Five Miles Up with … Colin Fraser

Bekah Wright
CompassMarch 19, 2013
five miles up

What’s the most coveted hardware in the National Hockey League? The Stanley Cup, of course. Colin Fraser already has two under his belt. Playing for the Philadelphia Flyers, Chicago Blackhawks, Edmonton Oilers and now the L.A. Kings, the Canadian-born center has circled the globe more than once. For a man who spends most of his time on the ice, beaches naturally top his favorite vacation destinations list. That being said, the importance of sunscreen is not lost on him.

What’s something you never fail to pack in your suitcase?
I'm an over-packer; always take more than I need. Most importantly, my phone charger, computer and a season of whatever television show I’m watching at the time makes it in.

Carry-on or check-in?
Carry-on every chance I get.

Window or aisle?
Window. I’m a sleeper on the plane, and nothing’s worse than having to get up six times when the guy beside you has to pee.

What’s your idea of the perfect vacation?
A sunny beach, slushy drinks and good friends.

Tell us about a vacation you’ve taken that’s come close thus far.
During the 2010 Olympic break in the NHL season, I, my wife, and six other couples from our team traveled to Jamaica for a week. We stayed at the Royal Plantation in Ochos Rios -- a beautiful place with great location, but clearly, we were the only guests under 50 years old. I think the staff was actually happy to see us. On the first night the band was supposed to be done at 11 p.m., but played our requests and let us sing bad karaoke until 1 a.m. The next day, it poured rain all day long (it was February), so we stayed in the pool, where it was warmer in than out. Goes to show you can still have fun even if the weather isn't the greatest.

Ever had a disastrous vacation?
I wouldn't recommend an all-inclusive resort in Mexico with a 6-month-old ...

Where’s your favorite destination for competing in your sport?
Chicago would be my favorite. I played two seasons there, so have some friends and know the city very well. It’s a fun city with great restaurants. My favorite is an Italian spot called Prosecco. If you’re looking for a great steak, hit up Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab. And for sushi, I like Japonais, a really trendy spot with awesome rolls.

What's the most unusual souvenir you’ve ever come back with?
On our honeymoon, my wife insisted we buy this picture from a street vendor in Croatia. It’s this contemporary, pebble art piece of an animal that’s a combination of a cat and a cow. It’s just ridiculous; she doesn't even like cats. We laugh about it every time we look at it.

Ever try a food that you wished you hadn't?
No, I'll try anything once.

Favorite hotel you've ever stayed in?
The Gansevoort Hotel in South Beach Miami has a beautiful location on the beach. It's always nice to order lunch while lounging poolside watching the "Miami scene" unfold before your eyes.

Biggest regret you've ever had while on vacation.
Not putting on enough sunscreen, does that count?

The one thing you're willing to splurge on above all else.
Good food. No matter where I end up traveling, I love food and never cheap out on it.

Three artists on your travel playlist?
I listen to almost anything, so I'm all over the map.... Chad Brownlee, Rihanna, Nickelback. Like I said, all over the map.

Where would you take someone visiting your hometown for the first time?
Small-town Sylvan Lake, Alberta doesn't have a lot of places to go, but would take visitors down to the local beach for a swim and some "Big Moo" ice cream.

You only get one more trip in your lifetime. Where will it be?
Hands down, an African safari is at the top of my do list ... One day!