It was a special UGG boots & Halloween kind of Saturday in Wired Momma-land. A most unusual Saturday, as a matter of fact.
But before we get to the details, you should know that shoes and Halloween rank as two of my greatest loves. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve come to love Halloween more because it requires very little of moi in comparison to other holidays. I do not need to wrap elaborate gifts, purchase said gifts or cook large meals for this holiday. Plus it comes hand-in -hand with the arrival of chocolate into your home. What’s not to love?
Now, about the shoes. There was a formative moment in my childhood that revolved around shoes. Back in the 80s, we lived overseas. For this particular memory, we were on vacation in Spain one summer, the summer before I went into the 6th grade. My Aunt Elizabeth flew in from Philadelphia to join us on said vacation. On this particular day, we were strolling around this fabulous seaside Mediterranean town and my Aunt stumbled upon some espadrilles in a little shop. She was in love. But she didn’t just leave the store with one pair, she bought them in every color. She casually noted that you can never have enough shoes.
This made a deep and profound impression on me. I knew she was right. I was but 12, maybe even 11, but something seemed intuitively correct about what she was doing. Sure, I knew there were bigger problems in the world but I also knew that shoes can make you happy. Along with other more important things, of course, but shoes are still something special.
Fast forward to the early 2000s and my weekly Sex & The City viewing parties with friends. Remember those? When having a Flirtini was all the rage. Remember that scene when Carrie Bradshaw spotted a gorgeous pair of shoes in the window and her response was “Helllloooooo lover.”
She spoke to me. My heart sang. Suddenly I was back in that seaside Mediterranean village and I wondered why I didn’t have a pair of espadrilles in every color.
The truth is, Carrie spoke to millions of us in that scene.
Today, I am grooming my girls to love shoes. Sparkly shoes, fancy shoes, casual shoes, sandals, flip-flops, boots, you name it, shoes shoes shoes. You can find great pairs at Target or Payless for kids, they are everywhere, and your shoes never know if you’ve got a muffin top.
Imagine my utter joy last week when UGG Australia emailed and invited me and the family to attend Saturday night’s Boo at the Zoo, of which they were a corporate sponsor, but first, with a stop at their store in Georgetown (1249 Wisconsin Ave, NW) to pick out a pair of shoes for each of us.
Umm, hmmm, let me check my calendar…
Now, to further my confessions here, until Saturday, I wasn’t an UGG boot owner. I have a pair of UGG slippers that I love and have held up beautifully through a few winters. Disclosure: I am really hard on shoes. But that’s it in the UGG department. I also had no idea UGG makes beautiful leather boots for women along with fashionable shoes for men, I was pretty unfamiliar with their lineup beyond the standard boots you see many people wearing. I really just didn’t know.
I know now. We spent well over an hour in the Georgetown store on Saturday before hitting the Zoo. I’m the gal who struggles to pick a nail polish color for a pedicure because I treat each one as if it’s my last, who knows why (I’m a freak), imagine the struggle in picking out a pair of shoes.
Me and the girls were like kids in a candy store with all the options and the little baby UGG shoes? Adorable. Below is a sampling of what I admired or considered as my first choice options. I still am thinking about those raspberry colored ones just because the 5th grade me, she would have pounced at the chance for a pair of pinkish boots with fur lining. They really call out to that version of moi.
In the end, though I loved the brown riding boots featured above and I struggled with this decision, I came away with a pair of elegant and timeless black leather boots with a simple heel but that can be dressed up or down. I reasoned that I legitimately needed a new pair of black boots whereas my chocolate-brown boots, though several years old, are still in great condition. Mr. WM came away with a hip pair of chocolate-brown leather boots, the youngest WM’ette came away with a gorgeous pair of bright blue boots with ribbons on the back and my oldest settled on a pair of purple boots with trendy, edgier studs in the shape of a heart on the front. Really great choices. Overall we had an excellent experience with an extremely patient and helpful store employee, considering we must have sent her back a dozen times and tried on multiple pairs of boots each.
Now that I actually am fully aware of all the great choices in the UGG line for every member of the family, I just might be addicted and you better believe I have a new pair of warm fuzzy slippers on the brain (hint hint Mr. WM for Christmas).
Packed into our warm, fuzzy shoes, we set off for the National Zoo. We last attended Boo at the Zoo two years ago and had a great time but even then I worried the kids were a little too young. When you have an almost 3-year-old and almost 6-year-old and darkness falls, it can be really stressful to keep track of them through all the excitement, and throw kids into costumes, under the cover of darkness in wide open spaces, with large crowds, and the fear of losing your kid does become a little overwhelming.
Last night, we had a great time. At almost 5 and almost 8, we’re past the erratic movements of toddlers and we had a really relaxing and enjoyable evening. The National Zoo always does such a creative job of decorating the zoo and some of the animal houses for the celebration. We especially enjoyed a trip into the invertebrate house to see the octopus and spooky decorations. We also noted the meerkat had a pumpkin in his house inside the small mammal house. From the perspective of my little ones, the question wasn’t why does the meerkat have a jack-o-lantern in his house, the question is why wouldn’t that meerkat be so festive?
The kids enjoyed trick-or-treating at each of the vendor stalls mixed in with the decorated animal houses on what really was a perfect fall evening for an outdoor event. Typically I wouldn’t wear brand new shoes on a two-hour walking excursion, especially for the little ones, but I had no concerns about our warm toes tucked into the new UGG boots as we cruised through the zoo.
I think our only real complaint about the event was the lack of a real meal offered. In previous years, we had enjoyed dinner before hand at our fav Mexican restaurant in Cleveland Park and then ended up at the Zoo only to wonder why we’d spent money on dinner. This year, there wasn’t anything substantive (that we could find, at least) and we left at the end of the evening on a quest for a quick dinner.
If you’ve ever wondered about Boo at the Zoo – my advice would be to consider the ages of your kids. I really think it’s best and less stressful on parents when the kids are older, almost or fully elementary school aged. Normally I also wouldn’t pick the Saturday night event because I’m not a huge fan of crowds, we usually opt for Sunday night for that reason. Saturday night, however, was truly a lovely evening but it definitely got crowded. We left around 7:45pm and wondered if next year when they are almost 6 and 9, our better strategy wouldn’t be to hit dinner before hand and then plan to arrive to the zoo around 7:15, when the parking lots are starting to thin out along with some of the crowds, and hit the tail end of the evening party.
Bottom line – we had a knock out Saturday chez Wired Momma and we are super grateful to UGG Australia for the amazing opportunity and to the National Zoo for throwing a fun and festive Halloween party. Now off to keep my twinkle toes warm in my new boots……
Disclosure: UGG Australia invited me and my family to be their guests at Boo at the Zoo and to receive a pair of shoes. My opinions here are all my own.