Hawaii: Ro­man­tic and good for kids

Chicago Tribune (Sunday) - - TRAVEL - By Jae-Ha Kim For more from the re­porter, visit www.jae­hakim.com.

“Friends from Col­lege” star Jae Suh Park is based out of Los An­ge­les, where she re­sides with her hus­band, ac­tor Ran­dall Park, and their daugh­ter, Ruby. But she also spends a lot of time in New York City, where her Net­flix se­ries is filmed. “I would say that New York is the sev­enth friend in the show,” says Park, who por­trays Mar­i­anne. “The en­ergy of the city is so in­spir­ing. I can’t help but bring it into my role on the show.”

An edited ver­sion of our con­ver­sa­tion fol­lows.

Q: When I in­ter­viewed your hus­band, Ran­dall said Kauai was his fa­vorite des­ti­na­tion, be­cause that’s where you hon­ey­mooned. What would you pick?

A: Well, it’s still in Hawaii. But now with our 6-year-old in tow, I would say Oahu. I think it’s a lit­tle more kid-friendly.

Q: To some­one who was go­ing there for the first time, what would you rec­om­mend that they do dur­ing their visit?

A: Go to Leonard’s Bak­ery im­me­di­ately upon ar­rival for a cof­fee and malasada (Por­tuguese dough­nuts). Go to the Aloha Sta­dium Swap Meet to bring back kitschy things for your friends and the Ala Moana Cen­ter to take ad­van­tage of the Hawaii sales tax. And, of course, re­lax on the beach. The water in Hawaii is al­ways so clear and just the right tem­per­a­ture.

Q: What was the first trip you took as a child?

A: The first trip I re­mem­ber as a child was our im­mi­gra­tion to the United States from South Korea. I was 6 and I re­mem­ber be­ing re­ally sad and cry­ing, be­cause we were leav­ing my grand­mother, and be­ing on the plane for what felt like for­ever. I was the same age as my daugh­ter is now. I’m not sure what I un­der­stood or what I was able to process at the time, but I guess it turned out OK. My daugh­ter wouldn’t be here if I didn’t take that trip.

Q: Where are your fa­vorite week­end get­aways?

A: I re­ally en­joy go­ing to the Solvang, Santa Bar­bara and Ojai area. It’s just so quaint. It’s not too far of a drive and I love the restau­rants, shops and the wine tast­ing there.

Q: Where is the most ro­man­tic des­ti­na­tion?

A: Well, I’d have to say Kauai. We hon­ey­mooned at the Grand Hy­att there and they have these amaz­ing gi­ant la­goons, which are very ro­man­tic. Also, there’s some­thing about that slight hu­mid­ity in the air and ocean breeze that makes my hus­band look ex­tra sexy.

Q: Do you pre­fer to stay in town or go away for the hol­i­days?

A: I don’t re­ally go away for the hol­i­days. The hol­i­days are the best times of the year in LA. It feels like half of LA goes home, so the streets feel empty and there’s very lit­tle traf­fic. No traf­fic in LA is the Christ­mas mir­a­cle.

Q: What is your best travel mem­ory?

A: One of the best mem­o­ries I have is when I trav­eled to Osaka, Ja­pan, in col­lege. I was cast in a the­ater pro­duc­tion of an orig­i­nal Ja­panese play. Our group per­formed the play in English at our col­lege and at a col­lege in Osaka. Their group per­formed it in Ja­panese at their col­lege and ours. We hosted them in our coun­try as they hosted us in theirs. It was just the coolest ex­pe­ri­ence, al­though I think they got the short end of the stick as our col­lege was in Davis, Calif. No dig on Davis but, you know, not the most ex­cit­ing town.


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