The host of the on-demand series “Eat Travel Rock,” Kelly Rizzo is also featured on the FOX reality series “Special Forces: World’s Toughest Test.” The world traveler said she has visited so many beautiful places, but one particular trip stands out: her honeymoon with the late Bob Saget in 2018. “Bob and I went to London, Paris and Sicily and it was all just spectacular,” said Rizzo, who was born and raised in Chicago. “Thankfully, memories were made that would last a lifetime. He was so happy on that trip. It made me so happy to see him so happy. I’m so forever grateful for that trip. It was truly the trip of a lifetime.” The Los Angeles resident stays in touch with her fans on social media, where her username is @eattravelrock.
Q: What part of Chicago did you grow up in?
A: Lakeview, right off of Lake Shore Drive. And then right before high school, we moved to Glenview and I attended Glenbrook South High School. About 20 years ago, my parents moved to Lake Forest, so that’s what I call home now when I go to visit.
Q: If it’s not too personal, can you share a place that you enjoyed going to with Bob?
A: One of Bob’s and my favorite places to visit was the Post Ranch Inn in Big Sur, California. It was always such a special place for him. Once I was in his life, it became a special place for both of us. It truly is one of the most magical and spectacularly beautiful places on earth. We would go there at least once a year while we were dating. In November 2017, Bob proposed to me while we were staying at Post Ranch. It was so special. We visited at least once or twice more after we were married and it was always his dream vacation. I have not been back since he passed. I think at this point it would still be too painful. But maybe in the future that could be a lovely trip to take solo, so I can just spend some time reflecting in a place we loved so much together.
Q: What is your favorite vacation destination?
A: I love Italy. It has everything I could possibly want – history, culture, city life, quaint towns, beaches, lakes and mountains. But mainly, it has the best food and my family. My dad was born in Sicily and I still have so much family there, so I love going to Sicily and seeing my family while visiting some of the world’s most beautiful beaches.
Q: What childhood trip stands out?
A: My family never traveled much. We only went to Florida and Las Vegas. So by this point I’ve been to Vegas over 40 times. But I have so many incredible memories from all of these trips over the years. Clearwater, Florida, where my mom’s parents lived, was a big family spot for us and will always hold a special place in my heart.
Q: What do you hope viewers get from “Eat Travel Rock”?
A: Nothing makes me happier than when my viewers tell me that they made one of my recipes and loved it or that they took one of my travel recommendations and had an amazing time. I hope that I can always help people in a fun and approachable way!
Q: What’s the most important thing you’ve learned from your travels?
A: I’ve learned that being an easy person to travel with is so important. Travel can be very stressful and challenging. Not everyone is an expert. So it’s crucial to be able to go with the flow and be kind and helpful to people you’re traveling with. Things are definitely going to go wrong and plans will get messed up. So it’s all about how you handle these hiccups. Are you gracious and amenable? If so, not only will your trip ultimately go as smoothly as possible, but people will enjoy being your travel companion.
Q: If you’ve ever gone away for the holidays, which was the best trip?
A: Bob and I went to Los Cabos, Mexico, for our last few New Year’s Eves together. He loved being able to be somewhere relaxing, but where we can still have incredible food and drinks and also get in some beach time. I’m so happy we were able to make those memories. I will cherish them forever.
Q: Do you speak any foreign languages?
A: I speak Italian and Spanish conversationally. I have a minor in Italian from DePaul University and my family speaks it, so it’s safe to say my Italian is a bit better than my Spanish. I would love to learn Japanese, but it’s so intimidating.
Q: What are your favorite cities?
A: Of course, Chicago will always hold a special place in my heart and I truly believe it’s one of the best big cities on earth. But New York wins in my book. I love New York so much. I would love to be able to live there at some point in my life. London is my other favorite city. I would also move to London in a heartbeat.
Q: If you could only pick one place to eat, would you prefer a food truck or fine dining? Why?
A: Food truck any day! I’m much more of a casual and easy-going diner. I love local authentic bites I can grab on the go. I do love the fine dining too, of course. But if I had to choose only one, I’d say a taco truck.
Q: When you go away, what are some of your must-have items?
A: I always travel with my Lo & Sons backpack. It fits everything. I take AG1 everything as my nutrition supplements. They make daily travel packs, so now I don’t go anywhere without those. I also never go anywhere without my iPad, because I love watching all of my shows on the plane.
Q: What kind of research do you do before you go away on a trip?
A: I love finding fun and unique – yet luxurious – hotels that are in the city center and walkable. Then I love finding great restaurants and I plan out my food itinerary. I usually will also ask a lot of my chef friends for their recommendations. Chefs always know where to go.
(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.)
©2023 Jae-Ha Kim. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.