Archive for August, 2009

More Traffic, More Fun

August 29, 2009

After driving through New York City with the RV, we decided to continue the “heavy traffic, narrow streets, and construction delay” theme by driving through downtown Philadelphia. As we approached the Benjamin Lovell store where we were scheduled to help with an event, the roads got smaller and smaller. One truck flipped his outside mirrors inward to give Allan a few more inches to get the RV down the street.

The staff at Benjamin Lovell were enthusiastic about their new promotion in connection with Soles4Souls. If customers bring in gently  used shoes, they’ll receive a $10.00 discount on a pair of Clarks’ shoes. What a great way to recycle shoes! We stood on the sidewalk and passed out reminder cards, encouraging people to bring in their shoes.s4s rv philly benjamin lovell street - Copysilvana philly benjamin lowell 2philly rv tight streets

Soles4Souls on Broadway

August 28, 2009

Well, we were close to Broadway when we held a Soles4Souls event at Madison Square Garden featuring country singers Kellie Pickler with Taylor Swift. Kellie Pickler’s affinity for shoes is well documented. Her 2006 debut single kicked a no-account-ex-boyfriend to the curb in “Red High Heels,” and her current, self titled album closes with “Going Out In Style,” which expresses her desire for her final resting place…having her ashes spread in shoe department of Saks Fifth Avenue.  But Pickler, whose modest upbringing allowed for little more than the basics, understands the realities of living without. Now she supports Soles4Souls in raising awareness of the need to donate gently used shoes to people in need.

 Since I’ve always wanted to be a secret agent, it was fun watching how security handled the situation with Kellie’s picture taking session. (Don’t quote me, but they didn’t handle it very well. They needed Secret Agent Silvana there.) Employees from Ladies Home Journal enthusiastically helped us also. Everyone enjoyed the few minutes when they could quickly snap pictures of Kellie as she donated shoes to Soles4Souls.

Kellie with staff of Ladies Home Journal

Kellie with staff of Ladies Home Journal

We visited Ron Kelly at Ladies Home Journal and thanked him for organizing a shoe drive.

We visited Ron Kelly at Ladies Home Journal and thanked him for organizing a shoe drive.

Krllie Pickler fans at Madison Square Garden

Kellie Pickler fans at Madison Square Garden

Soles4Souls RV Arrives in New York

August 27, 2009
Our New York parking spot

Our New York parking spot

Madison Square Gardens welcomes the Soles4Souls RV

Madison Square Gardens welcomes the Soles4Souls RV

I was excited to arrive at Madison Square Gardens with the 34 foot Soles4Souls RV. Then we saw the entire 10 truck entourage for Taylor Swift .Each truck is 53 feet. I think we’ll work on getting a couple of Soles4Souls vehicles traveling with us at all times also. If you are in New York, come by the concert tonight at Madison Square Gardens. We’ll be collecting shoes from 5-9pm. We’re off to get a new York bagel…in New York!

Thousands Join the Clark’s Anniversary Celebration

August 27, 2009

Today’s the day! Allan and I are celebrating 32 years of fun, frivolity and marriage. I guess we were meant for each other because we enjoy each other more every day. (Which is a good thing since we are together 24 hours a day on this Soles4Souls RV tour!) We decided to get married in Holland in 1976.  Come celebrate at the concert with us tonight at Madison Square Gardens as we collect gently used shoes from fans of Taylor Swift and Kellie Pickler. Can’t think of a better way to celebrate our anniversary than working together to give people the gift of shoes. Allan, here’s to 32 more years!

In the days of our youth in Holland when we decided to get married.

In the days of our youth in Holland when we decided to get married.

Easton Foot Solutions Is Over The Top!

August 26, 2009
People donated big boxes of shoes

People donated big boxes of shoes

Even a hurt arm didn't stop this man from donating shoes in a suitcase

Even a hurt arm didn't stop this man from donating shoes in a suitcase

This man donated his wife's shoes...with her permission!

This man donated his wife's shoes...with her permission!

Foot Solutions offering car service!

Foot Solutions offering car service!

We’ve just recovered from visiting the Foot Solutions store in Easton Pennsylvania. We barely walked in the door when the rush of shoes started pouring in. People came with bags, boxes and trunks full of gently used shoes. By the time we left, over 600 pairs of shoes were ready to be donated to people in need around the world. On top of all the “controlled chaos”, a woman came into the store looking for a pair of shoes for her 92-year-old mother in law. Since the elderly lady had trouble walking, a Foot Solutions staff simply carried shoes out to the parking lot  and fitted the woman while she sat in the car! The pictures tell the rest of the story.

We’re in Amish Country!

