Sunday, February 28, 2010


Gastronomers unite. Michelin starred chef, Paul Bocuse wrote the forward for a delicious new book, Food in the Louvre. Whet your appetite for art and sustenance by paging through this smorgasbord of Eugène Delacroix's mouthwatering crustaceans, Luis Eugenio Meléndez's juicy green figs, and Jean Simeon Chardin's jar of olives. The wedding feast at Cana by Paolo Veronese may bring out your culinary queen, so chef Yves Pinard from the Grand Louvre includes some inspired recipes to take it to the next level. Hungry for more? Rice-A-Roni is giving away $2,500, which should cover a ticket to Paris to see the paintings and dine at the Grand Louvre, when it reopens in June. Chow down and enter.

Voilà - the link to the Rice-A-Roni What's For Dinner Sweepstakes:

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Match Point

Serves up! Dunlop Sport and Continental Airlines are giving away a free trip to the 2010 French Open this May. Win round trip tickets for 2 to Paris, plus 2 nights in a hotel. Work on your backhand before you go, then slice open some tennis films: Match Point, Players, Nobody's Perfect, Wimbledon, Hard, Fast and Beautiful, Pat and Mike, or Tennis, Anyone? Game, set, match. Now, enter.

Voilà - the link to the French Open Sweepstakes:

Friday, February 26, 2010

Pick Your Paradise

Colorful French Post-Impressionist, Paul Gauguin, is known for painting pretty Polynesians. I don't want to Bora, Bora you, but Bora Bora Organic Foods is giving away a 6-night couples retreat to the island paradise. Or, you can opt to receive a $5,000 a check. I'd rather use the money to visit Paris, where Gauguin was born, and marvel over his masterpieces at the Musee d'Orsay. Either way, you can't loose. You'll also receive a free nutrition bar for submitting the form. Get a taste of paradise and enter.

- the link to the Taste Paradise Contest:

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Timing Is Everything

One of my favorite novels this year is The Elegance of the Hedgehog. This quiet, rambling story explores the unlikely relationship between Madame Michel, a middle-aged concierge who hides her intelligence while she looks after an exclusive apartment building in Paris, and Paloma, a smart 12-year-old tenant, who intends to commit suicide when she turns 13. If "incunabulum" and "seppuku" aren't in your lexicon, keep a dictionary nearby. The enchanting vocabulary is part of the joy of reading this unusual book, which riffs on the meaning of beauty, art, culture, and cats. Given the philosophical ruminations peppering the narrative, it's enlightening to discover that the author, Muriel Barbery, was a philosophy professor. There are, however, few descriptions of Paris itself, and 7 rue de Grenelle, where the book is set, is currently a Prada boutique. Heavy on ideas and thin on plot, the story doesn't gather steam until the arrival of a new tenant, Mr. Kakuro. As soon as this Japanese gentleman sees Madame Michel for who she really is, this wonderful, insightful, heartbreaking novel is hard to put down. When you're through, your concept of time will be altered.

And speaking of time, the present prepares you for Paris. Real Simple is giving away $3,000 to, well, buy yourself a little time. What you do with it is up to you. Stop procrastinating and enter.

Voilà - the link to the Real Simple Gift of Time Sweepstakes:

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Go Ask Alice

What do Cherry Blossom Ginseng, Passionfruit Guava, and Mocha Expresso have in common? They're all deliciously smelling Organix shampoos. Now this hair care company is teaming up with Delta Vactations to send you and a guest to London if you win their Alice in Wonderland sweepstakes. Okay, it's not Paris, but it's close. In case you haven't heard, this lush, 3-D, Johnny Depp extravaganza is opening March 5th. Tumble down the rabbit hole and enter.

- the link to the Alice in Wonderland Sweepstakes:

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

A Moveable Feast

Paris, to borrow Hemingway's observation, is A Moveable Feast. Les Tuileries and the Luxembourg Gardens are a visual banquet, but Hemingway probably spent more time drinking in Cafe de Flore, Deux Magots, and the bar in the Ritz. For a mind-bending spread, there's the historic bookshop, Shakespeare & Co., which carries English language books, included Papa's. After selling a story, which he earnestly pounded out on a typewriter on the 8th floor of 38 rue Descartes, Hemingway feasted at the Brasserie Lipp back in the 20s. Follow in his footsteps, or create your own. Frusion is giving away $1,000 to taste every sweet moment. Drink up and enter.

Voilà - the link to the On The Go Sweepstakes:

Monday, February 22, 2010

Landing the Look

Traveling requires finding that delicate balance between fashion and comfort. Jeans and tennis shoes stick out like a tutu on an elephant in France. Mind the gap. Unless you want everyone to know you're American, you may want to rethink those travel options. Virgin America is teaming up with Banana Republic to help you travel in style by giving away round trip tickets for 2 to New York, 2 nights at Hudson, and a $1,000 Banana Republic wardrobe makeover, with the help of a style consultant. According to Sarah Turnbull, who wrote the delightful memoir Almost French: Love in a New Life in Paris, it is important to the French to look pretty for others. When she rolls out of bed to dash to the boulangerie in her sweats, her horrified boyfriend asks, "Are you going out like that, wearing your gymnastic pantaloons? ... That's not nice for the baker man." So, remember, it's not all about you. Get stylish and enter.

