la musique en France

when i travel i love listening to the radio. it’s so fun to hear what people like and listen to in other parts of the world. i REALLY loved listening to the radio in France. the music was fantastic but listening to the people speak and sing in French was even bettahhh! they don’t call it a romance language for nothin’! ūüėČ

no surprise that two of my fave artists were quite popular over there…David Guetta’s ‘titanium’ and Flo Rida’s ‘wild ones’ were played over the airwaves repeatedly. both songs feature Sia! take a listen…

BUT i think this group is the one to watch – Colletif Metisse! the song i heard in France was titled ‘sexy lady’. i can’t buy it itunes or find it on you tube ūüė¶ nevertheless, here’s a sampling of Collectif Metisse! tell me you don’t feel like dancing?!



Filed under france, travel

lola’s airline allstar

lola has a secret admirer.¬†well…maybe it‚Äôs more like a sugar daddy in the department of frequent flier miles. either way, lola was the benefactor of some good will on her Hawaii trip.

oooo FIRST class

lola’s FF sugar daddy was going to lose a tres fantastique upgrade if not used by February 29. sooo, this generous fellow gave the awesome upgrade to lola for her flight from Hawaii to LA. talk about a knight in shining armor moment! this gentleman has yet to even meet lola in the flesh but still insisted on sharing his great frequent flier perks with moi. on top of that, he had little details on my flight information but somehow still managed to switch it all up for me. this act of sweetness and follow through (i didn’t have to lift so much as a finger) makes me swoon! can i be seduced by airline upgrades? possibly!

yes, that's champagne before take off!

even though i almost NEVER fly fancy class, let’s be serious, it totally suits me. i mean, c’mon, being waited on hand & foot and wined & dined is SO lola’s speed.

yep, jeremy piven was flying first with me back to LA

flying amongst the rich and famous…i’m a high-class gal. maybe it’s for the best that i rarely fly first class so that i can appreciate the finer things when they’re presented to me. i DID truly appreciate my special 6 hour flight in fancy first. lola is one lucky girl, i’ll be the first to admit it!!

merci beaucoup, you lovely secret admirer frequent flier sugar daddy. you made my day!

XO – lola

*jeremy piven photo from chicago theater beat


Filed under travel

hollywood or hollywon’t?!

welcome to Hollywood! what’s your dream?

the boa in the city of angels

i’m going Holly’would’ ALL the WAY, baby! ūüėČ

lola quite enjoyed her time in Beverly Hills.¬† let me just say, if you have the choice, choose this! OMG, i don‚Äôt love LA but i could live in Beverly Hills quite happily. i‚Äôll start with the Beverly Wilshire. it‚Äôs old school Hollywood glamorous! the building itself is gorgeous and a landmark worth visiting just to see it. the staff was amazing ‚Äď waiting on me hand & foot ‚Äď making sure i was satisfied. you know how lola loves the great customer service and attention!!

the beautiful Beverly Wilshire hotel

the whole “hood” of Beverly Hills is spectacular. who couldn‚Äôt be wooed by Rodeo Drive and all the beautiful boutique stores? or the expensive, fancy, fast cars parked along the palm-tree-lined streets? everything is perfectly groomed and very clean. it is sooo posh ‚Äď i could have just died and gone to heaven!

super swanky Rodeo Drive

Beverly Hills Bugatti - the most pricey car in the world

i quite enjoyed my little LA tour complete with a visit to Grauman’s Chinese & Kodak theaters. it may be totally touristy but it was fun to find some of my favorite stars hand and foot prints in the cement as well as their stars on the side walk of Hollywood Boulevard. the whole area seemed to be buzzing about the Oscars happening just one week after my visit.

Grauman's Chinese Theater

Ms. Paltrow's star!

my Hollywood crush - Johnny Depp

i got a kick out of getting close up to the Hollywood sign too. boy, driving up those winding roads was something else! it was interesting to learn the history of the sign (it was just an advertisement for land being sold to build homes) and how Hugh Hefner saved the sign by recently buying up all the land where the sign sits so that it cannot be developed. awww, that Hef is such a softie!

you can find every food imaginable at the farmers market

i also discovered some yummy foodie places and the 3rd & Fairfax Farmers Market ‚Äď nom, nom, nom for eyes, nose, ears &¬† belly! in Bev Hills, i recommend Taberna for delicious Mexican (and that‚Äôs coming from a native Texan) ūüėČ AND The Farm of Beverly Hills was fantastic for breakfast (it didn‚Äôt hurt to have a star sighting of David Spade while eating my omelette)!

lola loves Beverly Hills!

to be honest with you, there really wasn‚Äôt anything that was hollywon’t. well‚Ķmaybe the terrible LA traffic on the way to the airport but that‚Äôs it. looking forward to returning in May, Beverly Wilshire in the ritzy Beverly Hills, it’s the only way to stay! definitely lola-approved!!


