Hi and welcome to another edition of the MELSAYS PODCAST! Happy New Year! Hope you have wonderful holidays and that 2020 is off to a fantastic start! 2020 is shaping up to be a crazy year, as we are expecting our first child in May. So my goal is to get as many episodes out and edited as possible before the arrival of our daughter.
I’m super excited to have Valerie Duprat as my guest today on the podcast. She is a surfboard shaper, surfer and mom. She was recently featured in the new book Surf Like A Girl and today she shares how she went from growing up in Paris to shaping boards in Encinitas and become one of the first local female shapers. I hope you’ll enjoy my chat with her!
The podcast is just one click away or you can also listen to it below. If you enjoyed our chat, make sure you subscribe to the MELSAYS PODCAST here -> Apple Podcasts and Google Play. Also, feel free to send me some guest suggestions for future episodes!
Two years ago this fall, I created a running series as I was traveling across Canada for the television show I was working on. Titled 13 Cities, 13 Runs (you can check it out here), this series was a fun way for me to share some of the discoveries that I made while exploring these cities by foot. I’ve always found running to be such a great means to explore a new city or city that you aren’t too familiar with. Whether running on the streets or on some of the local trails, it’s the cheapest and in my opinion, easiest way to really get a feel for a place when you travel.
So after some brainstorming and with all of the travels I’ve been doing and have coming up in the next couple of months, I’ve decided to revive this series. Now entitled #RUN2EXPLORE, this series will have as a goal to showcase some of the potential trails, routes, etc. that you could explore in one particular city.
I’m kicking-off this new series today with none other than: Paris!
There are lots of different types of routes to explore while in Paris. Though a very busy city, there are still tons of places where you can run uninterrupted around the different neighbourhoods, or “arrondissements” as they call it in Paris.
For this new series, I’ll be highlighting a few notable areas that are worth exploring via running. For Paris they are as follows:
1) Bois de Vincennes – Located adjacent of the 20th arrondissement and right at the Château de Vincennes Metro, this large park and castle is a lovely area to run around in. There are gardens, a lake, waterfalls, lots of trees and even a nudist area, for those who are interested. You can easily run up to 20kms around the park. An enjoyable segment to try out is the following: https://www.strava.com/segments/16329265
2) La Seine – This 777-kilometre-long river runs right through the heart of Paris. There are many of the city’s major attractions that can be seen by running along La Seine; everything from Le Louvre, to Notre Dame de Paris, to the Champs Elysées, Tuileries Garden, Trocadero and even the infamous Eiffel Tower! La Seine can easily be accessed by Metro, there are a handful of stops located just steps away from the river. The following is a worthy segment that runs past some of the city’s main tourist hotspots and that can easily be added to if interested: https://www.strava.com/segments/18330554
3) Versailles – One of the most beautiful areas of the greater Paris; from the gardens to the incredible Palace that dates back to 1682, when it was used as the principal royal residence of France under Louis XIV. You can easily run up to 15 kms around the palace, the Grand Canal, theatre, etc. A good starting point is the following segment: https://www.strava.com/segments/9795698
4) Parc de la Villette – This is my latest Parisian discovery. Located right by the Crimée, Porte de Pantin or even the Porte de la Villette Metro stop, the Parc de la Villette runs right along the canal. It’s home to the Philharmonie de Paris, La Géode movie theatre, the popular concert hall Le Zénith and many other gems. I ran a flat 10k through the park and along the canal. You can get inspired for your own run by looking at the following segment: https://www.strava.com/activities/1885813174
These are just some of the many areas of Paris to explore. It’s such a culturally and historically rich city with a wide variety of landscapes that there’s endless possibilities of segments to explore!
TIP: I definitely recommend prioritizing running through the parks or along the canals and waterways instead of running through the streets of the city as it can be quite hard to constantly dodge people, bikes, scooters, motorcycles, etc. and the sidewalks are usually quite narrow.
Vegans and vegetarians traveling to Paris rejoice!
Heading to Paris soon and looking for the best vegetarian and vegan restaurants in the city? I’ve got you covered! Check out my top 5 spots from my most recent visit!
