Go Away With … Kristin Bauer

Photo credit: Jasmin Kuhn

By Jae-Ha Kim
Tribune Media Services
July 26, 2011

Kristin Bauer portrays Pam on HBO’s hit series “True Blood.” Pam, a bloodthirsty vampire, will do whatever it takes to protect her maker Eric (Alexander Skarsgard). In real life, the actress — who was born in Racine, Wis. — resides in Los Angeles with her husband Abri van Straten, their two dogs and two cats.

Q. What is your favorite vacation destination?

A. Last year we were able to spend three weeks in South Africa with my husband’s family and it was astounding. The beauty, wildlife and diversity all made a lasting impression on me.

Q. Where are your favorite weekend getaways?

A. We got engaged on Catalina Island so I am very biased. We plan to go back again every year on that weekend.

Q. What are your favorite hotels?

A. I love the Kimpton hotels! They are dog and earth friendly — two of my favorite things. I also like the Proximity Hotelin Greensboro, N.C., where we actually have the most “True Blood” fans in the country! It’s an amazing Green LEED certified hotel that I loved.

Q. What are some of your favorite cities?

A. There are so many great cities, but some make me start looking at real estate there! Plettenberg Bay in South Africa is so unique and unspoiled by sprawl. I have a fantasy of living there someday and writing a novel. In Portland, Ore., everywhere I looked I saw things that made me smile. There are great health food restaurants, art, tattoos, recycle bins, bicyclists and Subarus. I also can’t help but be in awe of Aspen, Colo. We used to go there as kids to ski and it was truly magical. Northern Wisconsin is so beautiful. We honeymooned in Hayward at Ross’ Teal Lake Lodge and I’d put it up against even Africa for its natural beauty. It’s truly restorative. And, of course, I must just say that New York City, which couldn’t be further from my roots, could be the greatest city on Earth. I visit once a year at least.

Q. Where would you like to go that you have never been to before?

A. Anywhere in Italy! I am an artist and that is a must.

Q. When you go away, what are some of your must-have items?

A. The things that make me panic if I forget them are my fabulous NAP Wedge Travel Pillow by Brookstone. I also always have earplugs and an eye mask for every hotel. My vitamins and a great book are also staples.

Q. What would be your dream/fantasy trip?

A. Venice, Rome and Florence with my husband for three weeks. And since this is a fantasy, I’ll throw in some rural hidden village we trip across with classic cinematic vistas that I could paint.

Q. What are your favorite restaurants?

A. The Boilerhouse in Manley — just next to Sydney. It was incredible and in a really neat, remote historic spot. In Portland I love Blossoming Lotus, which has the most delicious health food. And my husband took me to his favorite restaurant in South Africa last summer. It’s called Paranga and is right on the beach in Camps Bay, Cape Town. It was very romantic.

Q. What is your guilty pleasure when you’re on the road?

A. It used to be the worst gossip rags, but I have evolved to Vanity Fair. I would never take the time at home to read all the great articles they have but on the road it is delicious, that and ice cream. Calories are different when you travel. They somehow don’t count, until you get back, of course.

Q. What kind of research do you do before you go away on a trip?

A. I will visit the Internet and read reviews for hotels, restaurants and museums. I always want to see art in the big cities. I will also read a book, usually historical fiction, about the place we’re seeing during the trip. Like James A. Michener’s “The Covenant,” which I read on our South African trip. It was incredible to be reading about how the Huguenots ended up in South Africa, while visiting the Huguenot Memorial Museum with my mother-in-law.

Q. What is your best and/or worst vacation memory?

A. Best was my honeymoon at the Ross’ Teal Lake Lodge and then to South Africa to meet my husband’s family for the first time on our one-year anniversary. Both were with family. Yes, my family went with us on our honeymoon, but we had our own cabin! And then in Stellenbosch and Plettenberg Bay to stay in my new family’s homes and see the country through local eyes felt very intimate. Both were trips I will never forget and hope to do again. The worst was Disneyland when I was a kid. My sister was in her challenging adolescent years and I was an inch too short for all the cool rides.

© 2011 JAE-HA KIM


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