Go Away With … Kenny Loggins

By Jae-Ha Kim
Tribune Media Services
February 16, 2010

Kenny Loggins has had an impressive string of radio-friendly hits (“Footloose,” “Danger Zone,” “I’m Alright”) in his long career. With his latest album “All Join In” — in stores later this year — the veteran musician aims for a multi-generational audience that includes children. It’s only fitting, since the album includes collaborations with all five of his kids — ranging in age from 11 to 28 years old. “It was very fun to work with them,” says the 62-year-old singer-songwriter, who resides in Santa Barbara, Calif.

“They were all very professional. They made going to work fun.”

The album also includes a cover of the Beatles “Two of Us” with Jim Messina, his longtime collaborator.

Q. What is your favorite vacation destination?
A. I love family-oriented places. Hawaii has been one of our faves for years. We went to Maui last time and spent a lot of time in the water and on the sand. We went whale watching and kayaking. My 16-year-old boy is very athletic and loves zip lining.

Q. Where are your favorite weekend getaways?
A. New York City. I also like going to Big Bear, Napa and Big Sur in California. All five of my kids love spending time at Big Bear. We do a lot of water skiing and wakeboarding when we’re there. They just put a zip line in there, too, and I did it because I was embarrassed not to. You just strap on a harness and scream as they push you off a cliff.

Q. What are your favorite hotels and restaurants?
A. The Villa San Michele (www.villasanmichele.com) in Florence, Italy. The Hotel Cazaudehore La Forestiere (www.cazaudehore.fr/) in Saint Germain en Laye in France. The restaurant was amazing. The Big Sur Inn (www.deetjens.com) has a great cozy restaurant with delicious comfort food in one of the most beautiful settings on earth. The best restaurant on the Big Island of Hawaii is called Sushi Rock. It’s small, charming and incredibly inventive. It’s very Hawaii. The Stonehouse at the San Ysidro Ranch (www.sanysidroranch.com) is one of my favorite restaurants. The food there is amazing! In Napa Valley, I like the Calistoga Ranch (www.calistogaranch.com) and Bottega Restaurant (www.botteganapavalley.com).

Q. When you go away, what are some of your must-have items?
A. It’s a long drive to a place like Big Bear, so everyone has to bring some form of entertainment like iPods and laptops. What my 11 year old listens to is nothing like what my 16 year old listens to. We take games ‘cause we like to play board games at night. We’re reading the last “Harry Potter” book, so we have to bring that, too.

Q. What kind of research do you do before you go away on a trip?
A. I really take the time to search the Web and read key travel books on the destination that I plan to explore in order to discover some great locations that many are not aware of. Regardless of what research I do, the best resource is always talking to friends and the local people when you arrive at the location.

Q. Where would you like to go that you have never been to before?
A. Believe it or not, Yosemite. It’s a place I’d love to take the kids.

Q. What is your best or worst vacation memory?
A. Well, the worst memories all revolve around women so I’ll leave it at that. The best vacations are family oriented. But if I had to pick a solo trip, I would say a recent trip to Paris was incredible. Travel is best when I can meet local people and get the local experience.

Q. How do you try to fit in when you’re a tourist?
A. I have the kind of career that I liken to a Jimmy Stewart movie. When I get recognized, people just wave and say, “Hi Kenny. How are you doing today?” They don’t hassle me. That’s the coolest part of my career. I never reached a level of stardom where I can’t go anywhere.

© 2010 JAE-HA KIM


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