Filed under california, los angeles, travel

flirty fun in France & Monaco


if you follow my blog you know that lola¬†has a certain je¬†ne sais quoi. let me be clear, my time in France and Monaco proved they too¬†were willing to¬†be influenced by the lola¬†factor. those along the Riviera were quite eager to be lolafied. i guess it was really the low-season ūüėČ

lola served up on a silver platter

lola¬†requested that difficult pink beret ‚Äď a request more than sufficiently met! then i proceeded to wear the beret everywhere, which the French folk seemed to enjoy.

look at petit lola being a little saucy tart

one evening, lola brought out petit lola (aka my little mascot Barbie) to dinner and after dinner drinks only to be flirted with by many a cute man.

birthday buddies - max & lola

AND real-life lola wore out my boa on my birthday. by that evening’s end, i had many, oh so many, a man donning a boa feather here and there (ears, lapels, pocket feathers.) it was really quite a surprise, to be honest, how much those men adored the boa!

oh yeah...he WAS lolafied!

either France and Monaco have a spirit about them that totally identifies with lola or people really just needed to get outside of their usual routines. whatever it was, the embracing of lola and her silly sassiness made this trip and birthday extra EXTRA special.

i¬†love the idea of lolafying¬†a place ‚Äď wouldn‚Äôt you?! my feathers floated all around Monaco for a good 24 hours at least. AND it‚Äôs been reported that i¬†was missed once i¬†was gone. locals lola¬†met have confessed they are missing lola‚Äôs je ne sais quoi!

my lovely bartender crush in provence


Filed under france, monaco, travel

Monaco DO & Monaco DON’T

when i think of Monaco, i think glitz, glam, royalty and James Bond

gentlemen, start your engines!

while i¬†found the little city-state clean¬†& pretty, i¬†also found it feeling quite manufactured¬†& fake.¬†february is¬†low-season¬†and i¬†am sure Monaco is more exciting when it’s high-season¬†BUT, even still,¬†Monaco was a disappointment. don’t get me wrong, lola¬†had fun…i¬†have fun wherever¬†i¬†go. AND i feel so lucky to have had the opportunity to discover first-hand that Monaco isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

casino NOT royale!

let’s start with the vision of James Bond¬†and the casino. of course, the building is beautiful¬†and who couldn’t appreciate that?!¬†BUT when¬†you imagine a casino in Monaco,¬†you think of something grand. it was tiny¬†and most games were electronic – bleck. it was practically deserted and like walking into a nursing home. i was the only one wearing sequins – all else had on hoodies and sneakers. sorry Monaco…Vegas has you beat by a long-shot, a thousand times over!

built into the mountainside - Monaco has slowly 'reclaimed' land from the sea to increase its territory

i did take a little bus tour to see the tiny principality. Monaco is the second smallest independent state in the world next to the Vatican.

beautiful little orange trees line the streets

Monaco's castle

i’m¬†glad i had the chance to see Monaco but don’t feel the need to ever go back UNLESS it’s for the Monaco Grand Prix! OMG the cars & that race would be worth the trip. this is the glitz and glam that does exist in Monaco!

ooo lala - fast cars

yummy ferrari

this is how i "rolls-royce"

bottom-line, Monaco is at least double the cost of France. my advice: go visit for the day but cross the country line back to France for dinner, drinks & dessert. unless, of course, you have a sugar daddy (or mama) ūüėČ


Filed under monaco, travel

bon anniversaire ala France et Monaco

birthday fun – vive la lola!

happy birthday

lola got birthday treats all trip long. from a macaroon cake & wine at the Four Seasons Provence to champagne at Villa Gallici! i was treated like quite the b-day gal.

yummy cake!

sante - birthday girl!

on my actual birthday in Monaco¬†i¬†was brought a cake with a sparkler type of candle at dinner and yet another at the bar where¬†i¬†was having after dinner drinks. apparently they DO like flashy things in Monaco! AND of course i had some of both…it would have been rude not to.

lola loves sparkly things!

and cake number deux

sometimes turning a year older can be a drag but i¬†truly had the best birthday this year. i¬†mean, who couldn’t love 2 cakes?¬†i¬†was made to feel¬†magnifique¬†everywhere¬†i¬†went & why not?!¬†i am¬†kinda¬†special¬†because i’m¬†lola after all!

ps – i highly recommend spending your birthday in France/Monaco but no matter where you are, do it up BIG. it is YOUR DAY!!

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Filed under france, monaco, travel

staying fancy pants in France

Four Seasons Provence at Terre Blanche: a little slice of heaven in the South of France

Four Seasons Provence at Terre Blanche

Four Seasons Provence at Terre Blanche is situated amongst beautiful scenery in the village of Tourrettes just¬†45 minutes from Nice. this hidden part of Provence has always attracted artists and Four Seasons Provence at Terre Blanche is no different as it offers a haven of peace surrounded by pure, wild nature. all of the property’s 115 suites cling to the slopes of the hill the same as the homes in view from surrounding mountain top villages. it‚Äôs absolutely lovely. so is it‚Äôs gorgeous spa. total luxury! BUT that is not the story I want to share‚Ķ

stunning pool of FS Provence

i began communicating with Four Seasons Provence through twitter and email. they were extremely responsive and made booking my stay a piece of cake sending me a link for the room & rate i requested. next, when i began to inquire about restaurants & wine tastings, the reservations department put the concierge in touch with me. this is when it gets really impressive. the options were so nicely organized by local cuisine or gastronomic dining experiences. i requested to try one of each and for the concierge to choose his favorites. not only did he choose, but went straight on to make the reservation for me. his choices were perfect! (more on this in my eating post) i also challenged this sweet man to finding me a beret to don upon arrival in Provence. he was unwavering in his efforts! (you know this if you read my raspberry beret post) the above & beyond effort is my favorite trip memory and for this, i will always adore both him and Four Seasons Provence.

