Tonga, Oceania + Klevan, Ukraine
Episode 43, in the house! We have a guest googler, who actually works at Google. Ooooohh, meta. It's Alan Seales! A 10k welcome to Alan, who has actually prepared his own 10k Day. The gals are excited for it, like really excited for it, causing Alan to try to hamper expectations. Alison and Lulu ask him if coming up with his own day was easy for him, to which he replies that it was as challenging as he hoped it would be. We like him already. And we are happy to have him on our podcast, as he is also in the podcasting world. He helps produce Brave New Weed - conversations for a post-prohibition era. It covers everything cannabis - explaining benefits, educating consumers, differences between THC and CBD - and as Alan so poignantly says, "you know what a glass of wine does to you, you should know what 5mg of THC does to you". He is also starting the soon to be launched The Theatre Podcast, which Alison and Lulu will be guests on soon!
This is all in addition to his role as King of Talks at Google (as his fan-girls, Alison and Lulu put it) - really his title is Global Program Manager. While not as cool a title as King, he has gotten to do some pretty awesome stuff, including interviewing the Property Brothers. When Alison and Lulu met Alan, they got to tour Google, and OH MY GOD. There's food, a place to take naps, a coffee lab, the girls are huge fans. We digress (as we do) into living in foreign countries, the food you get...and what French Fries are called in France? Lucky for us we have a Google employee googling for us, and also thank you Google for autocomplete. Makes our on-air research so much quicker and bearable for our listeners. And as much as Google knows on this subject, Lulu beats it to the punch a couple of times, and her french accent is way sexier. It's d'terre frites, if you wanted to know without looking it up yourself, by the way.
After much confusion as to who should start off sharing their obsession, and having to clean up a major spill, we are all wondering why this couldn't be the video companion episode, it'd be a laugh for sure. Lulu is obsessed with the ability to see her text messages across all of her devices. Wait, hasn't this been a thing for like, I don't know, a DECADE? Yep, Alison doesn't even remember ever having to do anything to make this happen, it just automatically happened for her. Alan gives us a user-friendly technology for dummies lowdown on-air, which Lulu desperately needed. Alison appreciates Lulu's obsession because, as anyone with a child can relate to, her daughter constantly has her phone and erases messages she hasn't seen yet, so being able to see them on another device is sometimes life-saving. Lulu feels silly that her reason for being obsessed with this feature is because she'd rather type her iMessages because her thumbs hurt from texting. When she doesn't need thumb surgery later on in life it won't feel so silly. Alison suggests a pop-socket, and Lulu aggressively reminds her that pop-sockets are her anti-obsession. The debate of Otterbox vs. PopSockets, aka protection vs. prevention, is wildly entertaining.
After that lengthy discussion, we ask Alan his obsession, which has been podcasts for awhile, and once Alison asked him to be on this podcast, he became obsessed to the point of listening back through past episodes, which you can do by heading over to our listen page. Alison is obsessed with eyelashes. Alan was going to ask if hers were real and Alison exclaims THEY ARE...not. They are inexpensive to get, in Florida anyways. Alan chimes in that his wife gets them, which maybe he shouldn't share on-air without her permission, but she's in the background and she's cool with it. Oh AND she's switched to Rodan + Fields Enhancements Lash Boost, and it is a game-changer!
We’ve got three wishes this week. Where’s a genie when you need one? Lulu wishes for her apartment to look like our producer Ash's house, because she loves it. She has subletted for as long as she can remember so her furniture and decor have never been hers, and definitely never her style. What even is her style? She's never gotten to decorate a place before, but she knows what pages she would tear out of Architectural Design and Dwell magazines. She describes what she wants, like a cross between mid-century modern and lodge, but not like animal heads. She just wants some wooden beams and large glass windows, and warmth, but with mid-century furniture. She then sighs that this doesn't work or exist. She just needs to visit a Frank Lloyd Wright house, but then we might not be able to get her to ever leave.
Alan is wishing for some home repairs, because it's needed done for four weeks, but you know how home repairs go, so we'll see when this wish comes true. Alison's wishlist is simple this week, she just wants some rainboots. They find some online that our cute, thanks to our guest googler, then our producer recommends these matte black Sam Edelman ones to her, because they are super functional and super cute.
As mentioned earlier, our guest googler did his OWN 10k day, so we are going to start with his. Alan is eager and EXCITED. He wants to go to Tonga and swim with the whales. You can tell this guest googler works for Google because he has all the facts on his location. Like ALL the facts. For instance, did you know that Tonga is a Polynesian kingdom of more than 170 South Pacific islands, many uninhabited, most lined in white beaches and coral reefs and covered with tropical rainforest? Did you know that the main island, Tongatapu, is protected by lagoons and limestone cliffs? Did you know that it is home to the rural capital of Nuku'alofa, as well as beach resorts, plantations and the Ha'amonga ʻa Maui, a monumental coral gate from the 1200s? Well, now you do. And if you want even more geographical facts then go listen to the episode.