1) Wild and The Moon – This new Paris hotspot located in the 3e arrondissement reminds me a lot of places like Café Grattitude or The Butcher’s Daughter in California. This juice bar, to-go counter and dine-in vegan restaurant is without a doubt one of the best in the city. Unlike their American counterparts, they’ve added a French twist to some of the dishes they serve adding different ingredients and serving things like a raw tarte. They’ve got a great selection of organic cold-ressed juices and milks, homemade salads, soups, crackers and snacks as well as desserts. Their hot drinks are also incredibly tasty. The perfect spot to eat clean, plant-based pure meal.
2) Season – This farm to table group of restaurants and to-go spots combines fresh, local and seasonal ingredients to make delicious tartines, bowls and salads that are perfect for a breakfast, brunch or lunch. Their restaurant located in the 3e arrondissement in Paris is always packed at lunch time so make sure you arrived before 1pm if you don’t want to have to wait in line.
3) Café Pinson – Also located in the 3e arrondissement in Paris, this restaurant serves healthy and organic meals that change on the daily. Their small carte of appetizers, mains and deserts features delicious seasonal ingredients that combined together with beautiful sauces and accompaniments create comforting dishes good food for the soul. The beautiful and cozy decor makes it a perfect date-night spot.
4) Hank Vegan Burger – This small vegan burger joint located in Le Marais, one of the most sought after neighborhoods of Paris, serves up cheap but finger-licking-good burgers for 8 Euros. Their 4 different burgers are all equally tasty. You can add potato wedges or coleslaw and make it a combo with or without homemade dessert. It’s a great place to have a quick lunch or dinner.
5) Ten Belles – You’ll find this cute coffee shop nestled on a side street right by the Canal St-Martin in the 10e arrondissement in Paris. Though not everything they offer is vegetarian, they have a great selection of focaccia and bun sandwiches, salads as well as soups that are vegetarian. Their homemade cookies, breads and treats are also incredibly yummy.
1) Grab a coffee at Springsioux – One of the hottest concept stores in Paris is now serving coffee daily. Grab an espresso, latte or they’re own Sprinsioux special coffee while you browse through their beautiful shop, people watch or walk around Le Marais. Ste. Croix de la Bretonnerie is booming right now, with tons of new shops and restaurants in the area. You never know who you’ll bump into in that area.
2) Visit the National Museum of Natural History– If you’ve got a couple of hours to spare, head over to the beautiful National Museum of Natural History, located across La Seine and from the 4th arrondissement. This 17th-century palace houses plants, animals and a HUGE collection of skeletons, fossils and more particularly dinosaur skeletons. It’s such a magical place because it’s nothing like current museums. The building itself is so unique and has such an old vibe. There’s also beautiful gardens and outdoor exhibits that are worth looking at. TheGreat Gallery Of Evolution was by far my favorite, see the incredible photos below!
3) Drink a Monaco at Les Philosphes – Les Philosophes is one of the most sought after bars in the Le Marais area for a post-work drink or appetizer on their terrace. It’s the best spot for people watching on the bustling Rue Vieille du Temple. They’ve got the best salads and appetizers. Be sure to grab a Monaco (a French drink composed of beer and grenadine syrup) or even a Picon bière while you’re there.
4) Jardin des Tuileries – This beautiful garden may be well-known by tourists but is still totally worth checking out. The gardens are located in the 1st arrondissement and is also in proximity to the Louvre Museum. The public garden was originally created by Catherine de Medicis in 1564 and was opened to the public in 1667. It’s beautiful all-year-round is a great spot for a picnic, a walk or just to sit down and enjoy the sights. It’s also great spot to observe the beautiful Parisian architecture.
5) Carnavalet Museum – Located in the 4th arrondissement otherwise known as Le Marais, since 2013 this lovely mansion is dedicated to the history of the city. The museum is located in the former Hôtel Carnavalet and Hôtel Le Peletier. You will find different collections spanning from the 13th century onwards past the French Revolution and up until the 20th century. I loved the mix of paintings, drawings, engravings, photographs that were present along with furniture, ceramics and decorations from the different eras. My favorite room was this golden room below, which was just stunning! Also, as an added bonus, the museum is FREE!
