Want to know how to travel in style, just like the pros? We check in with frequent fliers to find out how often they fly, their favorite destinations and what they never leave home without
Name: Judy Crowell
Occupation: Travel writer for laduenews.com in St. Louis, Mo. and noozhawk.com in Santa Barbara, Ca. for about 15 years.
Hometown: St. Louis, Mo.
Residence: Santa Barbara, Ca. and St. Louis, Mo.
YouTube: Are you kidding?!
Short Bio: Owner of a birdhouse business for several years…this segued into an upscale bridal business…which sequed into travel writing. Go figure!
Attended Villa Duchesne High School in St. Louis and Vassar College in Poughkeepsie. Active in St. Louis charities and founded KUTO, Kids-Under-Twenty-One, a teen crisis prevention organization in St. Louis.
Married for 43 years until widowed in 2001. Remarried in 2012 and the mother of three and grandmother of four.
How often do you fly: About once a month.
How many countries have you been to: Over a dozen.
How many continents have you been to: Three.
Favorite American city: North: Chicago/ South: Savannah/ East: New York/ West: San Francisco with St. Louis in the middle.
Favorite international city: Paris, hands down.
Least favorite country: Don’t have one.
Favorite World Heritage Site: Historic Center of Vienna and Great Smoky Mountains National Park in the fall.
Favorite airline: Anyone who gets me safely from point A to point B.
Favorite aircraft type: See above.
Aisle or window: Window.
Favorite airport lounge: Don’t have one.
Favorite U.S. airport: The old Santa Barbara Airport.
Favorite international airport: Charles de Gaulle Airport because I know I’m almost in Paris.
Favorite hotel: The Paris Ritz.
Do you unpack into the dresser/closet? Or live out of your suitcase? I’m pretty much a Type A…so into the dresser/closet it all goes.
Favorite cruise line: Uniworld River Cruise Line.
Favorite island: Kauai…Manhattan for urban island.
Favorite fancy restaurant: Napoli2 just 1 mile from us in St. Louis….and not really fancy, just supremely delicious. Runner-ups: the dining room of Kingsbrae Arms in St. Andrews by-the-sea, New Brunswick, Canada; River Café in Brooklyn, New York; Stonehouse at San Ysidro Ranch in Santa Barbara, Ca.; and Casanova’s in Carmel, Ca.
Favorite hole in the wall: Cold Springs Tavern, Santa Ynez, Ca.
Favorite fruit: Blood oranges picked right off a tree in our Santa Barbara back yard.
Favorite food: Farm fresh California cuisine.
Least favorite food: Scallops, I’m allergic.
Drink of choice (In the air and on the ground): The cleanest, freshest, coldest water.
Favorite travel movie(s): Out of Africa….maybe not technically a travel movie, but I’d go up in a one engine plane with Robert Redford over the plains of Africa any old day.
Favorite travel show(s): Don’t watch.
Favorite travel book(s): Fodor’s.
Right now I am reading: German Boy by Wolfgang W. E. Samuel.
Top 3 favorite travel newsletters/magazines/blogs: Travel & Leisure, that’s it.
Favorite travel website(s) – besides JohnnyJet.com, of course!: Tripadvisor, Kayak and Yelp.
Five things you bring on a plane: My IPad for crossword puzzles, extra pair of contacts, lipstick, real linen handkerchief and an old ‘security blanket’ type jacket for when it gets too cold.
What do you always seem to forget: Real linen handkerchief.
What do you want your loved one to buy you from an airport duty free store? Not a thing.
Favorite travel iPhone app(s): Weather, Yelp.
Most embarrassing travel moment: See below.
Worst travel moment: A flight from Denver to Jackson Hole, Wyoming in a tiny, 9 person ‘puddle jumper’. A car and driver picking me up on the other end to whisk me off to an important cocktail party. With lightning and thunder and the worst turbulence I’ve ever experienced (and that’s saying something), we bumped and bounced and catapulted our terrifying way through the black clouds to Jackson Hole. People were screaming, crying, shouting “Giddy’up” and “Ride ‘em cowboy!” and all sorts of unprintable obscenities. I was praying and making that ubiquitous promise to God that if He got me down on terra firma I’d never ever set foot on a plane again. By the time He helped the pilot get us down, I was green around the gills. My driver whisked me away, sick as a dog, to make an embarrassing entrance into the important cocktail party, filled with important ungreen faces. God, I’m sure, doesn’t hold travel writers or, for that matter, anyone else to their ‘fox-hole’/airplane turbulence promises. I certainly hope not.
What’s your dream destination: Too many to list….but most are in Europe.
Favorite travel charity: Don’t have one.
Best travel tip: RELAX…no way will you see all or experience all. No matter what your destination. So just relax and take in and enjoy what you DO see, what you DO experience.
I remember being on a very rough flight and upon leaving a woman grabbed me and said: “I prayed the whole time and we landed safely.” I (a “non-believer” said: “And I never prayed one bit and we landed safely.” She jumped away from me. Good laugh.