By Jae-Ha Kim
August 31, 2010
WNBA basketball star Candace Parker loves to travel and try new restaurants with her husband, Shelden Williams (of the Denver Nuggets) and their 15-month-old daughter Lailaa. “That girl can eat 900 times a day,” says Parker, who plays for the Los Angeles Sparks. “She is always running around kicking a soccer ball and is always hungry. She likes everything. It’s wonderful because we don’t have to worry much about what she might like when we travel.” Parker, 24, has most her summer free now that her season is over. But she’s currently in the process of moving her family from California to Colorado to accommodate her husband’s basketball schedule.
Q. What is your favorite vacation destination?
A. Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. We went there for our honeymoon and then took our daughter back there recently. It’s calm and peaceful and fun. It’s a very short flight from Los Angeles too.
Q. Where are your favorite weekend getaways?
A. Again, I’d have to say Cabo, which you can pack a lot into on a four-day weekend. Sometimes we also stay at a hotel downtown (in Los Angeles) for a quick getaway. For a day trip, we’ll go to Runyon Canyon Park (in Los Angeles) with our baby and our two huge dogs. Our daughter loves being outside. She’s really adventurous and likes to go places and do things so she makes a great traveler.
Q. What are your favorite hotels?
A. I love the Mondrian Hotel (www.mondrianhotel.com) in L.A. It’s one of my favorites! The rooms are all white and very elegant. I also like the Ritz-Carlton (www.ritzcarlton.com) hotels. The Bellagio (www.bellagio.com) in Las Vegas is only a 45-minute trip for us and we love the brunches there. It’s out of this world! You get there early, sit and talk, and if you’re there long enough you can have an early lunch. That’s how good it is! I also really love the Atlantis Resort (www.atlantis.com) in the Bahamas. When I was in college, that was our family vacation spot and we would go every year. I like that it’s very family-oriented.
Q. What are your favorite restaurants?
A. Katsuya (www.sbe.com/katsuya) in Los Angeles is my favorite all-time spot. It’s a sushi spot that’s just out of this world. My favorite dish is the creamy rock shrimp and I also like the shrimp tempura roll and the hand crab roll. My daughter kills the edamame there! We take her there for an early dinner and she eats the edamame and chicken. Another spot we just tried is Crustacean (www.anfamily.com/portalpage.html) in L.A. It’s Asian cuisine and we had the Dungeness crab there. It was so good. Ambiance is really good and it’s kid-friendly, too.
Q. When you go away, what are some of your must-have items?
A. My phone. It’s like I’m missing a limb if I don’t have it. I do everything on my BlackBerry. My iPad entertains my daughter, and she goes everywhere that I go.
Q. What are your favorite cities?
A. Chicago, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Istanbul, Paris and Alicante, Spain.
Q. What is your best and/or worst vacation memory?
A. My best would have to be when it was our first family vacation for the three of us and we went to Cabo. My worst was when my family and I went to Puerto Rico for my brother’s wedding, which was nice. But then we went to St. Thomas (U.S. Virgin Islands) afterward and something at the bottom of the pool sliced my toe from top to bottom. I was taken to a hospital there, which was not the cleanest place. And then after I had stitches, I couldn’t go in the water, which is not what you want to hear when you’re in St. Thomas.
© 2010 JAE-HA KIM
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Photo Credit: Noah Graham
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Posted by: Jae-Ha Kim
Tags: Alicante, Atlanta, Atlantis Resort, Bahamas, Bellagio, BlackBerry, Cabo San Lucas, Candace Parker, Chicago, Crustacean, Denver Nuggets, iPad, Istanbul, Katsuya, Las Vegas, Los Angeles Sparks, Mexico, Mondrian Hotel, Ritz-Carlton, Runyon Canyon Park, Shelden Williams, Spain, U.S. Virgin Islands