Now that you know all about where he's going, here's the why he's going. It is one of the few places in the world where you can get into the water and swim with the humpback whales. Awesome, right!?! He is excited and rearing to go but has to place an Amazon order first. This elicits a chorus of "YAY!" from the gals, as we know well our love of Amazon Prime and buying stuff to better prepare for these 10k trips!
Included in Alan's shipment:
and this Whale Character Party Hat
and throw in a cheap pair of sunglasses too, while's he at it. You know how easy those are to lose. We love a guy that can shop (and pack!). Let's see what he's going to do with all his new stuff.
After researching all his possible stay options, he decides on the Mandala Island Resort. He picked this one because of the amenities (we get you, Alan!) like complimentary kayaks and stand up paddle boards, yoga and massages on-site, and close proximity to cave and blow-holes. There's even a treehouse with living roofs. No it doesn't talk to you a la Grandmother Willow like Lulu wondered, its just got plants growing all over it. Since there aren’t exactly grocery stores on these small islands, Alan's relieved that he can purchase a meal plan that comes with a continental breakfast, a 2-course lunch and 3-course dinner, a sundowner beer or house wine, and all-day coffee/tea service. Now that's 10k convenience right there.
Oh, did he forget to mention? Alan brought the Mavic 2 Pro drone with him, to capture all the beauty and greatness from ridiculously high views. Now for the reason he's here. He takes the whale watch, swim, and snorkel tour with Whale Swim & Tours LIMITED , bringing a drone operator with him so he can focus on enjoying his experience. Good call, Alan. He's going to have some great shots of himself swimming right up to the whales, touching them, man what a great experience! Don't worry, he's certified, after taking a lesson with Adventure Scuba NY before he left town. After his included dinner, he discovered another incredible amenity at the hotel - they have a telescope! He is excited about his chance to star gaze, and is prepared thanks to this Star Chart There are even people there at the hotel to help you find the constellations. Or if you are really prepared you can use this incredibly handy augmented reality star finder app that shows you where the stars are in the sky in real time from your exact location.
He's at the end of the his day and has only spent around three grand. The solution is simple. So simple that it is staring you right in the face. He needs a way to process and edit all the phenomenal photos and fantastic footage he has from his trip, so he buys himself a new MacBook Pro. If you want to know exactly, he bought the new 2018 MacBook Pro 15 inch with 2.9GHz 6‑core 8th‑generation Intel Core i9 processor, Turbo Boost up to 4.8GHz. To get up to his 10k budget, he gets some upgrades - Retina display with True Tone, Touch Bar, and Touch ID. He gets some serious memory - 4GB of GDDR5 memory. I think I typed that all out right. You can see what he's talking about in this article, or you can score a great deal on a refurbished Macbook from Amazon. Of course he purchases Final Cut Pro X - so he can make a sweet movie of the trip, bringing his total to just under $9900. Cue a rousing round of applause.
Again, with the pronunciations. What is the name of this city? Thankfully we have our guest googler to tell us the correct spelling and pronunciation. Because of the main attraction in this city she's going to fly her husband out to meet her.
They stay at this downtown apartment they found on Airbnb, which has incredible views of the city and a traditional Ukrainian dish waiting for you upon arrival. Lulu passively suggested that Alison knows about Ukrainian dishes, which prompts Alison to admit to being briefly married to a Russian at one point in her life. The things that come out when you host a podcast, man, it's like therapy, but instead of being confidential it's recorded for posterity.
A quick breakfast at Smorrebrod before heading out for the entire reason they are visiting - the Tunnel of Love. It is an old railway surrounded by green arches, which sounds simple but it looks like its out of a fairytale. Thanks to our guest googler we discover that the tunnel is three miles long. They buy out a tour with a private driver who is “more than happy to photograph you and your love” as you wander through the tunnel. In addition to being encouraged to make a wish that WILL come true, their tour guide gives them a complementary bottle of sparkling wine, which is always a plus. After this tour is over, she starts looking for her next 10k activity, but when she googles "Ukraine + Luxury + Experience", all that comes up is escorts. Instead of that, Alison and her husband head to Beef to take a Masterclass on steaks where they choose their perfect cut and grill it on an open fire under the Chef’s supervision. Then they decide to take the Masterclass on mixology, where you learn to mix a set of cocktails united by a common theme, for example mixes on gin, rum, whiskey, original sours or signature longs. Rumor has it, after the legendary master classes some people left their jobs and became bartenders. We could totally see Alison's husband doing this.
They also eat at the chef’s inspiration table which is a seven course dinner with wine. But they aren't done drinking just yet, so they head to B-Hush Bar which has an open-air terrace with incredible views. At this bar they buy the most expensive bottle of Hennessy Paradis Impérial. Sounds like the perfect romantic 10k getaway.
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