Waterloo, Belgium + Tequila, Mexico
Fits of giggles ensue as Alison and Lulu realize its episode 69. We hope your inner teenage boy gets a laugh out of that too. Just us? Okay...moving on, then. We have been busy recently, the good kind. Alison just opened Mamma Mia! at American Stage in the Park, and they have had sold out shows all weekend long! She's especially excited because she is playing Donna, her favorite role to date, and this is the first time in her career where she gets the last bow. It's running through May 12th, so if anyone is in the Tampa Bay area, you should go check her out.
Also, some exciting news!!! We are going to be speaking at two podcasting events this year - the Respect Podcast Festival in Philadelphia on August 24th and 25th, and then on September 6th and 7th we'll be in Atlantic City, New Jersey at the Mid-Atlantic Podcast Conference. We'd love to connect with our listeners in these cities, so if you will be around hit us up on the Bae page, so we can make a plan to get drinks!
Alison is obsessed with a makeup product that the actress playing Rose in her show, Becca McCoy, introduced to her. We featured Becca in one of our #10KSaturday mini episodes, so check those out if you haven't had a chance to yet. Right, back to it. So this Becca Hydra-Mist Set & Refresh Powder is the new beauty product Alison is obsessed with. And you know how excited we get about beauty products! Lulu is confused by "hydra" and "setting powder" being in the same description. Alison described the magically cool feeling the powder gives your skin and Lulu (who is always hot) is sold. So it's a translucent setting powder whose light-reflecting powder gives a mist-like effect to your skin, blurring fine lines and perfections. Something along those lines.
Alison declares, "I will never use another powder 'til the day I die." That's some intense praise right there, but hey, it's THAT GOOD. Lulu is excited to try it, but points out that Alison is always claiming that her beauty product obsessions could work on all skin tones, but she's white. So Lulu is going to try it on her Filipino skin when she sees Alison next. She'll let you know.
Lulu is obsessed with the Honey app. You can get it on your phone or as a plug-in for your browser on your computer, which is handy. Oh, so it is a free personal shopping assistant that helps you save time and money by bringing all your favorite stores and all the best deals together in one easy-to-use app. Every time you go to a retail website, it will check to see if there are any promo codes out there in the interweb universe. She recently got something for $32 that would have been $50. WINNING!
Alison is wishing for this pool float from Sam's Club. This isn't your ordinary pool float, and it’s definitely an upgrade from the pool floats you had as a kid. I mean, it's nearly the size of a boat. Like it might take up your whole pool. It can fit 6 people, has a cooler and eight cup holders. Lulu is really really wishing for this weeks wishlist. She wants to be a member of Rent the Runway Unlimited, you get 4+ items at a time, anything for work, wedding, or play! You also have the option to keep an item if you fall in love and simply can't part with it, and you get a discount off the retail price! This membership costs $159 per month, though right now you can get $80 off of 2 months with code SOSMART (at the time of this post being published, anyways). This arrangement sounds like a dream for Lulu, who loves to have fashionable items, but doesn't want to break the bank.
In honor of Alison opening her show this weekend, and since Lulu also did Mamma Mia! this year, she is going to Waterloo! There is a Waterloo in Canada and in Iowa, but she is going to the one in Belgium, which is where the famous battle took place that the ABBA song references. While she's very close to Brussels, she'll save that for another 10K day. She's doing as much as she can actually in Waterloo proper. She is staying at Martin’s Grand Hotel, whose nicest suite is not unaffordable, and exudes modern luxury with pops of color amongst modern amenities. Plus her Great Superior Suite comes with a canopy bed and a bubble bath. Wait, is the bubble bath like ready for you upon arrival? Because we would soooo be here for that.
Now first things first, Lulu is going looking for Belgian waffles. And not wanting to be an ugly-American-party-of-one, she is going for the authentic experience and looks for a street vendor. She has a tried-and-true method for finding good street food when traveling - she looks for the longest line. If the locals are lining up for it, that's where you should go! Question, do Belgians call them Belgian waffles? Apparently they are called Liege Waffles in Belgium. Still a little hungry, Lulu heads to vegetarian-friendly ZigZ Waterloo Cafe. She is excited that they advertise NY water bagels. Because apparently that is what makes New York bagels how uniquely delicious they are, the water. In addition to her bagel Lulu gets duck with goat cheese and mango chutney, and a scoop of vanilla ice cream with espresso and whiskey. Sounds like a peculiar combination, but when in...Belgium?
