Who doesn’t know and love Eva LaRue? I watched her as Dr. Maria Santos,on the wildly popular soap opera ‘All My Children,’ and then followed her onto CSI: Miami, where she portrayed the brilliant and beautiful Natalia Boa Vista.
A few weeks ago, I interviewed Eva, talking all about the new phenomenon, .Luxury, where she’s landed the coveted spot as their Travel Ambassador.
Jealous? A little, but in a good way. I promise.
What does hospitality mean to you, Eva? What things do you look for?
Oh, hospitality means so many things to me, Theresa! It means that the resort and staff go a little bit further to make sure my stay is perfect. They can anticipate my needs,or things I might want to do, before I even ask. They extend every effort, to make me fee special, from the moment I arrive.
There is this once place, the One & Only Palmilla,in Cabo San Lucas. They meet travelers in the rotunda as they first arrive. The staff has such wonderful, smiling faces, and they hold out trays with soothing,wet facecloths, and dry towels, to freshen up from the journey. It’s just great, to feel so pampered and important whenever I travel.
Do you look for these things everywhere you stay?
Yes, I sure do. It doesn’t matter if it is someplace exotic, or somewhere in the States. It doesn’t matter if it is a five-star resort, or a three-star hotel. Hospitality should be the same everywhere.
When I was selling my jewelry line several years ago, I was traveling a good deal and tho the hotels were very comfortable, they were somewhat ordinary. There was this one hotel chain I stayed at often. Can I just tell you this? They had a 24-hour coffee bar and warm, chocolate-chip cookies for their overnight guests. I loved it there!
Listen, it’s hard when you have to travel a lot. It’s tough when you have to be away from home. So, if a resort or hotel makes any effort to make me feel more comfortable in having to be away from family and things, believe me when I tell you this; I will recommend them to others and will plan on staying there again,myself.
What do you want to come away with when you travel somewhere new?
Theresa, I think travel is all about the experience. I want to come away with a sense of the people and the local. The world is such a big, beautiful place, don’t you think? I want to come away with memories that make me feel alive when I recount them. Experiences that make me feel as if I’m part of something and someplace so much bigger and better than I can ever dream of being myself, as a human being.
That’s why I’m always on the hunt for places to travel. I scour the pages of so many different travel magazines and books. They become my ‘Bible.’ They have those dog-eared pages, highlighting travel I think will impact me the most. I look for travel that will both move and mark me, if you know what I mean.
When you travel, are you interested in learning about/immersing yourself in the local culture of that destination?
Absolutely! I love to try the local food and feel the need to experience the people’s culture. Once, while traveling in Africa, I went on a Maasai drive, where herders tend their cattle.
I decided to take part in their Maasai ritual. My friends thought I was crazy! The jugular artery of a cow is expertly nicked, which allows blood-letting, but doesn’t kill the cow. The blood is mixed with fresh milk and then shared at lunchtime. It definitely was off-putting and for a second I thought ‘ There’s no way I can do this!’ But I did.
I could clearly see how revered the animal is in this culture. I was grateful to be included. I feel richer for it. Would I do it again? Probably not. But I’ll always remember the experience, that feeling of ‘ I belong here, in this moment.’ I truly am a lucky girl.
Where do you dream of traveling next?
That’s a tough question. There are so many beautiful places I want to travel ‘next.’ I would love to plan a trip to Japan, Rwanda, and Bali, though not necessarily in that order.
I truly want to experience Gorilla tracking in Rwanda. The endangered species is beautiful, and just the thought of hiking through the overgrown vegetation, listening to all of the sounds in the forest first-hand, then catching sight of that majestic troop, well – I can only imagine how full my heart would be!
And, let’s just talk about your blog for a moment.
My blog, EvaLaRue.luxury, is actually all about the ‘someday,’ Theresa. The act of blogging keeps my heart and mind engaged and alive. There’s just something about the anticipation in travel. It’s about aspiring to be more, see more, do more, be part of more, while I’m alive.
It opens me up to cultures, makes me learn tolerance, and makes me gain more of those first-hand experiences this planet is so eager to gift me. I really hope that my active role as Travel Ambassador on .Luxury and blogging on my personal website offers the same to my readers.
Try one of Eva’s favorite treats, BACON Chocolate Chip Cookie.
1 pound of bacon, chopped and fried crisp
2 & 1/4 cup, plus 2 Tbsp flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp sea salt (yes, you can use regular salt)
1 & 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
2/3 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla
2 12oz bags semi-sweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350.
Chop bacon strips into 1/2 inch pieces. Cook over medium-high heat in a skillet, stirring often. You don’t want the heat too high. It’s best to sort of render the fat slowly, that way it crisps up too. (You don’t want those little scalloped edges of chewy bacon fat in your cookies.)
Cream butter and sugars together until smooth. Add eggs and vanilla, mix until smooth, but don’t over mix.
Add flour, baking soda and salt to the mixture. Most recipes say to put these in a separate bowl and then add to the butter/sugar mixture. This just seems like a good way to dirty an extra bowl. (I add the first cup of flour, then sprinkle the salt and soda over that, then the rest of the flour.) Mix until just combined.
Add the two bags of chocolate chips. Mix well.
Add in the bacon pieces. Mix well.
It will be a real work-out while you mix it up. It will seem like there are more chocolate chips and bacon pieces than there is dough. (Nothing wrong with that.)
Join us next time, early Spring of 2017, when Eva talks to us about traveling State-side and shares her love for the most important women in her life.
Eva LaRue is .Luxury’s Travel Ambassador, who’s global experiences and insider jet-setting you can read about, on the discover.luxury blog and website. .Luxury is a new and expanding online network that encompasses hundreds of luxury-oriented websites, each carrying a signature domain address ending in “luxury.” The .luxury community is designed to connect brands and consumers interested in luxury products,services and content.