Siem Reap, Cambodia + Cuzco, Peru
It is a guest googler episode, and we have Brian Baez with us this week! He's been a 10K Dollar Day fan since the beginning, so we know he's going to be a great addition. Plus he brought some wine from Publix for us so it's going to be a good time. We get into talking about wine, Merlot versus Pinot Noir, Washington state versus Oregon...you'd think we know what we are talking about, but we really don't. Though the Publix two-for-one special wine we are drinking definitely has an aftertaste of poverty, Lulu quips.
Our guest googler Brian is obsessed with his Manta sleep mask, and yes he brought it off of Instagram, because he's a sucker for good marketing. Alison is obsessed with Origins' Charcoal Mask. Specifically she has been using it as a spot treatment, and is having some great results with her cystic acne that she describes in "too much information" style detail. Somehow we go off on a tangent about Love Island, which has been an obsession and topic of discussion multiple times, after Alison revealed her love for the reality series during a live show. Lulu is also obsessed with a mask, fresh's rose face mask. So all three of our obsessions are masks...we're The Three Masketeers! We love a good pun, or, a just a pun in this case.
Brian's wishlist is borne from his seething hatred of tepid coffee. He is wanting the Ember coffee mug, a coffee cup thermos situation that is battery operated and bluetooth connected to an app that lets you control the temperature so your coffee is the perfect level of hot from the first sip to the last. This has solved a universal frustration and we say is definitely worth the $79.95 price tag on Amazon. Alison is wishing for Unicorn Tears' Wine which is an unbelievably pink rosé. Like the pinkest of pinks, which is apparently completely natural because, hello, unicorn tears are pink. And unicorns are real. Lulu has added Brian's glasses to her wishlist, and even has tried them on and taken a selfie, that's how much she loves them. Where did you get them Brian? Well, again thanks to the marketing magic of instagram, he did some shopping at the afforable glasses/sunglasses website Privé Revaux.
Brian first tells us about how long he has been wanting to share his 10K Day plans, then warns that he will mispronounce everything. Hello, welcome to 10K Dollar Day, you are in good company here. He chooses an area of Cambodia where the Tomb Raider movies are filmed, because he's obsessed with them. We think that is a legit wonderful and completely acceptable reason for one's locale pick. All this in mind, Brian heads to Siem Reap, which is the gateway to the temples of Angkor, but as of late has become a hip destination for all types of travelers. He is very excited to stay in a villa at Phum Baitang Resort that has its own plunge pool! Brian is excited about the environmentally-friendly aspects of his breakfast pick, New Leaf Eatery. They are one of the first places in the area to use biodegradable containers, bamboo straws, and use all recycled glass products.
Before he heads out for his day of activites, Brian stops by the Banyon Pastry School to purchase a coffee shop and some baked goods for a packed lunch, the cost of which supports the efforts of the school to educate underprivileged women in baking techniques. He is off to a very charitable and eco-friendly start. We're here for it. We are also very here for Brian's shopping spree of items needed for his trip. A quick Amazon Prime delivery included these blue Salamon® Men's Hiking Boots, a shirt and cargo shorts with that safari/adventure look, and don't some natural mosquito repellant. Oh, and Brian is using his imaginary 10K to buy a Canon EOS 80D DSLR camera, with accessories. Alison is so proud, she loves using her 10K to purchase things she'll use in her day and get to keep. Lulu imagines that in Alison's head is a huge walk-in closet of all the items Alison has done this with. Quite right, but I digress.
Now that Brian is well-dressed and well-equipped he heads out for his first excursion, a photography tour of the Angkor temples, guided by a professional. Not only do you get to see the sites, you get a pro helping you learn to capture the moment with excellent composition and killer lighting. His instagram photos are going to be lit! (See what I did there?) Brian is speaking the girl's language as he describes his next adventure, a sunset hot air balloon ride over the temples he spent the day exploring and photographing. And like a professional imaginary luxury traveler - aka he's listened to the podcast since the beginning - Brian buys out the experience and does it all by himself. After his day of adventures he heads to The Embassy for a six-course menu which is somehow only $36. Fresh oysters, fried catfish salad, beef shank soup, steamed dumplings, mango and mint sorbet, and a sesame and ginger ice-cream. All of that for only $36. Oh, and for $28 you can get a four glass wine pairing. Are you kidding? UN. REAL. To cap off his incredible day, he heads to the hotel's Spa Temple for multiple services. Just read through their spa services menu, which entices you with the statement "your body is a temple, so treat it as sacred." Feeling like a nosh, Brian decides to have one more adventure and take a vespa tour of Cambodian street food. His inner Anthony Bourdain is very pleased.
Alison puts on her narrator voice and reads the introduction to her stay - " Have you ever wanted to sleep in a condor’s nest? Next best thing — A transparent luxury capsule that hangs from the top of a mountain in the Sacred Valley of Peru." Serioulsy. We are on an eco-kick this week, apparently, as these luxury capsules have solar panels, dry eco-toilets and eco-sinks. They also have first class service and first class views, and you have to get there and out via zip-line. Oh and you are also given a bilingual guide and complimentary breakfast and dinner. Alison takes a private tour of the Ollantaytambo and Pisac Ruins, which comes with a farm picnic lunch. After taking in the ruins, she takes a helicopter tour of the Sacred Valley. She gets to take in the aerial view of such archaeological sites as Huchuy-Qosqo, Moray, and Sacsayhuaman.
If at this point you are wondering whether Alison is pronouncing these words correctly, you should just give the episode a listen. Minute 51, folks. On the outside her next stop could be described as underwhelming, but the Andean adobe house is actually a planetarium where Alison does a little stargazing. Next she tries some Coati Dung Coffee. This beverage produced by Chanchamayo Highland Coffee in Peru sells at $1400 per kilogram, and has been digested by an animal, the Coati. No, you are not drinking animal feces, the gastric acid filter cuts the grain nucleus, and then when the coffee comes in contact with peptides and amino acids, it results in less bitter coffee that has an intense aroma that lingers on the palate of your tongue. Brian is nervous about what that lingering scent must smell like. Here's the thing, there are coffee-digested-by-animals situations in many countries. Our producer Ash tried this in Bali last summer, and much to the chagrin of some family members, was the souvenir she brought home. Alison is also bringing home some as a souvenir, hopefully she has better luck gifting it. She's bringing six pounds of it home for herself and souvenirs, which came with a price tag of $8400. Hopefully some of our 10K Dollar Baes are adventurous coffee drinkers.
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