Jordin Sparks remains the youngest winner of “American Idol,” having won the singing competition when she was just 17 years old. Now 20, the singer-actress is on tour promoting her current album “Battlefield.” (Get updated concert dates at jordinsparks.com.) Sparks, who still resides in Glendale, Ariz., — where she was born and raised — will make her Broadway debut in August when she stars in the Tony Award-winning musical “In the Heights.” Though her tours have taken her to many destinations, the young singer has a long list of places she’d still like to visit. And she plans on taking her dog with her, if at all possible.
Q. What is your favorite vacation destination?
A. I went to Hawaii with my family when I was nine. And recently this past December I went to Cabo San Lucas (in Mexico) with my family. They both had beaches and lots to do, so I’d have to say those places.
Q. Where are your favorite weekend getaways?
A. Home. Home. Home. Home!
Q. What are your favorite hotels and restaurants?
A. One of my favorite hotels is actually overseas. It’s called the Grosvenor House Hotel (http://www.marriott.co.uk/hotels/travel/longh-grosvenor-house-a-jw-marriott-hotel/) (in London). It smells delectable when you walk in. The service is amazing, the food is phenomenal and the beds are heavenly. In Los Angeles, there’s this amazing Brazilian place called Bossa Nova (www.bossafood.com) and a great breakfast place called the Griddle Cafe (www.thegriddlecafe.com). There’s a long wait so call in or get there early. I also like this great sushi place called Koi (www.koirestaurant.com). In Arizona, there’s this great Mexican place called Top Shelf (www.topshelfmexicanrestaurant.com) that’s amazing on Sundays when it’s packed and the football games are on!
Q. When you go away, what are some of your must-have items?
A. My iPhone, iPod, laptop, bible, guitar, my dog Maggie and a pillow and blanket from home.
Q. What are your five favorite cities?
A. Glendale, Ariz., Durango, Colo., Stockholm, Sydney and Auckland, New Zealand.
Q. What kind of research do you do before you go away on a trip?
A. First, I make sure I’m going to like the hotel and that there are activities on the premises and that there are great activities outside of the hotel, as long as it’s safe! I also search for restaurants and local landmarks.
Q. Where would you like to go that you have never been to before?
A. I would love to go to Japan. I love the culture and I’m actually trying to learn the language. I’d also like to go to Egypt, Italy, back to Sweden, Australia, New Zealand, South America and more of Africa. I want to go everywhere, but I can’t be in two places at once so it’s going to take a while!
Q. What is your best and/or worst vacation memory?
A. This past vacation in December in Cabo was my best and worst memory. It was amazing because it had been about three years since I had some real time off. And I mean time off without doing interviews, answering emails, singing and worrying. I was with my family and nothing is better than being with them. But my granny passed away a few days before and my dad was pretty devastated. New Year’s happened while we were there and it was bittersweet.
Q. How do you try to fit in when you’re a tourist?
A. I don’t try to. I think subconsciously, though, I tend to dress in like colors. Say I go to New York, I tend to dress in darker colors. In California, it’s lighter colors. Ha ha!
Q. Have you ever been guilty of being an “ugly American”?
A. I have nooooo idea what that means. So, no.
© 2010 JAE-HA KIM
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(Photo courtesy of Jive Records)
Posted by: Jae-Ha Kim
Tags: American Idol, Arizona, Auckland, Australia, Bossa Nova restaurant, Cabo San Lucas, Durango, Griddle Cafe, Grosvenor House Hotel, Hawaii, iPhone, iPod Touch, Japan, Jordin Sparks, Koi Restaurant, London, Los Angeles, Mexico, New Zealand, Stockholm, Sydney, Top Shelf Restaurant