Go Away With … Lisa Loeb

Lisa Justine Ungaro bubble

By Jae-Ha Kim
Tribune Content Agency
June 10, 2014

In 1994, Lisa Loeb’s “Stay” hit number one on the singles charts after being featured in the Ethan Hawke film, “Reality Bites.” Since then, the 46-year-old mother of two has written children’s songbooks (“Lisa Loeb’s Silly Sing-Along: The Disappointing Pancake and Other Zany Songs”), starred in a Food Network reality series (“Dweezil and Lisa”) and toured to promote albums such as her current CD, “No Fairy Tale.” And the artist, whose signature look includes fashionable spectacles, has her own line of glasses called Lisa Loeb Eyewear. For more information on Loeb, check out her website or follow her on Twitter.

Q. What’s the most important thing you’ve learned from your travels?

A. I’ve learned that you don’t have to buy everything you see. I love going to Japan, but when I started looking at the millions of things I needed to have, I started looking at the stores like they were museums, instead of stores. Also, it’s always important to take some long walks. My favorite part of most of my traveling and also touring as a musician has been taking long walks. It’s amazing to connect with people all over the globe, from the minute you sit next to someone on an airplane until you’re heading back home. Keep your eyes and ears open.

Q. What are some of the places you’ve traveled to that have made it into your songs and books?

A. In my song, “The Disappointing Pancake,” the pancake that’s disappointing at breakfast for dinner finds its strengths in other places, including a sombrero in Spain and a coaster in Maine. You might not know it, but in my song “Bring Me Up,” I mention “Smokey’s,” a restaurant in Turks and Caicos.

Q. What is your favorite vacation destination?

A. I love Hawaii. I love visiting as a tourist, but I’ve made some friends in Maui, Kauai, Honolulu and other places and love the food, the air and the creative people, too.

Q. To someone who was going there for the first time, what would you recommend that they do during their visit?

A. I’d say they should go to some local restaurants, bakeries and drugstores to get a feel for Hawaii, in addition to the obvious visits to the beaches and waterfalls.

Q. What untapped destination should people know about?

A. I know it’s a classic, but I think people need to visit the Grand Canyon. It’s really magnificent. You can’t really capture it in photos.

Q. What was the first trip you took as a child?

A. I grew up mostly in Dallas, Texas, and my family took lots of trips. But I most remember our trip to New Mexico where we visited Santa Fe, Carlsbad Caverns and most of all, White Sands! I can’t believe those tall mountains of sand you can climb up. It’s like you’re on another planet!

Q. Where are your favorite weekend getaways?

A. I love going to Phoenix and Scottsdale. They have amazing landscapes, restaurants and hotels and it’s just a hop, skip and jump away on a plane.

Q. If you’ve ever gone away for the holidays, which was the best trip?

A. I loved being in Santa Fe and Taos in the winter near Christmastime. The smells of pinon, snow on the ground and the twinkling lights make it feel very crisp without being too cold. It was so wintery!

Q. What are your five favorite cities?

A. I love Tokyo, Dallas and New York City. Boulder is pretty great! And London.

Q. What are some of your tips for traveling with children?

A. Prepare yourself! Bring tons of snacks and activities, make sure you get a good night’s sleep before you venture out, don’t forget extra diapers and bring strollers and car seats with you. And lots of wipes. And maybe some Starbucks gift cards for the people around you on the plane.

© 2014 JAE-HA KIM

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