Go Away With … Molly Ringwald

MOLLY RINGWALD_J9A0862_cr_Hussein_KatzBy Jae-Ha Kim
Tribune Content Agency
February 4, 2014

As John Hughes’ muse, Molly Ringwald starred in a trilogy of films (“Sixteen Candles,” “Breakfast Club,” “Pretty in Pink”) that sweetly encapsulated the teen angst of the ’80s. Now 45, Ringwald (who played the mother of the lead character in the series “The Secret Life of the American Teenager”) is also an author. Besides her novel “When it Happens to You: A Novel in Stories,” she also penned “Getting the Pretty Back: Friendship, Family, and Finding the Perfect Lipstick.” A singer who occasionally tours to promote her jazz CD, “Except Sometimes,” Ringwald resides with her husband and children in Los Angeles, but she says that she is a “New Yorker at heart.” Fans may follow her on Twitter.

Q. What is your favorite vacation destination?

A. I love the Greek islands, especially Koufonisi. It’s one of those tiny, beautiful islands where ferries only go out a few times a week. I’ve visited a number of islands over the years, but Koufonisi is my favorite, hands-down, for the serenity of the landscape and the seclusion.

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

A. Unplug. Stare at the water. This is the perfect place to not plan activities and just enjoy what simplicity has to offer. There aren’t even real hotels — or at least there weren’t when we went last time. You rent rooms in people’s houses and wander down to casual little restaurants at night, look at the stars, watch the kids play soccer on the beach. … It’s very peaceful.

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

A. My first big trip was flying to Greece and Italy when I was 13 for the filming of “Tempest,” my first feature. For a young girl, it was a revelation. I must have really loved it, because I’m married to a Greek now.

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

A. My way is not the only way of doing things. It can be humbling, but also enlightening.

Q. Where are your favorite weekend getaways?

A. Ojai (California). It’s a scenic and peaceful little oasis — with really great strawberry shortcake. I also like heading up to San Francisco, but that’s a much longer drive.

Q. What are your favorite hotels?

A. Anywhere with a beautiful view and blackout curtains. A nice pool doesn’t hurt, either.

Q. What are your five favorite cities?

A. New York, Paris, Ravello, London, Toronto.

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

A. Venice, Italy. I’ve always wanted to visit and see the canals. It seems terribly beautiful and romantic. Friends of ours recently got engaged in Venice and I couldn’t think of many better places. I also very much want to visit Rio. I’ve wanted to see it for years.

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

A. I’ve been traveling a lot for my CD tour (“Except Sometimes”) and have gotten it down to a science. A travel steamer, mini-power cord and iPad for reading.

Q. What are your favorite restaurants?

A. It’s a long list! In New York City, I’m partial to Artisanal Bistro aand Balthazar Restaurant. In Los Angeles, Gjelina on Abbott Kinney Blvd., is one of my go-to spots. The charred cauliflower is amazing.

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

A. Thrift shopping.

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

A. I rarely do any research. I prefer to be surprised, though I’m not opposed to asking friends who are locals for some recommendations. Usually they have the tips and insights.

© 2014 JAE-HA KIM


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