Go Away With … Megan Alexander

Megan Alexander Photo credit Kristy Belcher Photography x 640

By Jae-Ha Kim
Tribune Content Agency
November 10, 2015

Megan Alexander lives the good life, she says. Besides writing, acting and producing, she’s a TV correspondent for the syndicated show “Inside Edition.” But football fans know her best as a sports reporter covering the NFL on CBS’ “Thursday Night Football.”

Due to her work, she splits her time between New York City and Nashville. To read more about Alexander, check out her website or follow her on Twitter.

Q. What is your favorite vacation destination?

A. One (of them) is Hawaii. I grew up in Seattle, so Hawaii was a popular destination for my family and a decently close plane ride. Lahaina, Maui, has got to be one of the most beautiful islands on the planet. The beaches are beautiful, the Hawaiian people are so relaxed and friendly and the tropical drinks are delicious, because of the fresh fruit. There is just something magical about the plane touching down in Hawaii and the pilot saying, “Aloha and Mahalo.”

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

A. Take a surfing lesson, hike a volcano, sleep in, tour a pineapple farm, learn how to climb a palm tree for your first coconut, enjoy the magic of a luau and get up early one morning to experience a Hawaiian sunrise.

Q. What untapped destination should people know about?

A. There is a wonderful vacation spot in Eastern Washington called Lake Chelan. It’s where a lot of people from Seattle go in the summer. Just lovely.

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

A. Vancouver, British Columbia, with my family. I loved it. There was a beautiful hotel called the Bayshore that we used to stay at for the weekend. My fondest memory is swimming in the pool as a family, walking through the botanical gardens of Vancouver and enjoying the hotel. And nearly every single time we stayed there, on our last day, my father would call down to the front desk and extend our stay for one more day. We did that in Hawaii, too. We never wanted to leave!

Q. Where have you traveled to for work that you’d like to return to for a vacation?

A. I have covered five Super Bowls for work. By far, my favorite was Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans. That city is just magnetic to me! It oozes with culture, history, charm and spirit. The Southern hospitality of New Orleans made Super Bowl XLVII one of the best assignments I have ever covered. Three years later, I had the great fortune of covering Mardi Gras for CBS. I always thought Mardi Gras was just one day — Fat Tuesday — but I quickly learned it is a month-long event that is much more than drinking and beads. It is a celebration of the various cultures and ethnicities that make up that great city. I covered the parades, artwork, music and food of Mardi Gras, all of which are simply spectacular. I think New Orleans is one of the most interesting and unique cities in America. When you think of what that city went through during and after Hurricane Katrina, how it bounced back and the strength and soul of those people … it’s just amazing. I can’t wait to go back!

Q. Where is the most romantic destination?

A. Don’t laugh. (Laughs). The Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disneyland has a restaurant. You sail past it in your boat when you go on that ride. The place has romantic lighting, candles, the sound of crickets and a soft banjo playing. I have never been there, but every time we go on that ride, I want to stop and eat there with my husband! I think it’s so romantic.

Also, Le Mansion hotel on the River Walk in San Antonio is really romantic. I stayed there when I was interviewing for a job in San Antonio. My husband and I walked to the Alamo at night and sat on a bench in front of it discussing our future. That’s a beautiful historical landmark, especially at night all lit up.

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

A. Now, I try not to go anywhere for Christmas, because I love being home with the kiddos. But when we lived full time in New York City, we got to experience the Big Apple in all its glory at Christmas — walking in the snow in Central Park, ice skating, Christmas service at St. Patrick’s Cathedral and “The Nutcracker” at Lincoln Center. Incredible. Nothing like it!

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

A. Athens, Greece. I would also love to visit the Holy Land and walk where Jesus walked. I’d love to visit Bethlehem where he was born, see Jerusalem and the Wailing Wall.

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

A. Passport, travel-size everything — hair spray, toothbrush — black pants, comfy sweats, because hotels are usually cold, and workout clothes, because it’s great to run in a new city in the morning!

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

A. Pack and travel light. I studied in the European Union in college and in five weeks we traveled to and studied in France, Germany, Poland, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Belgium and England. Literally our second week in Europe, I watched my friend empty her suitcase, throw half of her clothes away and stuff the rest in a backpack. She simply could not take hauling a suitcase around. Packing light is essential!

Q. What is your best and/or worst vacation memory?
A. Best memory: Anytime I am somewhere tropical and the sun is out! Worst memory: When it rains and you are somewhere tropical.

Q. What are your favorite restaurants?
A. Anything Mexican or a good steakhouse. A beautiful view from the patio outside is always nice!

Q. What is your guilty pleasure when you’re on the road?
A. Dessert, drinks and sleeping in!

Q. What kind of research do you do before you go away on a trip?
A. It depends what kind of trip it is. If it’s with friends, it’s fun to look all kinds of ideas up. If it’s just me and my husband and we want to relax, we might not look up more than the hotel.

Q. What are your favorite hotels?
A. I love Kimpton Hotels. I travel all the time for work. I have stayed in some really neat Kimpton Hotels around the country. I love boutique hotels. I also love Marriott – their beds are so comfy!

Q. What are your five favorite cities?
A. Nashville, New York City, Seattle, San Antonio and London.

Q. Where have you traveled to that most reminded you of home?
A. A lot of southern cities remind me of Nashville, but when I first went to London, I was struck by how similar it is to NYC. It is very much a more spread out NYC! Same energy, beauty and feeling of optimism about the world.

Q. What would be your dream trip?
A. Anywhere if my family and good friends are with me. We recently went to Las Vegas with another family that we adore and it was such a blast to be there together, either sitting by the pool catching up or running around together, trying out new restaurants and places. I love experiencing places with other people and creating memories.

Q. Where are your favorite weekend getaways?
A. Recently, my husband ran a Spartan race in Asheville, N.C., and I really enjoyed exploring that lovely town. Another favorite weekend getaway destination is Washington, DC. One time, we splurged and jetted to the Atlantis in the Bahamas for a weekend!

© 2015 JAE-HA KIM

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