Ivory Coast, Africa + Antibes, France
Alison is in full back-to-school mom mode as her girls start high school and kindergarten! Lulu just went to a wedding and had the best time dancing the night away in her new Amazon fashion find - this off-the-shoulder dress made from stretchy fabric that was made to twirl!
Alison is obsessed with her gel pedicure. She didn't know you could do gel on your toes, and they look brand new a month later. Lulu is obsessed with the omelet she has been making herself. It was her happy a couple of episodes ago.
Alison really wants a custom made bathing suit, too bad she couldn't figure that out before she went on a cruise. Of course after the fact we've found Surania which lets you design your own swimsuit and takes into account torso length. Next summer! Lulu wants to have a grand piano in her home. She needs a home first, but you know, one day. The place she is subletting in NYC has a piano in the living room. Maybe she can make do with this roll-up practice piano for now.
Officially known as the Côte d'Ivoire, Alison assumes this is because the sand is ivory-colored? Lulu guesses that it's because a lot of elephants were poached for their tusks in the area? Is one of them right? According to our google/quora/wikipedia inquiries, Lulu is the winner. In pre-Colonial times regions were named after the product with the most widespread trade, in this case, ivory.
Back to her trip, Alison is going to buy the Sony RX10 IV. She describes it as "the perfect travel camera if you want to go like hard-core picture travel". Say what? Well, she knows its small-ish but packs a punch. She's taking said camera and heading to her stay in this villa she found on Airbnb. Villa Meublée Assinie Dans un Complexe Hotelier is the full name. Her French pronunciation attempts are so brilliantly bad, it’s good. Now, Alison is a little wary, as the Airbnb prices in the area are much more than the hotel prices, and all the accommodations she researched looked sketchily sparse, so she picked the best looking place she can find.
The roads of the area can be quite rough apparently, so she rents a Toyota Land Cruiser HZJ-78 through Flash Vehicles. Alison drives said vehicle to her brunch at Nougatine Patisserie where she gets a bottle of champagne and $50 worth of pastries. There was such a diverse pastry selection that clearly her only option was to buy loads. High on sweets and bubbles, Alison heads to the largest Catholic church in the world, The Basilica of Our Lady of Peace of Yamoussoukro. 30,000 square meters of land, the breathtaking building can hold about 18,000 worshipers. Alison lets her inner photog out for awhile, before heading to lunch at Saakan where she has ostrich carpaccio, lobster, calamari, crawfish, five types of ice cream, and three rounds of Jack Daniel's with ginger syrup. She decides to work off her massive lunch with a swim in the waterfalls of Les Cascades de Man.
Next Alison heads to Monchoco, one of the world’s largest cocoa producers that manufactures the chocolate from the raw cacao bean into chocolate. Alison tried to explain chocolate making but her research didn't go that far so if you want to know what this place means by "we manufacture our chocolate from A to Z", then go to their website. She buys a candy bar for herself (and one for her kids to share) for every day for the next year. That's around $3,000 of chocolate. Now what goes well with chocolate? Well even if it didn't Alison would be going for some wine. She heads to The Wine Route in Abidjan to close out her day with some cheeses, charcuterie, and champagne. Lots of champagne.
Located on the French Riviera between Cannes and Nice, Lulu has actually been to the resort town of Antibes. In real life! She was just driving through with her best friend Danny, and grabbed dinner somewhere, but if she could go back with 10K...this is what she would do. Lulu is a big fan of Tender is the Night, the novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald, which he started writing while living in the villa that is now Hôtel Belles Rives, where Lulu will be staying in a Sea View Suite. Along with the golden era of jazz and well, life, vibes that she is getting from this spot, amenities such as a nail dryer and a Tesla charger are also available to her. She doesn't need the Tesla charger, however, because she is getting first class black car service through Blacklane for the entire day! Another famous frequenter of Antibes was Picasso, who painted many of his works while in the town. Lulu pays a visit to the Picasso Museum which is in the Grimaldi Castle.
After getting her fill of cubism, Lulu finds the perfect way to spend a French afternoon. An Airbnb Experiences search led her to French feminists on the beach, an experience where American expat Augustine leads discussions about French feminists and other topics du jour in a small group on the beach. Lulu is going to provide the picnic for the excursion. Assuming that with herself, the host, and other guests we are talking 6 people in total. She's going to buy a $500 bottle of pink champagne for each person. She obviously needs a hammered silver double insulated beverage tub to keep these all cool in, and insulated wine tumblers for everyone to enjoy their beverage on the beach. She grabs cheese, baguettes, cured meats, and chilled shrimp at the nearby food market for everyone to nosh on. Even more gifts are headed this lucky groups way, as Lulu buys everyone a Feminist Agenda notebook, this beautiful script font "feminist" beach towel and a tank that reads “Mermaids Don’t Have Thigh Gap”
For dinner Lulu heads to Restaurant Figuier Saint Esprit where she gets things from the “Essentials” menu. Saddle of lamb, cannelloni with squid and clams, and a dessert that sounds to die for - lightly cooked chocolate fondant with a runny core of freshly picked sour and sweet cherries, topped with pistachio ice cream. Oh, and wine. She got lots of wine.
Now remember how one of her amenities was a nail dryer? Lulu is going to end her day using it. Lulu purchases Christian Louboutin nail polish from Olivela, the bottle of which is adorned with 1500 hand-applied two-tone strass crystals. Packaged in a luxury lacquer finish carton box decorated with 2 leather strassed flowers borrowed from the F/W 2014 shoe “Pensamoi”. A $675 bottle of nail polish is about as luxurious as it gets.
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