records on a turntable (nope, this ain’t your kids’ iPod!). The home of Capitol Records, this thirteen-story 1956 building has a blinking light that spells out “Hollywood” in Morse code. Capitol Records has hosted scores of famous recording artists over the decades including the original co-owner, Johnny Mercer, as well as Les Paul, Peggy Lee, Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, Miles Davis, Judy Garland, The Beatles, The Beach Boys, Pink Floyd, Bonnie Raitt, Snoop Dogg, and Keith Urban.

A Hollywood Tale: The Alto Nido

Continuing, the shoes passed Chateau Alto Nido, a 1920s apartment building that was among the movie locations for the 1950s classic film noir, Sunset Boulevard. In the movie, these were the simple digs of Joe Gillis, the character played by William Holden. Gloria Swanson, who played fading star Norma Desmond, also starred in this film where she uttered her most famous line, "All right, Mr. DeMille, I'm ready for my close-up." The Alto Nido was also where The Black Dahlia Elizabeth Short lived before her brutal murder. The dark underbelly exposed!

A Hollywood Tale: The Hollywood Sign

As the red shoes headed out of the Hollywood Hills, she stopped to pose in front of the landmark Hollywood sign. Originally the sign on Mt. Lee said HOLLYWOODLAND and was erected for $21,000 in 1923 to boast the new upscale real estate development of Los Angeles Times publisher, Harry Chandler. By the early 1940s the sign was a landmark but in disrepair and owned by the City of Los Angeles. Over the decades, the billboard, much like Hollywood itself, had its ups and downs—including a ceremony in 1973 when the sign was given official landmark status. A thick blanket of fog ruined the ceremony hosted by silent film star Gloria Swanson. Two faded icons possibly staring their demise dead in the eyes.

A Hollywood Tale

It was another perfect Southern California day--the kind that much of the world envies as they await the snowmelt and a thawing of the ground, while longing for signs of spring. It was early March and the diffused sun cast long afternoon shadows. The air was hovering just under 80 degrees when the mail truck arrived just as it had on any other day.

But the delivery of an ordinary box on this ordinary day would prove to yield extraordinary contents. The parcel contained a pair of red stiletto shoes. They were shiny and fresh but with those zippers, they had a hint of naughty. They were glamorous. They were starlet-material. Anyone who gazed upon her tall, slim heel knew she had that “special something.” And she had just arrived in Hollywood, California USA. Tinseltown—the place where dreams are made. Or the kind of place that if a young pair of nice lookin’ shoes wasn’t careful, a strap could break or worse yet, a heel could be broken.

Might this stop on the international sojourn lead to stardom, money, fame, and thousands of adoring fans? Or might sudden fame lead the paparazzi and celebrity bloggers to hunt these crimson girls down a path of heartache and destruction?

It was time to hit the town and see what it had to offer. Maybe even paint it red.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

The Traveling Red Shoes go to Hollywood in Search of Fame & Fortune!

Coming soon: See what happens when the famous footwear hit the pavement on Hollywood Blvd. When the Red Shoes arrived in Southern California they, like so many others, were struck by the notion of finding their fame and fortune in Hollywood. But how to get discovered? Start with a Google search.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Since Jules and I were not wearing the shoes now, they were excited about the prospect of walking down a brick and cobble street to visit St. George Street. We could see their little stilettos shiver, giddy with gladness that they were being carried and not walking down the ancient city street! St. George Street recreates colonial Spanish St. Augustine, with buildings that house shops, restaurants, and tourist attractions.
While the weather was so nice the shoes were amused to see so many varieties of open-toed shoes, many with extraordinary heels, just like their own!

There are a lot of ways to tour St. Augustine, and we let the red stilettos meet the 2 most popular modes of transportation; horse and buggy and the Sightseeing Train. The stilettos wanted to take a quick look at the horses shoes, but decided against traveling by wagon. They felt right at ease sitting on the wheel well of the train, as passengers ohhhhh'd and ahhhhhh'd over the train's special passenger. These transportations takes passengers all over the nation's oldest city, sharing the city's story with everyone. Taylor and I chose to escort the shoes around town by foot so that we would leave no stone unturned.
Julia and I enjoyed showing the shoes the ropes ... the nautical ropes, of St. Augustine! We walked along the Matanzas, watching the sailboats and jetskis, rowboats and cruisers enjoying this inlet. The shoes asked to walk to the top of the lighthouse that you can see in the background, but we decided to save its heels and not walk the 219 steps to the top! The Bridge of Lions crossing the Matanzas is an old fashioned draw bridge that was built long ago, in the days when Henry Flagler was helping St. Augustine become a classy little tourist town.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

The shoes enjoyed their first stop at the Castillo de San Marcos, or the Old Fort, as Taylor and I like to call it. On the shoes' VIP tour we special-ordered our Florida sunshine on this 80° afternoon.

As we told the shoes about St. Augustine's history, they were interested in what it must have been like in 1565 when the city was established. We saw the coquina the Spanish used to build the fort, and told the shoes about how confused the British soldiers were when they thought the fort was absorbing their canon balls like a sponge. But of course we explained that it was just an optical illusion!