Voilà - the link to the Land the Look Giveaway:

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Drive, She Said

Now that new vehicles are on my mind, the Lexus HS Sweepstakes stopped me in my path. A free 1-year lease on a Lexus Hybrid HS250h sounds pretty sweet to me, especially with gas hovering around $3 a gallon in California. Plus, the prize includes a round-trip for 2 to New York, one night at a Manhattan hotel, and tickets to a Broadway show. What does all this have to do with Paris? You can use New York as a jumping off point. Get your motor running by watching the phenomenal car chase through the City of Light in The Bourne Identity. Put the pedal to the metal and enter.

- the link to the Lexus HS Sweepstakes:

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Rev It Up

JEGS High Performance is celebrating 50 years in the auto industry with a car contest. Considering my trusty Honda is over 10 years old, I could certainly use a new one, but I'm not sure if I want to race around the city in the distinctive yellow and black Camero they're awarding. The good news? The winner can choose the Camero or $20,000 cash. With a great deal, you might be able to manage both a car and a flight to Paris. Trouble deciding? Mull it over while you watch this French film aptly titled Paris. Start your engine and enter.

Voilà - the link to the JEGS Camero Contest:

Friday, February 19, 2010

Painting The Town

Sometimes, you just want to do your own thing. International Delight is giving away $5,000 to flavor your world in their Warm-up the Winter Sweepstakes. One way to spice things up? Travel! Los Angeles County Museum's current exhibition, Renoir in the 20th Century, fuels my desire to return to Paris. I've read about 135 pages of Susan Vreeland's mediocre novel, Luncheon of the Boating Party, which attempts to portray the life and times behind this Renoir masterpiece. My impression? It's missing the passion and emotion that drove this rebellious group. Perhaps the exhibition will compel me to finish it. Montmarte, where Renoir lived and worked in Paris, is one of my favorite arrondissements. The neglected gardens at his studio inspired him to paint its profusion of colorful dahlias, and his Moulin de la Galette is a lively composition of the Sunday afternoon festivities in this nearby beer garden. The LACMA show focuses on the later years, which he spent in Cagnes at what is now the Musée Renoir. Apparently, Renoir's home has been well preserved, and there are 10 original paintings, along with his personal possessions, on display. Not your flavor? Devise your own. Then, warm-up your winter and enter.

Voilà - the link to the Warm-up the Winter Sweepstakes:

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Labeling The Past

Before the two distinctive "CC"s initially became synonymous with designer labels, Coco Chanel was an impoverished peasant with a taste for the high life. Thanks to six years in an orphanage and a few talented relatives who knew how to sew, Coco landed a position in a tailor's shop. Although she tried to make it as a cabaret singer, Coco never quit her day job, which ultimately paid off. Today, a little black dress graces almost every woman's closet. So does a good pair of pants. Curious to know more? Coco Before Chanel is now out on DVD. Prefer to check out her roots firsthand? France Guide is giving away a trip for 2 to Paris, along with 3 nights in a 4-star hotel. Button up those designer duds and enter.

- the link to the Coco Before Chanel Sweepstakes:

Monday, February 15, 2010


A gift certificate for travel services is my idea of a ticket to paradise. Fruit of the Loom is giving away one worth $2,000. The fruit I associate the most with France? Grapes. Specifically, the ones used in my favorite bubbly beverage, champagne. The champagne region is less than an hour and a half from Paris via train. Only sparkling wines made with grapes grown exclusively in this region warrant the appellation, champagne. If you're traveling during the harvest in late September/early October, scout around for an opportunity to pick grapes at a vineyard. After hours in the field, a hearty lunch is served at the chateau for grape pickers. Then, the owners may give you a tour of the cellars. Not ready to get down and dirty? Make an appointment for a tasting at Veuve Clicquot's or Moet & Chandon's cellar before or after harvest season. Knock your socks off and enter.

- the link to the Fruit of the Loom Vacation Sweepstakes:

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Let The Games Begin

To kick off the Winter Olympics, McDonald's is giving away a trip for two to the London 2012 Summer Olympic Games. The gold? 2 round-trip tickets to London, tickets to at least one Olympic event, and 3 nights at hotel. When your athletic stay is over, pump up the volume with a quick trip to Paris. Game on, now enter.

- the link to McDonald's How Do You McNugget Sweepstakes:

Friday, February 12, 2010


Pop icon Andy Warhol said, "In the future, everyone will be famous for fifteen minutes." The Visa 2010 Fan Favorite Promotion may give you less than 30 seconds. If you win, your anonymity may be shattered when your name runs on screen during a 30-second commercial. Your compensation? A Visa pre-paid card worth $5,000. That's plenty enough to pay for a round trip ticket to Paris, a few nights at the plush L'Hotel, and a bountiful look at all the art you desire. Start with Le Louvre, where The Da Vinci Code was set, and gaze at the Mona Lisa. Pay homage to the Impressionists at the Musée D'Orsay. Think about wandering around Auguste Rodin's home and gardens at the Musée Rodin, and gape at his extraordinary sculptures, including his famous Thinker. You can also explore The Musée National Eugène Delacroix, where the French Romantic painter lived and worked. The Musée National Picasso, located in a hôtel particulier, is packed with more of this astounding artist's work than you can imagine. Feeling bookish? Check out Victor Hugo's home and workspace. A great vacation is a work of art. Design your own and enter.

- the link to the Visa 2010 Fan Favorite Promotion: