Boat Shoes are the New Heels (Adventures in Canada Part II)!

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we made it back from canada late last night and whew what a weekend it was! my husband was the keynote speaker for the district 60 spring conference AND i spoke for my first time on an international stage (more on that later). look at this snazzy hotel where it was held-it felt very ‘hogswarts-esque’ to me:

travel blog toronto old mill inn and spaour luggage remained lost until early evening saturday night but let’s back track a minute to continue the ridiculous saga.

every single person at the conference over 300+ that found out our luggage was lost was so incredibly kind and helpful. people were literally offering to give me the clothes off their backs or run back home and see if i would fit in their size 8 shoes (this 5’9 lady rocks a size 9 though).

jack, a very kind man who also picked us up that night before morning at 12:30am, took my husband and me to the mall on friday afternoon so i could grab a dress (jeans and a t-shirt looks sort of tacky at an international speech contest when people are in suits and gorgeous dresses). we also had to take very good care of the clothes we were wearing because that’s all we had for the time being. my husband is lucky i think of things like this to protect him.

travel blog toronto ra lost luggagejust after i purchased my dresses-(hey when you find 2 dresses for less than $100 you get them) we got a call from american airlines saying our luggage was found and they were giving it to air canada to deliver to us to arrive shortly. in my mind, this meant it would arrive in the next few hours so i didn’t bother wasting money on buying hair product or mascara or shoes or anything for my husband…

yeah…no luggage and air canada said they had not received it from american airlines and had no idea where it was. greeeeat. don’t ever believe the airlines when it comes to baggage. now it was time for the dinner and the contest. the hubs looked decent because he’s always a snazzy dresser and i rocked the new fashion trend of 2014 “boat shoes are the new heels” good thing i put enough product in my hair on thursday morning so throwing some water in friday night made me look less frumpy.

travel blog chelsea avery lost luggage sparriesi should also mention that we were invited to sit at the head table. this meant we were introduced in front of everyone and then got up on a stage to where we were seated…i definitely saw some strange looks as i passed wondering why on earth i would choose the above shoes. i felt super uncomfortable at first and hoped people didn’t think i was being disrespectful but i smiled and carried on.

it turned into a great conversation starter and let’s be honest-boat shoes are WAY more comfortable than heels anyways. if you too want this new fashion look, these are shoes that i sported.

the contest was great-so many wonderful speakers with solid messages. congratulations stephen for making it to the semi-finals in kuala lumpur-see you there! i also just have to say how much more i enjoy these contests now that my husband isn’t a contestant and i can just sit back and enjoy without feeling sick to my stomach with nerves.

woke up-still no bag. the only way to deal with this? bubble bath. this was a glorious jacuzzi in our room that i used 4 times over the course of the weekend. our new place only has a shower so i fully indulged.

couples travel blog bathtub torontothen i put a scarf around my neck and pretended i had a whole new wardrobe (i had to save the second dress for the even fancier that dinner saturday evening). carolyn mackenzie, an anchor for global television in toronto received the communication and leadership award so naturally i had to go hug her and tell her that i’m inspired by strong women like herself who do big things and still make their families and marriages a priority.

she had on killer heels. i still had on my boat shoes.

relationship blog chelsea avery with carolyn mackenzie torontowe went and checked with the front desk about our luggage and guess what…IT FINALLY ARRIVED. this was the least awkward photo that was taken of the reunion with our bag. so happy.

relationship blog chelsea avery luggage foundmy clothes, my face wash, my deodorant, underwear and appropriate dresses all back in my life (as well as the husband’s)  we cleaned up (read=i took another bath) and my husband rocked his keynote that evening! i was loving his bow tie with the suit but then he sort of looked like billy nye the science guy after he took off the coat…

ryan avery speaker toronto canadahe also had a magician vibe about him as well. good thing i like science, enjoy magic and love this man. he had his first book signing and sold out of all his books!!! if you haven’t picked up a copy yet, SIGN UP to be part of a world record that he is attempting to break next wednesday april 16!

ryan and chelsea avery speaker leader championi also think his new glasses make us look less like siblings…even if they are farther along on the dad-spectrum than i anticipated.

we had a truly fantastic time with everyone while we were in toronto and thanks for being so wonderful and understanding during our luggage-loss-saga! thank you district 60-your kindness, all the fun and laughs we had will be remembered!

oh and i said i finally got up on stage and spoke didn’t i? well…more on that tomorrow but just know i may have made a few ears bleed with the microphone feedback so you’ll have to wait to hear the whole story!

the new wifestyle: things eventually work out, one way or another.

1) tell me about any wardrobe malfunctions or mishaps you’ve had with clothing?
2) do you like speaking in front of groups?
3) let’s get personal-are you a bath or a shower person? (usually a shower person because i save baths for relaxation time)


  1. TK

    April 7, 2014 at 2:28 pm

    1. Yep. Lost luggage on way to customer’s site. Easter weekend. Delayed arrival (and it was Easter Sunday LATE). Almost NOTHING open. Except Wal Mart. BUT – I was in Arkansas (Wal Mart’s home). And it was a 24-hour Arkansas Wal Mart. My purchases were immediately acceptable the next day when I told the story. AND I have a great story for my process improvement business.
    2. Getting more comfortable.
    3. Just like you. Showers: efficient. Bath: relaxing.

    • chelsea

      April 8, 2014 at 8:27 am

      love it that it all worked out TK but whew….stressful! and wal-mart doesn’t necessarily offer the ‘nicest, most professional’ looking clothes but sounds like you made them work AND have a great story! glad we are on the same page with baths/showers!

