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Posts Tagged ‘Santa Barbara’

A special Tale of the Sole: When really rotten things happen to really good people, Ped to the rescue!

Friday, July 17th, 2009

As many of you know, in 2006 Ped relocated its headquarters from Seattle, Wa. to sunny Santa Barbara, Ca. We only stayed in SB two years, but while there we met some amazing people with whom we’ll be friends for life. Howard Schiffer and his family are among our favorites! Howard is the founder and president of Vitamin Angels, a nonprofit organization that strives to ensure young children around the world receive proper nutrition in order to grow and thrive.

So, it broke our hearts to learn the Schiffers’ home of 15 years burned to the ground on May 5 in the fires that devastated Santa Barbara.

A fireman sifts through the ashes of the Schiffers' incinerated house.

A fireman surveys what remains of the Schiffers' incinerated house.

What a horrible thing to happen to anyone, but especially to Howard, whose heart is so big and kind! Perhaps Ped could do at least a little something to make the situation better. Here is Howard’s tale:

On Saturday, May 9th, four days after the fire, I was in Macy’s to get a couple of shirts for work. I remember passing the belt display and looking down at my pants. It dawned on me that I had only one belt. I started laughing because I suddenly realized that I had four polo shirts, one handkerchief, two pairs of jeans, four pairs of socks, four pairs of underwear, one pair of sneakers, and one pair of flip flops to my name.

I was just coming to terms with all that we had lost. Even so, the contrast with the refugees I had been with in Kenya only eight days before as part of my work with Vitamin Angels was still daunting. As I explained to the LA Times the day after the fire, there was no comparison between our situations. The refugees had been driven from their homes in January 2008 during tribal conflicts and were still living in 8′ x 12′ tarp-tents in a refugee camp, with little food or security, and foul, overflowing pits as communal bathrooms. They watch as their neighbors and friends succumb to malaria, AIDS and TB every week.

Our family may be homeless, too, but we have an incredible community of friends and family here to support us. It is a great reminder of all we have to be thankful for and gives us a renewed commitment to the important work Vitamin Angels does.

When Ped contacted us with an offer of free shoes, it was a dream come true. Not only would I instantly double the size of my shoe collection (literally) but I would get to wear the coolest shoes in the world as we begin to rebuild our lives. They are so beautiful. I have never had green shoes before. Thank you so much, Ped!

Howard Schiffer looking handsome in his new Cydwoqs! (We love the green, too, Howard!)

Although we couldn’t undo the fire, at least we were able to give our benevolent friend some stylish and reliable shoes to wear as he goes about the world doing good! Walk on, Howard!

To learn more about Vitamin Angels’ important work, visit http://www.vitaminangels.org/.

Update 06/01/10: Here’s a great photo of Howard rocking his Cydwoqs in Hemispheres magazine.

May’s Winning Tale of the Sole: The Sad Case of the Mislaid Sandals

Saturday, May 30th, 2009

Laura in Santa Barbara, CA, wrote us this month with her “Tale of the Sole,” but, as she notes, “It’s a sad one, I’m sorry to say.” Here’s her tragic story:

Remember those Argila Alana’s that I got, oh, only a few weeks ago?

Well, silly me, I brought them to New York City on my last trip. But I also brought bronchitis. On the day we decamped from the On the Ave Hotel where we were billeted, I was feeling particularly low. And it was early, so I was jet-lagged. In any event, I remember wrapping the precious things up and THOUGHT they made it into our larger suitcase. But, alas, they did not.

When I discovered this, I immediately called the hotel, but several days had passed, and naturally, they were never turned in. 

So some chambermaid is sashaying around NYC in my stunning sandals.

Honestly, this is the only thing that made me cry in the last month, when Santa Barbara nearly burned to the ground, we got a flat tire while evacuating, and Tai got a foxtail up his nose. It was the SHOES that pushed me over the edge!

But it ends happily because I just ordered those darling Chie Mihara Frederica’s! Not that I can afford them, but I just don’t care—my wound needs to be salved.

We’re sure those Frederica’s have Laura back on the upswing. And we hope winning a $100 Ped Gift Certificate for sending the best Tale of the Sole in May will also make her feel a smidge better about losing her lovely Argila sandals.

Do you have a Tale of the Sole? Tell us—and show us (we LOVE pictures!!!)—what happened to you while wearing a Ped item, and you, too, might be the recipient of $100 in Ped credit. Each month we pick the most sole-ful tale to share on the blog. Here’s hoping June’s story is less of a tear-jerker. So, let us know what in the world you’ve been doing in your Ped!

Turning 40 was never so much fun!

Friday, October 20th, 2006

It’s not like I was dreading the occasion, but last weekend my S.O. really made turning the big FOUR-OH into an extravaganza of FUN!!! He completely surprised me by renting a house right on the beach here in Santa Barbara (where we could watch surfers from the verandah), and friends and family flew in from all over for a Moroccan-themed party! It was so special that I thought I’d share a few pictures.

How beautiful was this setting?

My sweetheart gave me this gorgeous tiled fountain for our garden (incidentally, I love the silk Cotelac dress I’m wearing, which I bought in Paris on my last Ped trip):

Gotta love a man who can make a birthday so memorable!!!

Wish you all could have been there!

 
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