today, i’m delighted to share a guest post here on ‘where in the world is lola?’ written by one of my dear friends & supporters, Raul, from I Live to Travel. bonded by our love of travel & adventure, Raul and lola have had the pleasure of meeting up on 3 occasions so far. i love Raul so much for thinking of me while in Paris recently! he knows me too well – having figured out all the things that will lead to temptation for me. i hope you enjoy his punch list and that you pop over and check out his great blog with stories & stunning photos from all over the world.
Raul’s Parisian must-do’s and don’ts
I recently spent 36 hours in Paris, a place I have lived in before and enjoyed visiting thereafter. Every time I go is like going home. But this time, I felt a certain level of responsibility to scope out the City of Light in new ways as I knew Lola and Leah will be hitting it later this year as part of their Go With Oh experience. In particular, I was thinking of the crazy fun Lola can get involved with in a city like Paris. And, all over, I kept seeing things that I wanted to share with her. So I decided to put in writing my advice for Lola as she hits Paris, with Leah and the boa, of course.
We know Lola loves Miami Beach and, while Paris and South Beach are like chapters in different books, Paris does have some Miami Beach at this store in the St. Germain area. I make no promises and given she is going in November, she should expect no sun or warmth. But if Lola feels homesick, I want her to know there is some Miami Beach in Paris – just break the glass in case of an emergency. Blame the boa if caught.
Not that Lola has to watch her figure (even if she did, would I so much as hint at that, that friendly boa would strangle me next time we meet; that boa has a teeeeemper!) but Lola may want to consider not going crazy on these…
Though she should feel free to buy me a box of champagne truffles whilst there… For example, from Maison du Chocolat. Many locations available all over town AND at the airport…
Mind you, if Lola does choose to indulge, I would recommend avoiding over-priced and way over-touristed Angelina’s and Ladurée (much as they have good stuff!) and find some off-the-beaten path places like Un Dimanche a Paris…
If Lola wants to indulge but feel she is being healthy (so the boa doesn’t criticize her), I found the perfect spot for her: Relais Gascon, right between the Pigalle and Sacre Couer (metro station Abbesses). The salads are what you want to go for. These are no ordinary salads and they are huge! Loaded with fried potatoes with garlic, you can choose between several different ones. I highly recommend the one with prosciutto, bacon, olives, green, and a fried egg! But do avoid drinking that entire wine carafe by yourself, Lola. I did it with headache results the next day. Though Lola is surely tougher than me with beverages, I am sure…
The Pigalle area in Paris is known for being seedy yet it draws tourists like crazy. Also, it is right next to the Montmartre area which means you almost have to go through it if you want to visit Sacre Couer and Montmartre (guilt-liberating rationale provided free of charge; please accompany words of thanks with euros).
The Pigalle’s most famous site is the Moulin Rouge, made even more famous after the movie starring Nicole Kidman.
People probably think she is there all the time but I know she only works there one night per month and it wasn’t when I was there so I skipped going in. But I digress.
Lola, we all know, (or if you don’t yet, you will find out quickly when you meet Lola; something everyone should do at least once in their lifetime, IMHO) likes to have fun. Now the Pigalle may or may not be where one ought to look for fun or, at least, one may want to be selective as to what fun to indulge in. Lola, I did want to help you figure what’s what in the Pigalle and what is available there.
1. If you need to buy toys for kids you know, this place may be good to check out. I didn’t go it to check the selection but now at least you know there is a toy store and since it is a palace, they are bound to have a great variety of toys to choose from.
2. The next place can be confusing for an American since it has French words in its marquee but, lucky you, I am semi-fluent in French. It says Love Store but the French words say that it is a center for advice on love so I don’t think it is anything shady. Lola may already know love but I figured that it can never hurt to consult with a professional on love matters. I was rushing back to my hotel and didn’t have time to do a session but just let me know if they were helpful. (P.S. – I don’t know what those mannequins are supposed to mean but maybe it is a half-finished setup.)
3. Now somewhere in front of the Moulin Rouge, there is a massive vent from the metro system that goes right under it. As you can see women get on it, then get cold feet (pardon the pun). I say go for it with the boa. And go full blast! (P.S. – Leah takes AWESOME pix; just check out her blog and see for yourself www.leahtravels.com )
4. Lola, now I have so far given you advice on what you may want to look into in the Pigalle but this next one is really one of where not to go in. You know the prior ones are safe but this one is clearly different. I warn you because you ARE a diva and the name of the place would seem to be geared to appeal to divas – like a diva sorority house in Paris, you know? But apparently, it is a place where guys stand on tables and do dances for lowly women. International men. That means hairy and probably smelly. Stay away. But, surely, you can at least have a picture taken in that pose in front of the place. Your blog readers would love to see it. It is the least you can do after all the great advice I have given you 🙂
Bon chance a Paris!!!!
thanks for the great tips, Raul! i will definitely be doing my best Marilyn Monroe over that metro vent to be sure! the temptation for overindulgence in eclairs, chocolate croissants & cheese is a REAL possibility. no one likes a chubby lola! AND i’m thinking all those “toy stores” and “love advice” places might actually be something altogether else 😉 you will DEFINITELY be getting some treats from Maison du Chocolat!
Raul, je vous adore! XO – lola
I Live to Travel – Raul has been traveling internationally for pleasure, business or “for good” for over 20 years having visited over 50 countries in 6 continents & counting. His blog reflects his passion to experience the undiscovered world around him. Chocolate and wine aficionado too!
LOLA ♥s I Live to Travel because he’s my official bodyguard, shoo-flyer & purse holder, that, & he takes lovely travel photos!