Paris with a twist, that is!
I am lucky enough to have visited Paris three times in my life. It is the first place that brought tears to my eyes upon arriving and is one of my most favorite cities. I feel as though I have a connection with Paris, like Lola must have lived there in a past life. Whenever I’m asked if I could live anywhere abroad for a year or two, Paris is always the city that comes to my mind. Why? Oh, a lot of the same reasons many people are enamored with Paris. It’s beautiful. It’s delicious. It’s sexy. It’s fashionable. It’s diverse. It’s romantic. It’s alive. I adore the French language and would truly love to speak it without making a faux pas. And, not to toot my own horn, but in February during a visit to the South of France, the French were quite fond of Lola.
Despite having done the Parisian touristy thing a few times, Lola would still choose to Go with Oh to Paris and bring my fun-loving spirit to the “City of Light”. Of course, I will stroll the streets, taking in the sights and enjoy wonderful French meals as well as divine wines and cocktails. Those are givens on my wish list. However, I would like to DO Paris differently than one might imagine. So, using some of my favorite films with ties to Paris as inspiration, this is what my oh-so-chic Parisian itinerary would be.
A quote from Sabrina with a Lola spin…
Once upon a time, on the north shore of Massachusetts, not far away from Boston, there was a nice Victorian house on a hill where there lived a family by the name of DiMarco. There were NO servants inside or outside the house, nor boatmen and gardeners, not even a single tennis or swimming pool specialist in sight. NOT even a chauffeur, but there was woman named Lola who wished she had some of these luxuries, because in Lola’s mind, she should be a wealthy heiress with loads of hired help and could jet off anywhere at any time. BUT, since that’s not reality, instead Lola will enter a blogging contest in hopes of being the lucky winner of a month-long stay in Europe.
Just like Sabrina, Lola’s first wish is to be shipped off to Paris to work with Vogue magazine. Lola won’t be a photographer’s assistant though. Lola will be the subject of the photo shoot on location at Palais du Luxembourg for a day. Do you know this beautiful place? It’s a palace built by Queen Maria de’ Medici at the beginning of the 17th century. The surrounding gardens are divine and a parfait place for my photo ops! Now, you may be wondering what on earth Lola might wear when having this tres magnifique photo shoot. Entre wish number deux. Luckily, Lola is invited to attend a Paris Fashion Week event featuring some of the most prestigious designers.
The Devil Wears Prada
Since Lola is a travel writer and aspiring journalist like the character Andrea in The Devil Wears Prada, it makes perfect sense that I should attend a Fashion Week event in Paris. I will write many a witty post describing the sassy stylings of all the fab designers and about the muses from around the world that don these lines. I’ll be interviewing the models and designers to discover why they adore Paris and its fashion scene. Unlike Andrea’s plain character turned trendy, Lola already is a fashion maven, so naturally, we all become friends.
Upon hearing about my upcoming Vogue gig, the designers plead with me to wear some of their hottest new designs for my photo shoot. I tour the designers’ studios and discover where they create their most fashion-forward frocks and fabulous haute couture. I’m treated to an unbelievable day of pampering and then glamorously styled for my photo shoot. Alas, after a couple of days of walking on supermodel air, Lola needs to come back down to earth and dive into some history. Since I’m making my way into the travel-writing world, you know I love the great authors of the past. Oh, how they must have enjoyed Paris’ heyday.
Midnight in Paris
My third wish would be to step back into time just as Gil Pender did every night in the film Midnight in Paris. Since this isn’t really possible, unfortunately, I’ll have to settle for a coffee and cocktail crawl to famous authors and artists’ haunts of a bygone era. I will have my café au lait at Café de Flore and drink absinthe at La Closerie des Lilas. In my imagination, I am pursued by Picasso as a love interest while sipping on coffee at Les Deux Magots and I’ll have lengthy chats at La Rotonde with F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway about becoming a better writer. It will be fascinating to retrace some of the famous stomping grounds of Toulouse-Lautrec, Gauguin and Degas. Energized by the engaging conversations and loads of coffee, I will have the vitalité to revive one of my talents and kick up my heels at Moulin Rouge.
This shouldn’t be a huge stretch – Lola was made for the stage. And, I wasn’t joking about the dance routines either. Back in the day, Lola was on the school dance squad doing synchronized high-kick routines during halftime of the football game. Can you believe it?! Throw in my boa and BAM, you have a Moulin Rouge moment. Let me be clear, I’m not suggesting that Lola take on the starring role of Satine by any stretch. I really cannot sing, so let’s cast me in a supporting role.
Wish number four is to spend a day learning a high-kick dance number and get all dolled up Belle Époque cabaret-style for a performance at the legendary Moulin Rouge. How fun would that be? And a great workout, to boot, which I’ll need after all the wining and dining I’ve been doing. After my fifteen minutes of fame on the bohemian stage, I’ll be exhausted. I’ll need an opportunity to unwind, and a nice cup of tea and some delicious pastries will do the trick. Who am I trying to kid? Lola doesn’t ever do anything subdued. My fifth wish is to spend all day and night at a garden party at Versailles. And get this, I will be in a full-on Marie Antoinette costume. I might as well go out with a bang.
After my exhausting day of high-kicking around the Moulin Rouge stage, I can now squeeze myself into a tiny, pink corseted dress. Phew! I know you think blue when you think of Marie Antoinette; I do too. But, I’m Lola and Lola only does pink. It’s a firm rule of mine and a part of my branding that I’m unwilling to negotiate.
This lovely garden party at Versailles will be held out in front of the Chateaux near the Water Garden. Just like any good garden party, it will be tented and illuminated with candles. All the guests will be dressed in costume just like me. Can’t you just envision me in a powdered wig and beauty mark? Ooo-lala! As far as the men go, they will be dressed like revolutionary soldiers without the fussy wigs. Think Count Axel von Fersen, Marie Antoinette’s rumored lover – yummy. We will be dining, drinking, dancing and gambling just like the queen who “let them eat cake”. The drink of choice will be fine French champagne, of course, and there will be gobs of gastronomically-delicious French food and pastries. Everything looks and IS delectable! What a way to wrap up my Parisian stay.
So, what do you say? Don’t you want to follow along as Lola runs around Paris doing all these fantastique things? Armed with my pink beret and boa, I think Paris and Lola were made for each other. It’s high time that Paris got LOLAFIED!
Merci beaucoup for reading, and now for your perks…
Just because I’m throwing my boa in the ring to be the lucky recipient of a European tour doesn’t mean you can’t too. There are other prizes you can win as well. Through Go with Oh’s Facebook contest, you can win tres chic Samsonite luggage, a Panasonic Lumix camera, an iPad2 or 500 Euros in holiday accommodations! Boom chica chica wow wow…let’s all be winners!