What are some of the things you love doing in Paris? Let me know 😀
I think I have an obsession with grey. Just putting it out there. I don’t know if it’s the grey weather, me getting older or what, but lately I’ve found that I’ve been particularly drawn to grey. According to color psychology (if such a thing can be true), grey is the color of compromise, it’s detached, neutral, impartial and indecisive – the fence-sitter. It’s interesting to reflect on the meaning of this color. The one word that does stick out in this color analysis is “neutral”, I often feel in life that I’m the “neutral” person, whether that directly reflects in what colors I wear, I doubt it but it’s an interesting exercise to figure out why I’ve been drawn to this color lately.
I’ve noticed over the past couple of months, I’ve been shying away from bright colors and prints for my every day clothes but have opted for that color scheme when working out. Maybe it’s a workout motivator to wear bright and fun colors and prints? Either way, I find it fascinating to see how my own personal style is evolving. Anything you’ve noticed in your way of dressing these past couple of months?
What do you do in your downtime? Are you someone who likes to read? I realized recently that I read less than 10 books this past year. How scary is that? I used to read all the time but with the advent of Netflix, getting and iPad, blogging, etc., most of the downtime I spend indoors is connected to some form of technology. I got a major reality check this month when Offner and I rented a house in Malibu in the middle of the canyon with no wifi, no tv and basically no technology whatsoever. What else is there to do at night when you take technology away? We’re so tied to it that it feels funny at first to not be able to “refresh” your twitter, instagram, etc. every 5 minutes.
We decided to embrace this lack of technology and found ourselves playing games (mimes anyone?), talking a lot more and reading a bunch before going to bed each night. It was actually quite calming. Though I’m not one to make yearly resolutions every January, one of the things I will make a conscious effort to do more this year is to read. It’s another form of relaxation that I often overlook and want to make sure I don’t as much in the future.
I’m always looking for reading suggestions so if you’ve got any good books you’d like to share, comment below! 😀
1) Blood Concept B perfume – I’m currently in France and one of the things that I had to get more of while I was here was this Blood Concept perfume. As you can see from the bottle, I’ve been carrying it around with me quite a bit. It’s my go-to perfume. The reason why I like it so much is that it’s clean, fresh and isn’t too overpowering. It’s also not too feminine. I have yet to find any here, so I make sure to grab some bottles when I stop by the Springsioux store in Paris!
2) Estelle & Thild’s Biodefense Multi-Action Youth Serum – They’re an organic skincare brand from Stockholm, Sweden. I first heard of them through Anine Bing‘s blog and wanted to try them out having read a lot of really great reviews on their products. The first thing I noticed is how amazing their products all smell. I’ve been adding this serum to my beauty routine twice a day before putting on anything else. It really makes my skin feel good without being too thick or leaving any residue.
3) F. Miller lip balm – I’ve talked about F. Miller’s 100% natural products before. Offner actually got this lip balm when he attended her skincare product launch in Toronto this fall (an event that I missed sadly). I’ve been using it every day since he got it. She recently announced that she’ll be expanding her product line and releasing these lip balms shortly. It’s the perfect thing to put in your bag or your pocket to keep your lips hydrated!
Can’t believe it’s December 1st! Just a few more days before we finally leave for our next travel adventure. This weekend was all about resting and having fun in the city (never too old to play in a park! ;)). We also treated ourselves to some yummy food at the much talked about new Italian restaurant OVEST on Queen West (ex-Terroni chef). Super tasty food but a little on the pricey side. We also had dinner at our favorite BBQ joint Electric Mud BBQ in Parkdale. They really have the BEST selection of BBQ & southern comfort food and the best homemade desserts. Nothing quite like sharing life’s little pleasures with someone you love!
Never thought I’d be a big fan of baggy faux leather pants but then I tried on this comfy as hell pants from M for Mendocino a few weeks back and decided to had to have them. Not only are they comfy but they’re also super warm. I think they’ll officially become my new travel pants. Plus you get dress them up with heels or with a nice pair of boots or even opt for a more casual look with sneakers or slip-on shoes. Would you wear the baggy leather pant?
Happy Canadian Thanksgivingeveryone!! So much to be grateful for on this day and also throughout the year. Thankful for my health, my family & friends, all the amazing opportunities that have come my way this year and just being able to travel the world and do what makes me happy! Also grateful to all of you who take the time out of your day to come visit this site! Thank YOU!