Shoes Glorious Shoes!

Buying shoes is a personal hobby of mine.  To say I love shoes would be an understatement; I absolutely adore shoes and although I am sure there are other less materialistic things that give me great pleasure, I can’t think of them right now.  Actually, the whole footwear spectrum makes my heart sing.  I am not sure when the whole infatuation-with-footwear thing began, but it has taken me down a road that even Imelda Marcos didn’t travel.  Well, that might be a bit of an exaggeration, but I have purchased a lot of footwear over the last few years and I am sure that habit will continue, as much as my retirement cheques will allow anyway.

I love going into a shoe store at the beginning of each season to see what is on display.  I mark those seasonal changes by purchasing footwear that matches the weather: summer is a time for strappy sandals, slip-on sandals, and open-toe pumps, fall means pulling out the flats and the pumps of many colors that can coordinate with whatever outfit I am wearing, winter means pulling out the boots – snow boots, boots for slush, low boots, high boots – you name it, I probably own them in a cornucopia of colors, materials and heel heights.   Thank goodness we get a great variation in winter weather so that I can purchase all the different kinds of specialty footwear required.

Now Loverboy has a real difficulty with the amount of shoes and boots I own.  He can’t understand why I need more than one or two pairs of shoes.  He usually buys two pairs of shoes at a time and then promptly forgetting that he bought two pairs,  wears one pair exclusively until it is worn out.  Despairing that he might have to go shoe shopping, he rifles around the closet, roughly throwing my precious shoes aside by the way, until he finds the other pair he purchased but never wore.  He dusts them off, tries them on to make sure they are comfortable and then gleefully goes back to the Sports Network.  Crisis averted; he does not have to go shopping for a few more years!  If there is something Loverboy hates worse than the large number of shoes that I own, it is going shopping for anything that can’t be purchased at Shoppers Drug Mart or McDonalds!

The only real problem I have with my shoes is how to store them properly.  If I were wealthy and could afford it, I would have a  room dedicated to my shoes.  I  have seen pictures of “shoe closets” in magazines (some are bigger than my own bedroom!) and I will admit I have drooled and fantasized about giving my shoes a fantastic room of their own.  I know they would really appreciate it, too.  Unfortunately, living in house that is almost one hundred years old means that I have many other “useful” things that I have to spend my money on like new sewer pipes, extra insulation, an upgraded electrical system, and the list goes on and on and on.  So a shoe closet, although a very practical idea in my mind, will have to wait until the I win the lotto.  I am keeping my fingers crossed on that one because I just won one hundred and forty four dollars on a Rotary ticket I bought.  If that is not a harbinger of an impending lotto win, I don’t know what is.  Come on Atlantic Lotto, my shoes are depending on you!

I love shoe shopping so much that I have even directed those who know and love me that upon my death they are to bury me at DSW (Designer Shoe Warehouse for those not up on the footwear acronyms).  Where else can you find every style and color of shoes, boots, sandals, and sneakers under one roof … well, besides my house, that is?  DSW is really a shoe lover’s fantasy and I am a shoe lover so I think this is the perfect place.  I am not sure about the legalities of this idea so I will leave it to those I leave behind to ensure my wishes are honoured.  In the meantime, I will continue to buy the shoes because, after all, I am still alive and kicking!


We Are the Champions (Sort Of) Part IV (The Finale)

After a great night’s sleep, we were all able to rise fairly early to begin our last day in Montreal.  On the agenda was some shopping, some dining and a visit to the Just for Laughs Festival.  Fortified with Advil to counteract the chocolate martinis and wine from the night before, we  had breakfast and set out to tour the shops as we were sure there were sales to be had.

There is something about sales that makes me loose my mind. First of all, I can never find anything that fits – the size I need just never seems to be available and so I try on outfit after outfit with no success in saving money.  It is so frustrating as I want to save money!  I did end up buying a pair of casual black ankle pants but they cost me $75 so I not sure that counts as saving money!  The other ladies had more success with saving money than I did, so all was good.

