Friday, October 2, 2009

Safari Bob in Paris

"Comfort has its place, but it seems rude to visit another country dressed as if you've come to mow its lawns."- - Me Talk Pretty One Day, David Sedaris, 2000

The birth of Safari Bob occurred months before our actual trip. Initially, Bob grumbled a bit about going merely because he felt that a week wasn't long enough - so why go with only a week? Eventually, he came around and got excited. Actually, the most excited I have seen him about something other than cars, shoes or watches, in a long time....maybe ever. Marc and Michelle were even concerned that Paris would not live up to his expectations. Bob read up so much on Paris, that when Michelle and I were working on a Paris puzzle at Snowbird he knew what was missing or in the wrong place on the puzzle.

As his excitement began so did his quest for his "Paris Wardrobe." Now many of you may think that a "Paris Wardrobe" would be the height of fashion and take place at Nordstrom or the like...You would be wrong. Bob's "Paris Wardrobe" search included REI, Kirkhams and Sierra Trading Post catalogs. I began to wonder if Bob thought of Paris as one giant mountain topped with the Eiffel Tower.

One day a very large box arrived from Sierra Trading Post. Inside were approximately 10 - 12 pairs of shoes. Bob requested my presence so he could show me all of his potential Paris shoes. Some were regular men's casual loafer type shoes, but the majority were hiking boots. "You do realize that we are going to a city, right?" I asked. "I don't believe we will be on any hiking trails....." He looked at me blankly. I stopped talking. Eventually the perfect shoe was discovered...he was so excited that when my parents came by he had to show them, too.

(Safari Bob's shoes - apparently deserving a spot on Marc and Michelle's dining room table. Sorry Michelle!)

These shoes, dark wash jeans, 3 red shirts, 2 navy blue shirts, and the world's largest fanny pack made up the Safari Bob "Paris Wardrobe." He apparently was not a tourist but a man on Safari across the wild city of Paris. And trekking he was. We quickly discovered that Bob and I have very different touring styles. He likes to wake up at the crack of dawn and check off as many sites as he possibly can in one day. I like to wander the city, watch the people, leisurely explore the museums and see where the day takes me. I am pretty sure Bob walked about 200 miles while trekking across Paris.

Safari Bob always had his trusty fanny pack, (yes, I will be making a song like Dora has for her backpack....I will let you know when I am done.) 2 water bottles, maps (Dora had the right idea with this one, too) and who knows what other treasures. The strap is detachable - so when needed you can go in full fanny pack mode, although I don't know when there would be a need for this.

Unfortunately, no shoe, no matter how great, could live up to Safari Bob's unending need to explore. Eventually, his shoes gave out and his legs could take no least for 10 minutes. I am pretty sure I could come up with some sort of children's series about the adventures of Safari Bob. "Safari Bob...Protecting sleepy children from annoying picture taking mothers...coming soon!"

With all of his shopping I decided I needed some cute Paris shoes, too. Marc has said that you can always tell who the tourists are just by looking at their feet. I new I couldn't go just on looks, I needed something comfy, as well.

These cute shoes from J41 fit the bill - extremely comfortable, cute green and a spot for the toes to peek out from. Unfortunately - not so great with gravel. I only had to cave to the cross trainers once or twice....but there was no question that I was a tourist. The french women walk all over Paris - gravel, cobblestone - in shoes like this:

I am not kidding. I have decided that all french women must be numb from the ankles down. Even Safari Bob couldn't cope with those. (Maybe french women will be his nemesis in my children's series...)


michelle said...

Safari Bob was good comedy fodder for sure! I love that quote from David Sedaris. And yours about Paris being a big mountain with the Eiffel Tower on top.

Your shoes are so cute! I wish I had a pair of those myself. Who knows, though, I would probably get blisters anyway, just my luck.

I think French women are numb from the ankles down, too! How do they do it?

I wish I knew how to take care of the banner border. It does that on my mom's blog, too. Did you say to use the photo instead of or over the other stuff?

Jill said...

Hmmm, I'm confused by Bob's Safari look for Paris. I guess he was going for function and duration (which I support really) but I'm amused and amazed that he actually wore a fanny pack! They are ridiculously practical, but I couldn't wear it in good conscience.

I am so hosed for Paris footwear. I suffered serious blisters last time even though I bought expensive shoes. I am going to end up wearing totally touristy and practical shoes because style gets me nowhere! I have no idea how Parisian women wear heels!!

Tara and Dan said...

With that fanny pack he could be a super hero... maybe Inspector Gadget or MacGyver...

I've enjoyed catching up on your blog. My life is always about 2 months behind... but I get there eventually!

ohiolanges said...

Thanks Michelle- I was hoping to see Safari Bob in action. I loved reading about your trip and the pictures. Surely there is more to come. . . ?