Santa Claus, Indiana + Rovaniemi, Finland
It is almost Christmas, so we are spending our 10K days in holiday-themed destinations. Lulu is all out of Christmas movies to watch, so fantasizing about her life being a Christmas movie is the topic du jour of the first few minutes of this episode. We have a guest googler this week, but he is so important that he isn't here yet. It’s Sean MacLaughlin! Who it turns out, is Lulu’s cousin!
Alison is obsessed with good reliable electronics. When asked to explain, she talks about the upgrade to her new MacBook Air from her really old one. For all you podcasters out there, she's also including in her obsession her Insignia 4-port USB hub, which allows her to have all of our microphones plugged in to one place, so we can record all of our tracks at the same time. Shout out to our Patreon supporters for helping with upgrades to our equipment! Lulu is obsessed with lip balm, the cold weather is not kind to dry lips, you know. She cannot stop buying new ones, but she ends up disliking most of them. In particular, she doesn't like the sweet ones, because "if you're going to put something sweet by my mouth I better be able to eat it." She's on the lookout for a great one, so if you have any recommendations, let us know on the 10K Dollar Baes page.
Alison is on an electronics kick as this week she is wishing for a rechargeable battery case for her iPhone. We all nod along that she needs a juice box. What we actually meant was the juice pack - the rechargeable cases by mophie®. Lulu is wishing for a statement ring, which Alison has never heard of. She describes what she thinks it could be, possibly your home state or a motto on a ring? Not quite, Alison. Lulu clarifies she wants a ring that makes a statement. Somehow we end up discussing how a statement could bring you power a la The Secret.
People live here all year-round. And it is Christmas all year-round. Get ready for a holiday-filled 10K Day! Alison stays in a two-bedroom suite at a thirty acre vacation retreat - Lincoln Pines Lakefront Resort - where you have to pay extra for linens? Yeah, so this isn't as luxe as our usually stays, but you guys, they have lawn games, so…score. Surprisingly, this close to Christmas is actually their off-season, something about it being so cold? That works to Alison's advantage however as the prices are reasonable enough that she can rent out the entire resort - all 20 cottages. So of course she invites 19 of her friends and family to come join her for some holiday overdosing. She'll pay for some of their activities and food throughout the day, because, you know, Christmas. But they have to pay for their flights. We've heard this story before, Alison did the quasi-generous thing on her trips to Fregate Island, Seychelles and Wilmington, Delaware.
Instead of a car service, Alison rents sleighs and reindeers for the day. Her first stop on her sleigh ride is Frosty’s Fun Center. It has a restaurant where her breakfast is a whopping $4, and an arcade with a festive miniature golf course complete with a giant melting snowman. Next she stops at the Santa Claus Museum & Village where you can visit a Santa Claus Statue from 1935. There is a Santa Claus Post Office, where children (of all ages) can sit at antique school desks and pen their letters to Santa. Also at the museum is an area where you can read children’s letters to Santa dating back to the 1930s. Next Alison takes a Winter Scenery Train Ride followed by the Charles Dickens Christmas Dinner Fundraiser. She purchased enough sponsorships so that all 19 of her friends can come with her for a social hour, a sit-down dinner, musical entertainment, and wassail. Oh, and since there are photo opportunities available, Alison purchases a custom-made Dickens Victorian Christmas outfit from Etsy. Finally, Alison heads to the Santa Claus Christmas Store to buy personalized 10K Holi-DAY ornaments. Amazingly enough, she is almost to 10K, so she spends the thirty-something dollars she has lefto on hot cocoa for everyone to sip on during the sleigh ride back to the resort.
Roveniemi is the capital of Finnish Lapland, the largest and northernmost region of Finland. On the arctic circle, it is considered to be the home of Santa Claus! Alison's inner child is confused because she though the North Pole was Santa's home? Well, Lulu tried to plan a 10K Day to the North Pole but since the shortest expedition was three days long, she went with Rovaniemi. Always one for car service, she gets an SUV through Scandia Rent which takes her to the Arctic Treehouse Hotel where she enjoys the views of the arctic forest from her floor-to-ceiling glass wall. Her top tier suite also has that view from her sauna room. Are you serious!? Take us there NOW! After gawking at her amazing room she heads to Cafebar for a breakfast of smoked salmon soup. Interesting choice, but it's really cold in Finland so we will give her this one. After her breakfast she heads to Santa Claus Village, where you can walk a line that separates the Arctic circle from the rest of the world. She also visits Santa's office in the Santa Claus Village, where he stores his technology, like his Earth’s Rotational Speed Regulator - the way he gets to every house in one night, obviously. She gets her picture taken with Santa, and then heads to the Santa Claus Post Office. She's prepared with postcards designed for her by Jacob McAlister. They have an illustration of her and Alison in a scene, possibly in a snow globe? She sends out 200 of these to her regular Christmas card recipients, and then another 884 to each member of our 10K Dollar Baes group.
Next Lulu heads to Santa Park where you can visit an elf school and decorate cookies at Mrs. Gingerbread's kitchen. Lunch is more salmon at Santa's Salmon Place. Yes that is a real restaurant where all they have on the menu is fresh salmon, bread with cheese and jam, pate, and cheesecake. Oh and glögi, a type of mulled wine flavored with Christmas spices. Next she heads to Arctic Design Shop, where she buys everything she likes, including a salt bag? Oh and she gets salt licorice, which she loves but everyone in America hates. She heads back to her hotel for the Taste of The Northern Lights dinner at Rakas. She orders the Reindeer in Love, which is a reindeer filet and heart skewered together and roasted with parsnips in an open fire. Some of you may think this sounds delicious, but some of us are a little queasy and Alison is adamant that Lulu should not be killing and eating reindeer at Christmas. Think of the children, Lulu. She washes it down with a bottle of wine though, so Alison forgives her.
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