Celebrity Traveler Scott Fujita

CELEBRITY TRAVELER SCOTT FUJITA: Linebacker likes a hike to the Cinque Terre

By Jae-Ha Kim, Tribune Media Service, 3:17 p.m. CST, December 14, 2010

Scott Fujita is a linebacker for the Cleveland Browns and has played football for the New Orleans Saints, the Kansas City Chiefs and the Dallas Cowboys. But his home base is Carmel Valley, Calif. “A few years back, my wife and I chose Carmel Valley as our place to settle down and raise the kids,” said Fujita, 31. “It’s located on California’s central coast and is pretty equidistant between our hometown and my old college stomping grounds of (the University of California) Berkeley. There are few places with a better combination of outdoor activities, beaches, mountains and sunshine. Basically we chose a vacation destination as our permanent residence.”

Q What is your favorite vacation destination?

A That’s a tough one. Let me try to hit on a few places that have blown me away over the years. If you really want to go back in time, check out the Cinque Terre. It’s a chain of five timeless villages in Italy sitting on the bluffs of the Mediterranean. No cars, no cheesy tourist gimmicks. Just awesome. You could hop the train between villages, but that would be completely lame. Kick it old school and walk. Trust me, it’s a decision you won’t regret.

Cordes-sur-Ciel, France, is another one of these incredible throwback destinations. It’s perched way up on top of a hill and seems impossible to get to but is definitely worth the trek.

If you’re looking to just veg out at the beach, I have a few favorite spots on the Hawaiian Islands. Polihale Beach in Kauai is incredible and is definitely worth the 4-by-4 rental vehicle required to get you there. And if you want to sit and watch big-wave surfers appear suicidal, check out Sunset Beach on Oahu’s North Shore in the winter.

Q Where are your favorite weekend getaways?

A We have a number of weekend sneak-away spots that we’ve frequented over the years. When we lived in So Cal, Santa Barbara, La Jolla and San Diego never disappointed. And when we were in New Orleans, we loved to make the drive to Seaside Beach, just south of Destin, Fla. And from our current residence on the central coast, you can’t go wrong with Big Sur or a trip north to the Napa Valley.

Q What are your favorite hotels?

A For total R&R, it’s tough to beat Esperanza Cabo Resort (esperanzaresort.com) in Mexico. My wife and I went to Esperanza for our first multinight getaway from the kids, and it felt like we were in another galaxy. There were moments when we felt guilty for enjoying ourselves so much! For something a little more low-key, stay at Hotel Baia (www.baiahotel.it) in Monterosso al Mare when you make the trek to Cinque Terre.

Q What are your favorite restaurants?

A When I think of my favorite restaurants, I start thinking of New Orleans…Jacques-Imo’s Cafe (jacquesimoscafe.com), Cochon (cochonrestaurant.com), Emeril’s (emerils.com/restaurant/1/Emerils-New-Orleans/), Herbsaint (herbsaint.com), Nola (emerils.com/restaurant/2/NOLA-Restaurant/), Clancy’s Restaurant (504-895-1111end_of_the_skype_highlighting), Pascal’s Manale (504-895-4877 begin_of_the_skype_highlightingend_of_the_skype_highlighting) and on and on and on.

Story located at http://www.chicagotribune.com/travel/sc-trav-1214-celeb-20101214,0,403279.story

Filed in: Press Room • Tuesday, December 14th, 2010

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Scott Fujita

Scott Fujita was born in Ventura, California on April 28, 1979. He was a three-sport standout at Rio Mesa High School in Oxnard, CA before heading to the University of California, Berkeley, where he graduated with Honors in Political Science and earned a Masters degree in Education.

Fujita has played in the NFL for the Kansas City Chiefs, Dallas Cowboys, New Orleans Saints and Cleveland Browns. Read more