August 24, 2009

It’s no secret I’m fascinated with the Amish. I guess because I’m such a minimalist that their simple life appeals to me. Hey! I could even draw a Soles4Souls logo on one of those Amish dresses and wear that when we do Soles4Souls events. After all, we’ve already downsized from a 2,500 square foot house to a 34 foot motorhome. For the last four days, we’ve been in Lancaster County because of Soles4Souls events. That means we’re around the Amish in the Post Office, at the grocery store and on the streets. We camped at a campground where the back of our RV was right at the edge of the street. To my delight, we had Amish driving by our RV in their horse drawn carriages all night. I laid in bed and was so close I could have “high-fived” every Amish driver. (If the Amish are into high-fiving! )The only problem is we keep stopping at these Amish fruit stands and bakeries. Right now I have six ears of corn, bread, red potatoes, peaches and a Shoo-Fly pie sitting on the counter because of our encounters with the Amish.

Even Sammy Sole likes the Amish!

Even Sammy Sole likes the Amish!

One of our favorite views

One of our favorite views

Too Tired to Take Pictures

August 23, 2009

allan wisconsin bike readyingToday was one of the few days we haven’t had to move the RV to another location. We didn’t even get outside until 3:45. The long bike ride made up for it though. Since I was leading, naturally I got us lost on the back country roads. Allan patiently followed me saying, “You wanted to be the leader, so led us home”. I loved the long winding downhill road I found until I saw the sign “Summit Hill”. We were at the bottom. We needed to be on top. The hill was so steep Allan got a Charley Horse and my palms were so sweaty I couldn’t shift gears. We finally gave up and pushed our bikes up the hill. But then it was another glorious downhill run to our campground. I love my bike!
Join us this coming Thursday night at Madison Square Garden as Allan and I celebrate our anniversary of 32 years of wedded fun and bliss. Oh yes…there’s also a Kellie Pickler concert and Soles4Souls shoe collection that night also. Come support our shoe charity and we’ll give you a Soles4Souls keychain!

Try KOA Campgrounds for Family Fun

August 23, 2009

pirate koa paIn traveling across the US for Soles4Souls, we stay in a wide variety of campgrounds. Some state park campgrounds offer thousands of acres with secluded campsites. Other commercial campgrounds offer parking lot facilities where RV’s are crammed on tiny blacktop sites. Our visit to the Natural Bridge KOA Campground in Virginia was a delightful stay. I loved the Pirate theme so evident at the campground entrance. A little boy stood transfixed in front of a large inflatable pirate ship guarded by a mannequin dressed as a pirate. Pirate flags, along with other fierce looking inflatable pirates got Allan to start talking like a pirate. The gift shop even sold pirate eye patches. What thrilled me the most about this campground was the evening wagon ride. Kids got glow sticks and boarded a large wooden wagon pulled by a tractor. The campground was dark except for the glow of a few campfires and the kids waving their sticks. As the wagon pulled through the trees we heard the excited screams of kids as they were delightfully scared as the wagon went up and down hills in the dark. There’s still some great weather available this summer. Even if you don’t have a tent or RV, don’t let that stop you from checking out a KOA. You can rent a cabin and pretend you are the Ingalls family from Little House on the Prairie. Check out www.koa.com for a campground close to you.

New date for Sondra?

August 23, 2009

On our way to Lexington, Virginia, we stopped at the Virginia Military Institute. As you can see, Allan is on the Institute grounds, pretending to be marching in military precision. We did meet a clean-cut, cute cadet that I think would make a great date for Sondra. He left before I could get his phone number though.allan march military lexington

Sammy Sole is on the Move!

August 23, 2009
Sammy Sole with the Statue of Liberty that was in the Rose Parade

Sammy Sole with the Statue of Liberty that was in the Rose Parade

OK all of you Sammy Sole fans…here’s Sammy! We enjoyed the afternoon with a fascinating trip to Shenandoah Caverns, filled with unique bacon formations and thousands of stalactite and stalagmite formations.   The caverns have an up-close  feel as you walk within inches of the amazing rock formations. Admission fee also includes a visit to American Celebration on Parade. We loved this unique collection of props  and stage settings from famous presidential inaugurals and over 30 floats from the Rose and Thanksgiving Day Parade on display. Everyone has watched the Macy’s Parade on TV. Seeing the details on the floats close up puts the floats in a whole different perspective. One float allows visitors to crawl into the cramped driver’s compartment. Allan’s decided to get  a job as a float driver after the RV tour is over!

Sammy Sole driving an antique fire engine

Sammy Sole driving an antique fire engine

Sammy Sole enjoying Shenandoah Caverns

Sammy Sole enjoying Shenandoah Caverns