We had lunch at a restaurant with an outdoor patio on St. Catherine’s Street which is always pleasant, except when bird poop is involved.  Poor Mon Shin was sitting there, minding her own business when she felt a wet plop on her arm.  Thinking it was starting to rain, she looked down expecting to see a water drop and discovered that instead, she had been the victim of an errant bird dropping.  Not fun, however Mon Shin is very chill and just casually shook it off her arm.  Later Peppermint Patty, who had ordered a salad, discovered something very similar in her salad – well as least she thought it was that though the waitress assured her it was just an old piece of lettuce.  She was gracious enough to exchange the salad though, just to be on the safe side.

That evening we headed down to the Places des Arts to take in some of the craziness of the Just for Laughs Festival.  As we were entering the site, we met up with the same man we had walked with the night before from the Queen concert.  What are the chances of that in a city of 1.7 million people?  After a brief reunion, we were on our way.  The site was very crowded and there were acts going on everywhere.  We stopped to watch a Disney-like parade of transvestites dressed up as Disney princesses.  It was interesting and I can assure you that I will not look at a Disney princess in the same way again.  After the parade passed by we did witness a rather disturbing encounter between two men. One man had his pants pulled down to his knees and he was arguing with the other man.  We watched horrified and looked around for security but there didn’t seem to be anyone around.  The two men stopped arguing, the pants were pulled up and they went their separate ways.  It was  very disturbing!  We saw the same two men later, doing the exact same thing and realized it was one of the acts that were happening on the site.  I guess good comedy is subjective!  After we had all the laughs we could take, we headed back to our hotel to pack up and get a good night’s sleep in preparation for our next stop, Quebec City.

The drive to Quebec City was pretty uneventful.  With the two GPS’ guiding us, we were able to avoid getting lost and made it to our hotel by early afternoon.  We headed out to tour around the Old City, popping in and out of shops, discovering more ways to save money along the way.  We noticed dark clouds forming in the sky so decided it would be wise to pick up a rain poncho, just in case.  For 2.99, we were able to buy some very sexy ponchos – you know, the ones that look like a giant garbage bag with a hood.  Now Peppermint Patty, ever the practical one, determined that a little rain wasn’t going to hurt her so she decided to forego spending the 2.99. We continued on our way and ended up sitting in some bleachers watching a busker perform some dangerous feats, juggling what looked like very sharp sabers while riding a unicycle.  He was pretty entertaining.  Of course, during the show, the skies opened, but with our sexy rain ponchos, we were able to stay and watch the show.  Peppermint Patty did get a little wet but it didn’t hurt her so all was good.

We took the Funiculaire down to the lower part of Old Quebec and continued touring around.  We discovered a little shop that sold cider and other goodies and so entered to take a look around.  At the same time, a group of young teachers from British Columbia also popped in and they asked the girls working there if they allowed taste tests.  We joined in and tasted the many different types of cider that they offered and to show our appreciation for those free tastes, we even each bought a bottle of our favourite cider.  No money saved there, but I am sure the cider will be a hit at some dinner party in the future.

Our final stop in Old Quebec as at Il Teatro, a lovely restaurant just outside the gates. Mon Shin and I arrived first and asked about seating for five.  The hostess told us it would be a 15-20 minute wait as the two tables set for five were taken.  Well, fifty minutes later we were still waiting for a seat and things went downhill from there.  I won’t go into the details because I already wrote about the experience on Trip Advisor so you can read my review there but we ended up being welcomed at another restaurant, Pizza D’Youville, where we had a delicious dinner.  All’s well that ends well!

We checked into our hotel later that evening and after a good night’s sleep began the long trek home.  I have mentioned that we were using two GPS systems to keep us on track but unfortunately, we got distracted by the Backyard Barbecue Chips, licorice and M and M’s and missed a turn off somewhere.   We only realized it when the four lane highway suddenly merged into two lane highway and the GPS (which we had silenced) was frantically telling us to make a U-turn.  It all ended well and after a lovely though smelly drive through the country, we made it back to the four lane highway and the road home.  The We Are the Champions (Sort Of) Tour was coming to an end and we had made some great memories that will not be forgotten because I wrote them down!  And we are really excited because ABBA is coming to Montreal next year so we can see a Dancing Queens Tour in our future.  Stay tuned!