By Jae-Ha Kim, Tribune Media Services
4:13 PM EST, November 15, 2011
"I love being exposed to different cultures," said singer Dionne Warwick. "And traveling is a learning experience. It's something we should all do more of. And as Americans we're very fortunate because the entire world speaks English." Warwick received her first Grammy in 1968 for "Do You Know the Way to San Jose?" Her hits include "Walk on By," "Anyone Who Had a Heart" and "Alfie." For tour dates, check out dionnewarwick.info.
Q: What is your favorite vacation destination?
A: I have traveled to all the continents, and I've been around the world at least four times. I don't think there's a place I haven't been. But I can say that Brazil is a place that's relaxing and where I can just kind of get rid of any stress. The food is incredible. It's too good. I consider Brazil to be my second home, and I once did own a home there.
Q: If you were advising someone who has never traveled to Brazil before, what would you recommend they see?
A: The first thing I would say would be a visit to see the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro. Then go see the Teatro Municipal Opera House. And if they have time, visit a samba school where the sounds of drums and other percussive instruments are masterfully used.
Q: Besides Brazil, what other parts of the world do you enjoy visiting?
A: I love Paris, which runs a close second to being a favorite of mine. London, Singapore and Malaysia also are wonderful.
Q: What are some of your favorite hotels and restaurants?
A: I'm a creature of habit, so I usually stay in the same hotels each time because the staff knows me and my habits. That makes it really comfortable for me. Let's see, what do I like? The Pestana Rio Atlantica (tinyurl.com/crvyxwp) in Rio de Janeiro. The Athenaeum (athenaeumhotel.com) in London. The Loews Regency (loewshotels.com/Regency-Hotel) in New York. The Plaza Athenee (plaza-athenee-paris.com) in Paris. These hotels have excellent restaurants. I don't go out to eat that frequently, so I tend to go to the restaurants at the hotels. To be honest, I'm not that adventurous. I don't try a lot of new things and am a meat-and-potatoes gal. I tend to eat with my eyes.
Q: When you go away, what are some of your must-have items?
A: I bring a lot of shoes. I wouldn't say I'm a light packer because I believe in bringing what I need. I'm an expert packer, though, and I intend on writing a book on packing because everybody always asks me how I get all that stuff into one bag and manage to never wear the same thing twice. There's an art to packing that I've learned over the years of traveling and learning the tricks of the trade.
Q: What is your guilty pleasure when you're on the road?
A: I watch TV all night long. I love television. My favorites are "Bones," "NCIS" and "Law & Order."
Q: Do you prefer to have a set itinerary or kind of roam around once you reach your destination?
A. I'm just not a wanderer. I've been fortunate to make friends in other countries, so I'm kind of well protected and taken care of.
For more from the reporter, visit jaehakim.com.
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