Gstaad, Switzerland + Montreal, Canada
Normally we record in the evening, after some wine, "high on life" - as Alison puts it. But it's 9am. There has not been any wine. To listen to this week’s episode, click on the player above. If you are more of a written word person, well then, by all means, keep on reading!
Alison is obsessed with her new Steve Madden backpack, it has plenty of pockets and is really sturdy. It's perfect for traveling! Lulu's obsession this week is also travel-related (it's like we are a travel podcast or something)! She recently took the opportunity to upgrade to business class. And by opportunity, we of course mean, she was drunk and shrugged off the $170 upgrade fee, "why not?" she said, with only some of her wits about her. And guess what, now she's ruined, because it'll be so hard to go back to economy after business class. A reclining seat, a free cocktail, and a free meal with a CLOTH NAPKIN. Oh and there is a small table in between her and the next passenger, so there is no arm rest space struggle. Lulu has also discovered that depending on the airline and its baggage charges, it can sometimes be cheaper to fly business or first class, because while the ticket is more expensive, your baggage is free. So when you go to book your flight people, do the math and get the best deal!
This week Alison is wanting some pretty car air fresheners. Not the swinging tree you get at a car wash, she wan't one of these essential oil car fresheners. All Lulu wants is another zombie drink, it's a rum-based drink that can leave you under the table. You know the kind of drink that's so nice and expensive that if you pay for it you feel you have to finish it? She had it recently in St. Martin. Such a travel-related week for us, and we are LOVING it.
Alison has no clue how to pronounce Gstaad. Alison and Lulu both know people who have two "a's" in their names, and yet somehow they still aren't sure of the pronunciation. You can learn real quick here. Then come back and read about the super exclusively posh hotel Alison stays at, The Alpina Gstaad. It has "single-handedly redefined luxury and Alpine chic". Sign us up! Her Grand Luxe suite has a living and dining room, an en-suite dressing room, and a fireplace. Okay so first things first, Alison goes on a dog sled ride with Husky Man. While the 6-10 dogs can fit up to four adults, she's going to buy it out so she is the sole passenger. While the dogs rest half way through the journey, a horse takes you to Mattestübli to enjoy wine and fondue, before heading back to the sled for your return journey. Alison then says so long to the pups for a jaunt to the International Hot Air Baloon Festival at Château-d’Oex in the Vaudois Alps. She gets a balloon ride and then having enjoyed the thrill of being air-born, she also takes a helicopter tour! And because she loves a good tour, next up is a wine and cheese tour through her hotel. She gets to learn the art of cheesemaking and then return to the hotel's wine cellar to pair the new cheeses she's learned about with the appropriate wines. After her day of tours, she heads to the hotel's Six Senses Spa where for one price you can enjoy unlimited time in numerous spaces including a fitness center, a flotation room, heated pools, and a hammam, which Alison knows we've talked about previously but can't quite remember what it is. In short, a hammam is a steam room/sauna variant that is from the east and popularized by Turkey. There is a whole procedure, or ritual to a hammam. Anyways, to end her day she indulges in the seven course tasting menu at hotel restaurant Sommet, before taking in the incredible smells at the hotel's Cigar Lounge. Somehow with all the fantastic things she did in her day, she spent just under $8,000. So totally doable, right?
Lulu is staying in the Executive Suite at the Ritz Carlton for the sole reason that it's the most expensive place in town. Sadly, even with $10,000 she couldn't afford to stay in the top suite, which has one of those Japanese TOTO multifunctional toilets with the heated seat, automatic sensor and remote control. Oh, well. She'll sit on one, one day! Even without the snazzy toilet, Lulu's suite is quite nice. And as she was browsing all the add-ons she could do, she found an additional fee that inspired much of her day. She pays the $227 dog fee…wait for it…because she is adopting a dog! She went down the rabbit hole of adopting animals, with fifteen plus tabs open in her browser, until she found the perfect pup - that she wishes she was adopting for real - on Animatch. She gets Whiskey, a two year-old 92-lb chocolate lab, who was adopted and then returned. As a responsible dog owner, Lulu buys Whiskey some Orijen Tundra dog food, and a really well-made 10K quality crate from Kennel and Crate. As a puppy-loving grammar hound - see what I did there? - Lulu hates the grammatically incorrect "Who Rescued Who?" stickers out there, so she heads to StickerMule to order custom made "Who Rescued Whom?" stickers. She gets fifty of these stickers, and will be somewhat passive-aggressive handing them out...it's her one-woman mission to correct the world.
Puns and grammar aside, it's time for some breakfast. Lulu heads to Engaufrez-vous, which she claims translates to "get some waffles into you". We're here for that! She gets sweet waffles, savory waffles, and stroopwafles. How scrumptious! Now that she has had her waffle fix, she goes exploring in the Underground City. Because it is so cold in Montreal, there are so many things connected so that you don't have to go out into the cold air. In the peak of cold weather over 500,000 people are there every day, traversing the twenty miles of tunnels to visit the 2,000+ businesses housed there. One of those businesses that Lulu chooses to visit is David's Tea. She purchased a selection of some of the oddest flavors she could find, such as Cardamom French Toast, Cotton Candy, and Cookie Dough. She also buys some of the more typical sounding throat rescue tea, and sends it to her friends at Choir of Man. Lulu is a sucker for bulk candy, so she had to stop into Squish Candies, where all they sell is gummy candies. She wants to try them all, specifically the white wine spritz and prosecco candies. I mean, are you kidding me? Hoping she gets some for souvenirs. Oh and there are vegan friendly gummies! Candy fix satiated, she heads to Yul Designs which features Montreal artisans. Lulu gets everything from handmade earrings to two types of artisanal peanut butter. She's shopped til she dropped, so she emerges from the Underground City to head to lunch at Schwartz's, the oldest deli in Canada. At some point to save it from going out of business Celine Dion bought this deli. Fascinating.
Next stop is the Burgundy Lion for the whiskey flight of the month. She also gets 4 servings of Brora 37 year. You'll find out why here shortly. She leaves the bar and heads to Igloo Fest - the coldest music festival in the world - to see RL Grime and Baauer. She wants to look the part of festival-goer and devoted-fan, so she purchased this Baauer flight jacket and two 24k gold plated Cynthia Rowley bracelet flasks. One for each wrist, obviously! That is what the whiskey purchased earlier was about. And hey, for a budget friendly option, try this bracelet flask from Amazon, only $10.99! Hold on, let me go add those to my cart right quick. To close out her seemingly never-ending day, Lulu does a seven course menu with wine pairing at Toqué. Whew! Exhausted, and a little tipsy, Lulu bids her day "adieu"!
CHECK OUT THE CHARITIES WE FOUND IN THE CITIES WE VISITED:
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