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.