  2. leti ochoa

    April 7, 2014 at 3:40 pm

    Hello fellow MSWer!! I love reading your blog and hearing all about your adventures!!

    1. My fiance Jason and I recently went on a romantic long weekend getaway to San Franciso. My sandal broke while we were walking around the fisherman’s wharf one chilly night. Jason felt bad that I was walking funny to try to keep my torn sandal on so he joined me as we walked hand in hand taking very long strides (so I could keep the bottom of my sandal on) until I found a store to buy new ones. We got a few strange stares from others but it was so funny. I was glad that he was willing to look like a dork with me!!

    2. it has taken me many years to reach my level of comfort in speaking in front of groups, putting on training for 70 plus employees, etc. I remember in community college taking a speech class and being frightened to my core every time I had to go up and present…:(

    3. I take 2 showers a day, sometimes 3 in the summer and I love finding time to take relaxing baths!

    • chelsea

      April 8, 2014 at 8:30 am

      yay it’s leti, msw! haha i have such a great visual in my mind of the two of you taking super long strides until you made it to a store to buy new shoes! that is looooove-willing to look dorky together 😉 and congratulations!!!

      glad you feel comfortable speaking in front of groups…i too remember that ‘frightened to the core’ feeling! hot dang you are showering woman! they are nice and refreshing 🙂

  3. Kristi Beres

    April 7, 2014 at 4:20 pm

    1) When I was year abroad in Cairo1995 and I was playing basketball after class, the locker room closed early because of Ramdan. My apartment was only about a mile a way, but I felt really naked next to Tahrir Square in a sweaty T-shirt and shorts. I didn’t want to look like one of those dopey Americans that didn’t open a guide book. Gratefully, I had my wallet and flagged a cab, which seemed kind of dumb for a five minute ride I usually did as a 15 minute walk to and from campus.
    2. Toastmasters is great for helping overcome our fears of public speaking.

    3. I like showers too. Like Leti, when the weather gets really hot and sweaty, I’ll take two a day to gush off that slimey feeling.

    • Cathy Gidley

      April 7, 2014 at 7:25 pm

      My luggage was lost on a trip to Kansas City for a trade show. These were the days when you had to stay over on a Saturday night to get the best airfare so I was Portland casual. I was told my luggage would be delivered by Sunday. No worries. Trade show started on Monday. No luggage by Sunday night. Now I’m worried. Took a cab and hit the Mini Mart hard for cheap makeup and hair stuff. Figured if I looked good from my shoulders up, no one would notice I was wearing jeans, tennis shoes and a casual sweater. No luggage Monday am. Gotta go to work. My fellow exhibitors looked at me funny and I explained the luggage loss. Monday night — no luggage. Hand washed my underwear. Hung them from balcony . Underwear flew off balcony. I called concierge and asked for his assistance. Concierge retrieved said underwear from a blue Buick 5 levels below. Delivered said underwear in brown paper bag to my room. Trade show Day 2: I am now the exhibitor joke. “Nice outfit.” “Is it casual Friday?” Tuesday night — no luggage. So depressed I decided to eat ribs. Rib sauce on only sweater. Must hand wash along with underwear and socks. But my hair and makeup look good :). Day 3 trade show: “Did you hear the one about house guests, fish and trade shows? They all stink after 3 days.” Ha ha. Hilarious. Day 4: Time for flight home. I traveled light. Luggage never showed up. It is still stuck in luggage hell. I filed a claim and got a whopping $500 from United. I had high end shoes and jewelry. Lesson learned? Now I wear my high end clothes, shoes, jewelry and always wear something that is appropriate for business just in case my luggage is lost again. Wanna travel with me??

      • Cathy Gidley

        April 7, 2014 at 7:29 pm

        2. I do not mind talking in front of groups .

        3. Shower person mostly but do enjoy a hot bubble bath after skiing.

      • chelsea

        April 8, 2014 at 8:39 am

        i think you may win the luggage lost story cathy! i am also familiar with underwear washing in the sink but thankfully the didn’t end up on a buick-ha! i cannot believe they never found your luggage-that is HORRIBLE! and those punks at the trade-show (but i can personally attest that i’m 100% sure your make-up and hair looked killer).

        you also sound like the classiest traveler with how you travel now to ensure your nice things don’t get lost. hope that rib stain eventually came out of the sweater 🙂 thanks for your story!

    • chelsea

      April 8, 2014 at 8:33 am

      kristi, sounds like the respectful and good call you made to cab it home (agreed about not wanting to look foolish or disrespectful particularly when in other cultures!) hopefully the cab ride didn’t cost too much 🙂 you are a shower lady too! i can see where it helps get that sticky summer off!

  4. Sarah Gentry

    May 25, 2014 at 10:03 pm

    Hi Chelsea!

    I somehow stumbled across your blog while looking for reviews of boat shoes this evening. I am looking at purchasing my very first pair! I have read all sorts of stories on various websites about boat shoes making feet really sweaty so I have been hesitant to buy a pair in the past. However, I am now willing to give it a shot! Has this been your experience with boat shoes or are your feet always dry when you wear them?

    Fantastic website, by the way! You have a new fan!


    • chelsea

      May 26, 2014 at 8:28 am

      hi sarah! so glad you stumbled on here and thanks so much for your comment! i loooove my boat shoes and what i do is buy those nylon socks that just cover the tips of your toes and the back of your heel (you can’t see them when you’re wearing the shoes). that helps with the sweaty feet. they are so comfortable and i wear them everywhere! hope you like them too and have a great day!

      thanks for stopping by 🙂