upon arrival, i¬†was personally welcomed by the travel industry sales manager and a very gracious and eager staff. it‚Äôs low season in Provence and the property was very quiet with only 8 rooms booked Friday and 12 on Saturday. it might seem that perhaps this is why i¬†got such exceptional service but in retrospect i believe this is just how they do it at the Four Seasons Provence. they take extreme pride in doing their job perfectly ‚Äď what a joy!

other perks from the stay:

An upgrade to a nicer room

watercolor notecard of Four Seasons Provence with a message from the General Manager

A birthday cake to welcome me, a handwritten note from the General Manager, plus 2 bottles of the region’s wines, gratis

A smiley staff willing to drive me to and fro at a moment’s notice

one of my happy drivers

A portfolio pre-made for me with details of dinners & wine tastings (including marked & highlighted maps)

A warmed car with driving directions when i was dropped to the car for dinner

i kid you not - the BEST

An inclusive breakfast with the BEST bacon i have ever had (America – adopt this European tradition, si vous plait)

A bartender who kept the bar open for one last drink although no one else was there

meet Jimmy bartender extraordinaire

A reception staff that knew who i was Рgreeting me by name each and every encounter AND did everything to ensure i was happy (including giving me a delicious Four Seasons Terre Blanche candle at check out)

AND a head of concierge that planned my visit better than i could have hoped and got me my treasured pink beret

what a cute pink beret!

i¬†don’t believe Four Seasons Provence would have denied me anything. it was as if they anticipated my every wish and thought. it‚Äôs worth every penny when you receive this kind of exceptional service, i¬†must say. i¬†may be ruined now because i¬†was spoiled so much. it truly was the VERY BEST service i have ever experienced.

AND since then, i¬†have received follow-up¬†emails from Andrea Ramseyer¬†‚Äď Travel Industry Sales Manager, Jean-Jacques Yonnet¬†‚Äď Head Concierge (who made all my dreams come true) and Mauro Governato¬†‚Äď General Manager of Four Seasons Provence at Terre Blanche, all expressing the wish that i enjoyed my stay, thanking me for my patronage plus inviting me back as soon as possible.

merci beaucoup, i will be back Рyou can count on that!

Villa Gallici: a hidden treasure in Aix en Provence

the charming Villa Gallici

the Villa Gallici¬†in Aix en Provence¬†has existed for two centuries before becoming a hotel devoted to the French art de vivre 20 years ago. the property has 22 gorgeous, individually decorated rooms as well as some fabulous common areas to enjoy. it is just as the Baglioni/Relais¬†& Chateaux¬†families desire – comme a la maison “just like at home‚ÄĚ. it‚Äôs no wonder Villa Gallici¬†has been named one of the best 500 hotels in the world by Travel & Leisure¬†and has an impressive standing on the 2011 Conde Nast Traveller list. when you are at the Villa Gallici¬†it‚Äôs as if time has stopped and all of life¬†is enjoyed at a slower pace. there‚Äôs a simple ease in your time spent there that‚Äôs divine in this day and age of lightening-speed life. i¬†wish i could bottle up that feeling and sip it every now and then!

so very true

similar to FS Provence, i began communicating with Villa Gallici about dinner reservations while staying there. they, too, were very responsive and recommended & booked a fantastic restaurant for my one evening in Aix en Provence. (also to be reviewed in my eating post)

beautiful blue room

i prompted Villa Gallici as well that it was my birthday and upon arrival, after an easy check in (with an upgraded room!), i was brought yummy little sweet treats and some veuve clicquot champagne along with a handwritten note from the Managing Director welcoming me. the French know how to do it right!! kinda makes me wish i had a birthday more often!

birthday champagne - sante

Villa Gallici made sure i had a well-marked map and directions to all of my evening’s destinations. after a fun night out, i came back to Villa Gallici to find rose petals scattered about in my turned down sheets. how lovely. i was well attended to but left to enjoy Villa Gallici at my leisure. my only regret is that i didn’t have more time at this special place but i had to get onto Monaco.


if i’ve said it once, i’ll say it again. DO NOT hesistate to let the hotel know you are there for a special occasion (that is, of course, if you are)! it’s a very competitive business and i find that hotels across the board want your loyalty so it’s important to make you feel special.¬† the concierge is there to help you – so take advantage of that too. i haven’t asked for anything in my travels that i haven’t gotten or received help with.¬†so ASK and YE SHALL RECEIVE!

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Filed under france, travel