Happy Wine Wednesday! Today’s jetsetter is Christopher Wood: bff and roomie of Edward Schmit, and, having recently starred in the national tour of Spring Awakening, he’s pretty much the closest thing we’ve had to a celebrity around here. So, only knowing him through Eddie and his answers below, we’ll give you a little preview. Likes: coffee, humping people on stage, and living in a house in Astoria. Dislikes: eating young suckling pig hearts.
Favorite Place: Florence.
More importantly, favorite meal: I had the most phenomenal whole-wheat spaghetti carbonara in Assisi. Honestly, I had never been much of a pasta eater, but this dish was enough to convert me. My least favorite meal was the time I accidentally ordered young suckling pig-heart at a restaurant in Paris, and didn’t realize what it was until I took a bite. I had an ah-ha moment, realizing “oh, this is what it’s like to eat a heart.” Another one off the bucket list.
The moment you caught the travel bug: While in Venice a couple years ago, my girlfriend and I decided to allow ourselves to get lost on the island. It’s only so big, right? The back alley shops, restaurants, and architecture were all a definitive highlight of the trip, and it helped me realize that the sights off the tourist map are what truly define and represent a city.
First experience traveling alone: I attended the American Boychoir boarding school in Princeton, NJ, when I was 11. Flying out of Ohio by myself should have been terrifying, but I was distracted by a small crush on the flight attendant looking after me. Also, she bumped me up to first class. The only things missing from my bachelorhood were a legal age and a glass of Merlot.
Ever been (or thought you’ve been) in imminent danger while traveling?: No, I usually travel with a 5’3 blonde who intimidates all passersby.
Worst hotel/hostel experience: After a series of flight delays and cancellations, I found myself stuck late one night in Bloomington, Minnesota with half the touring company of Spring Awakening. We were rescheduled for a 6am flight at an airport almost two hours from our hotel (which the airline didn’t pay for), and so I laid down on my stiff motel bed for a restful two hours of sleep before getting up to hop on a bus that took us to our new airport. It wasn’t really the hotel’s fault, but the experience was miserable nonetheless.
Best hotel/hostel experience: Nashville, TN. I learned a lot about life, parenting, and the pursuit of silly trophies on that trip. Again, it had nothing to do with the hotel, and everything to do with the child beauty pageant mothers wandering the corridors and barking orders at their clueless, overly-dolled children. Not a dull elevator ride that entire trip.
Favorite family vacation: My family took a trip to Disney many years ago, the highlight being a visit to the Boardwalk where a seagull flew into the back of my sister’s head. Needless to say, I spent the rest of the day torturing her with little flicks and taps on the head. That’ll show her for pushing me out of the kiddie pool 21 years ago.
Must-have packing item: I always bring my Bose noise-canceling headphones on flights. Turn on some Chopin, crack open a Men’s Health, and enjoy the three minutes before the engine roar puts me into a light coma.
Most unbelievable travel experience: I was studying abroad back in college, and right after getting a lecture about safety from our professor, Erin and I went to get money out of an ATM. While debating which Italian word meant “enter”, we suddenly felt something press into our backs and heard the words, “Your money or your life.” Erin screamed and I turned with my arm up and instinctually swinging at whoever was there. Fortunately for our pathetic, hypocritical, and inappropriate professor, I caught myself before I clocked him right there on the street. Note to self: next time I find myself with a PhD and responsible for a group of oversea students, don’t act like a prick.
Favorite “I can’t believe I’m doing this” moment: I found myself momentarily detoured in Scottsdale, AZ, and needing a distraction from all the stress of life. I hiked Camelback Mountain, and sitting on the edge of the mountain’s 2,704-foot summit after the climb was one of the most unbelievable experiences of my life.
Place you can’t wait to return to: I can never get enough of Italy. The food, the vino, the gelato, the architecture, the language; it all fascinates me and I only want more and more.
Place you can’t be paid to return to: Dachau. I visited the concentration camp there, and of course it was an unforgettable and important experience, I just don’t think I could do it again.
Any exciting trips coming up?: I’m flying back to my hometown, Dublin, Ohio, for a friend’s wedding in October! Admittedly, I’m more excited for the wedding than the trip itself. So no, no exciting trips.
Dream vacation: I’ve never been to Hawaii, I’d love to live out that cliché vacation.
Favorite tourist attraction: Medieval Times. Need I explain? Probably. Huge turkey legs, no silverware, swords, cheesy. Plus the green guy always wins when I go, so I know where to sit.
Favorite “im trying not to look like a tourist” attraction: I have an addiction to faking the languages spoken in the regions I’m visiting. I learn the essential phrases, and practice the pronunciations repeatedly until I sound convincing, and then do a lot of smiling and nodding when in conversation with restaurant owners and pedestrians. It’s probably devastatingly incorrect, but it sure feels great.
As usual, we’re always excited for our next jetsetter! If you’re interested, comment, tweet, email, bbm, call us, stop by our office. Whatever works for you.