The red stilettos may have to make a return visit Mrs. McGuire, because every Saturday the Spanish soldiers fire the cannons, and from the top of the Castillo de San Marcos you can often see dolphins playing in the Matanzas River!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Hello from Florida! We are Julia and Taylor Casey, the newest International Traveling Shoe spokespersons. We are in 3rd grade and have been a part of Mrs. Carol Anne McGuire's Rock Our World project.

When Mrs. Hobbs heard that the world famous red shoes would be making a stop in north Florida, she immediately booked our services as tour guides in St. Augustine, Florida. So, ladies and gentlemen, hold on to your heels while the stilettos get the VIP tour of our nation's oldest city.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Sealed with a Kiss from Kentucky

Once we sealed the box, laughing at the shoes wanting to pop out of the box and stay in Kentucky, we took one last picture...

The box was addressed to Larry Anderson with the destination of Tupelo, Mississippi and home of Elvis Presley.

The International Traveling Shoes were off to experience another adventure!

Leaving for Mississippi

It had been a fun time with the International Traveling Shoes! We visited many people, had great fun, and decided that Kentucky is a pretty cool place to visit!

The shoes and I went shopping with the purpose to find trinkets and souvenirs that represented Kentucky and would find their way back to Carol Anne to enjoy with her family!

We decided not to share what these items are...but as the shoes travel across the continents, the box may need to be larger in size! Our postmaster was not too pleased as she and I struggled with the tape to keep the box sealed!

Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs

We hoped the weather would be nice so we could take a trip to Louisville, Kentucky to visit Churchill Downs, home of the Kentucky Derby, but it was way to cold to walk around on the cobblestones and no horses in the stalls.

The shoes found a beautiful quilt that depicted the steeples of Churchill Downs, the jockey colors, and a racing scene - it was just perfect!

Next time, we promised we'd go to Louisville not only for the Kentucky Derby, but also to the Louisville Slugger Museum! The shoes said they were a big fan of baseball and would love to take home a wooden bat engraved with Carol Anne's name on it!

A Bed Turning in Scott County, Kentucky

The shoes enjoyed a visit to the Arts Consortium where they met Barbara Stripplehoff, the Arts Coordinator. Barbara was tickled to learn of the International Traveling Shoes and welcomed a picture with the shoes and the artsy quilts behind her.

The shoes were amazed at the intricacies of the quilted patterns, but were more curious about the white gloves in Barbara's hands!

Barbara explained that she was wearing the gloves for the "Bed Turning" - this is where many quilts are placed on top of a bed with the purpose of introducing quilters and non-quilters to the beauty of antique and unique quilts in an interesting and different way - through stories told by the quilter. Stories might include that the blue material used in the quilt was originally from a dress of a grandmother, or the pattern was symbolic of a meaningful time filled with blessings and grace.

Kentucky Quilting in Scott County

After the day of excitement on the Bourbon Trail and jail, the shoes welcomed a visit to the Elkhorn Quilters.

The shoes strolled and visited with many of the ladies showing the many quilts they had hand-stitched, with each quilt telling a story.

It wasn't a coincidence that the shoes felt comfortable sitting atop a "Log Cabin" style quilt pattern, being drawn to the small red block in the center of the quilt. It was symbolic of the heart of the cabin, the red of the hearth, with the rectangular pieces representing the strong beams of the log home - safety and security! Were the shoes becoming homesick for Carol Anne and California?

The Shoes Go to Jail!

I should've seen it coming..., the shoes were a bit tipsy after a few stops on the Bourbon Trail, and before we could stop them, they had sipped a few too times and ended up behind bars!

The bars were part of the Old Jail - the same jail that the outlaw Jesse James spent one night after robbing a bank!

The shoes were petrified and desolate to be left behind bars, so we did what any good friend would do and sprung 'em!

They promised to stick to sweet tea and stay away from the Bourbon!

The Birthplace of Bourbon!

It was several days later when the shoes were ready to venture out after the roads were cleared of snow and the schools reopened after the 2" snowfall!

The air was clean and crisp when we headed to Royal Spring, the main source of water for Georgetown, Kentucky since the earliest settlement as McClelland's Station in 1775.

The shoes learned that the Royal Spring was not only the main source of water, but it was the location and birthplace of Bourbon!

The shoes were so excited about being in the actual birthplace of Bourbon, that when kicking up their heels, one red shoe flew off and almost landed in the spring! Oh my!

Visiting Ward Hall - Scott County, Kentucky

Inviting my friend and colleague, Artie, to join me on this beautiful day as guides to the International Traveling Shoes, we hopped into the car to visit Ward Hall, the summer home of Richard Mentor Johnson, the 9th Vice-President of America.

Unfortunately, as we trudged up the long driveway, we realized Ward Hall would be closed until April 2, when it re-opened for guests and tours.