Lulu flies Alison out from Tampa via Delta, and Air France, and she also flies over their friend and pianist Jason Wetzel from New York on Aeroflot to join them. Why the entourage, you ask? Well, Lulu has rented out Cabaret Mademoiselle, and Alison and Lulu are going to put on a Mamma Mia!-themed cabaret show!! They are excited to be performing in this venue, as it hosts everything from burlesque, 30's circus shows, drag, stand-up comedy, and much more. They'll fit right in. Rented jumpsuits from Fourth Wall Scenic are going to give them the complete look, especially once they get properly fitted by local alterations output Blanchisserie de Waterloo. Lulu is going to pay them handsomely to do temporary alterations, and unalterations when the show is over. She has really thought this through.
Lunch is at Mamma Mia. It has nothing to do with ABBA, but rather is an Italian restaurant. But hey, who doesn't love some pizza? Wanting to take in a little history, they head to Brocante du Lion, the larger-than-life lion statue marking the battle of Waterloo. She has Alison take some pictures of her with the statue in this stunning "Tena" gown by ML Monique Lhuillier that she gets from Rent the Runway (we're coming full circle here, Lulu really wants to do Rent the Runway Unlimited). She's thinking this could be her holiday card picture or something.
All dressed up, she needs somewhere to go, so the trio heads to La Sucrerie, the restaurant at her hotel. It used to be a sugar factory, hence the name, but is now a beautiful dining room where the girls and Wetzel enjoy the tasting menu and cheese plates, all on Lulu's (imaginary) dime.
Yes there is a place called Tequila, and it's not just in your dreams. Alison forgets that the 'J' is more of a soft ‘h’ sound in Spanish, so for fun let’s just say she’s already had that much tequila that she’s slurring her pronunciations. Mexico has states, and Jalisco is the state where tequila is made. Similar to how bourbon has to be made in Kentucky, authentic tequila has to be made in Jalisco. Our producer Ash did a tequila tour in Jalisco IRL, and is a bit of an unashamed snob about finding (and drinking, obviously) authentic tequila. So look for "Hecho en Mexico" and "Jalisco" on your tequila bottles to have the real deal, my friends. Back to Alison's imaginary trip. Alison found the Hotel Boutique La Cofradia, which is the only boutique hotel inside a tequila factory. It’s four casitas, or "little houses", are made from giant tequila barrels. You get to sleep in a tequila barrel, in the middle of an agave field. Yes, this is for real, though I know it really does sounds like a dream you once had after a particularly festive Cinco de Mayo or after too many margaritas at happy hour.
In addition to an included breakfast, literally every type of activity you could want to do is offered by the hotel. She takes a tour of the city in a Tequila Tram - imagine a tram, but shaped like a bottle of tequila. Then she does the Living the Tequila Process, where you learn about growing, fermenting, distilling tequila, then you get to do a tasting and design your own bottle! After her morning becoming a tequila conoissieur, she heads to the hotel's tavern restaurant, which was built underground during the prohibition era.
Next is Adventure Tequila, where she tries her hand at rappelling. Having worked up an appetite, she heads back to the hotel's tavern restaurant again for dinner. For another tequila experience, she opts for the hotel's offering of a nighttime Tour of the Senses. The only description for said experience is "awaken your senses in the darkness of the night". Depending on who you are, this is either exciting or terrifying. Let's just say Alison is hoping this has something to do with exploring the agave fields and tasting tequila in the dark, you know, if you can't see, another sense, like taste, is heightened?
Alison has had quite the day, and yet somehow has only spent $600. What's a girl to do? Ever the resourceful imaginary luxury travel expert, she googles "what is the Most expensive tequila made in Tequila, Jalisco, Mexico". And boy, did she hit the jackpot. Tres-Quatro-Cinco is made by the Fonesca family, who have been at the tequila game for four generations. The family only makes 1,000 bottles of this $390 bottle of tequila a year. Inside this luxury bottle is a family secret blend of three-, four-, and five-year aged tequilas. Alison buys 24 bottles as gifts for the cast and band to give out at the closing show next month. This brings her total to $9,999.69. Oh and it's episode 69. Alison loves when numbers align, so she takes this as a sign that we are going to do this $600 day in Tequila IRL one day soon. It’s totally doable!
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