by Jae-Ha Kim and Tribune Content Agency, Celebrity Travel, February 24, 2017
As one of the breakout stars of the Netflix original series "Orange Is the New Black," Jessica Pimentel brings life to complicated inmate Maria Ruiz. The actress has another side to her as well: musician. She fronts the indie death-metal band Alekhine's Gun. A huge fan of New York, Pimentel resides in the Red Hook section of Brooklyn. Fans may follow her on Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/TheCrusher007/) and Twitter (https://twitter.com/thecrusher007).
Q. What is your favorite vacation destination?
A. I find myself spending several months a year in Stockholm (Sweden). If you go to Stockholm, remember it's a beautiful metropolitan city and it's very easy to get around. I highly recommend going to the Old Town section. It's got amazing shops, restaurant, castles, tours, museums, an opera house and quite possibly the narrowest street in the entire world.
Q. What untapped destination should people know about?
A. Being born and raised in Brooklyn, I am very partial to my hometown. Most people think of New York as just Manhattan, but Brooklyn is full of amazing history and culture. I highly suggest that if anyone comes to visit New York, then do a walking tour of historic Brooklyn or spend the day riding the ferries throughout the city. I won't say that Brooklyn is untapped, but it is generally overlooked by tourists.
Q. What was the first trip you took as a child?
A. The first I can remember taking as a child that wasn't a school trip was a bus trip up to Toronto with my mother. It was really a beautiful experience.
Q. What are your five favorite cities?
A. Besides New York? Stockholm, Kyoto, Seattle, Chicago and New Orleans.
Q. Where have you traveled to that most reminded you of home?
A. I feel completely at home in Stockholm. I barely feel like an outsider, even though I don't speak the language well yet. The transportation there is very much like New York and the people come from all over the world, which is also something that I'm blessed to have at home. I love cities that are rich in culture, art, spirituality and have a little bit of a fast pace to them.
Q. What is your guilty pleasure when you're on the road?
A. Buying cheap sunglasses. Whether it's Venice Beach or a gas station in Omaha, I will probably buy a pair of sunglasses.
Q. Where would you like to go that you have never been to before?
A. I've actually planned a trip to New Zealand this year, which is a place that I have always wanted to visit and have been drawn to for as long as I can remember. I identify so much with that culture and I am a big New Zealand All Blacks rugby supporter. Aside from the Yankees, they are my favorite sports team. I am looking forward to this trip more than I can say. Besides going to New Zealand, I would love to do a trip starting in some place like Iceland and hit the tiny Faroe Islands, and then do a car trip from the north of Europe all the way to the south and eventually end up in Pimentel, Italy. It's a place that I'm dying to go see, for very obvious reasons.
Q. What is your best and/or worst vacation memory?
A. My worst vacation memory was a surprise trip. I'm not even quite sure where I went skiing. It was so bad that I've blocked it out of my memory. I had never skied before in my life and there was just straight ice coming from the sky. It was nearly impossible for me to get down the mountain. At one point, I basically sat down on my skis, skidded down the entire course on my heinie. I ended up spending most of my time alone at the lodge while my friend decided to do a black diamond run. But, once again, the conditions were so bad that he hit his head and passed out somewhere on the mountain. He returned after about three hours. We cut our losses and went back to our beautiful lodge, where we thought we would soak in an Epsom salt bath, have some wine, stay up till 3 a.m. watching television and then sleep in, or so we thought. We were woken up at 7 a.m. by the cleaning lady, who told us that we'd only had the room for one night and not the entire weekend. So, there we were, bruised and battered, trying to pack in agony with very little sleep and a long drive home on a white, bright, ice-covered mountain ... and no sunglasses.
(Jae-Ha Kim is a New York Times bestselling author and travel writer. You can respond to this column by visiting her website at www.jaehakim.com. You may also follow "Go Away With..." on Twitter at @GoAwayWithJae where Jae-Ha Kim welcomes your questions and comments.)
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