Returning back to the car, the shoes decided that since we couldn't take a picture walking up the famous elliptical staircase in this beautiful old mansion, they would settle for a picture with the historical marker.

Artie and I struggled to place the shoes atop the marker in full view of cars honking as we snapped the picture! (And as with any flashy pair of shoes, they gleamed even brighter red with the attention of passing cars honking!)

International Traveling Shoes go Motoring in Kentucky!

The next day, the shoes and I hoped into the car and went motoring! Being red, they couldn't resist but to show themselves off against the black shiny hood. It's a fancy red shoe thang... vrooom!

Scott County Kentucky History Tidbits

The shoes were so impressed by the history of Scott County, learning that Richard Mentor Johnson, the 9th Vice-President of America lived right down the road a mile or two, that I promised to take them for a ride later that week to visit his famous home, Ward Hall, Kentucky's Grandest Greek Revival Mansion.

We talked about the Toyota Plant built in Scott County, Kentucky in 1988. The vehicles produced here include the Camry, Camry Hybrid, Avalon, and Venza. The shoes were very interested in taking the Toyota Tour, but felt a bit overdressed!

As we sat and chatted, I shared the story of the "Tent Girl" one of the most baffling cases in Kentucky's criminal history and only recently solved. We seriously considered visiting Michael Blowen's Old Friends Equine - A retirement home for thoroughbred race horses, yet decided against it considering the stilettos would sink into the damp cold ground. However, when describing the beauty of Elkhorn Creek, a meandering waterway, one-mile short of being a river, the shoes were ready to go sight-seeing!

Kentucky Music

The red shoes were introduced to Kentucky Bluegrass Music!

The shoes sat sweetly on the couch watching as I took out my fiddle, tuned it up, rosined up my bow, and started playing. Had I personally been wearing the shoes, I'm sure they would've been toe-tapping to the music. Perhaps, they might have high-tailed it out of the house had I not switched to more classical music!

I'm sure they were ready to move on to their next experience!

The Red Shoes Arrive in Kentucky!

Bubba, my mailman, was almost as excited as I was when he placed the white box into my hands. With his crooked smile and southern drawl he exclaimed, "Jeanne, you got them fancy red travelin' shoes you been waitin' on!"

It didn't take long once I returned back to the house to carefully unpack the box. My son Jesse was standing next me curious about the International Traveling Shoes and its story. He watched as I carefully unpacked the box.

Inside the box was a post-it note from Carol Anne with her California address in case the shoes were "lost". Annette, who'd last had the shoes in Wisconsin, placed into the box a little stuffed cow that laughed when I pressed its belly - causing a major ruckus with our dog Beau who wanted to eat it! Also in the box was a flash drive that contained pictures from Annette, and...the famous red shoes, wrapped in a soft leopard material. When I took the shoes out of the box, both Jesse and I noticed they had zippers up the front and on the back heel - they were indeed beautiful shoes! Where would they have the most fun?

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Tupelo Welcomes RRS (Really Red Shoes)!

Well, the entire city of Tupelo, Mississippi held an enormous celebration this afternoon when the famous super-red stilettos arrived at Larry Anderson's house!  The U.S. Postal Service spokesperson proclaimed that never in the history of the USPS had there ever been such an anticipated parcel to pass through their quarters.

The lottery is in full swing to see who will actually attempt to don these fancy footwear items.  Long lines have been forming, people have been camping out on the streets for days, and the tourism bureau has had to hire extra workers to handle the flood of people coming into Tupelo just for the revelation of who will get to wear the shoes.  Word on the street has it that the mayor, in his most important official capacity, will be drawing the name of the winning lottery ticket during a public meeting...and countless press outlets are preparing for a flood of news.

Due to the immense popularity of this event, however, all television and cable coverage has been blacked out.  Therefore, people who receive their news via will be the only ones who learn the details of what occurs on this austere occasion.

Since Tupelo is the birthplace of Elvis, representatives of the Elvis Presley Enterprises™ have begged for a chance to see the shoes, because people from all over the world travel to Tupelo just to see those beloved blue suede shoes.  The Elvis representatives promised a full police escort, complete with the motorcycle squad, if the shoes could be taken to the Elvis birthplace shrine for just a quick snapshot.  Financial arrangement negotiations are continuing, but unnamed sources report that Dr. Anderson refuses to reveal how much money he is seeking from the Elvis Presley Enterprises™ just for the privilege of touching these crimson jewels from California.

Details continue to unfold, so stay tuned for further updates.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Stopping in Wisconsin!

Annette getting ready to try the shoes on in Wisconsin! She actually did it! She wore them in the snow! Brrr... it's making me chilly just thinking about that!
Now off to Jeanne!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

International Traveling Shoes Begin Their Journey

The fancy red stiletto boots have traveled the first "leg" of their international journey!

From California to Wisconsin! The red boots were Carol Anne's favorites, until she tore a ligament in her foot... from wearing them! Now they are in a box, heading from Sunny SoCal to the snowy trails of Wisconsin! Where will they end up next? What adventures will they have?