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Five Miles Up with … Ken Marino

Compass

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Ken Marino first stepped out as fireman Mark Orlando on the Yahoo! Screen dating show spoof “Burning Love.” Vying for Orlando’s affection were a bevy of bachelorettes played by the likes of Jennifer Aniston, Malin Akerman and Kristen Bell. Now, in its second season, “Burning Love has made its move to primetime, airing Mondays on E! at 10 p.m. ET/PT. Will Orlando make an appearance this season? Tune in and see. In the meantime, Marino, who loves his downtime, can most likely be found at the beach. Who he’ll be chasing along the sand, however, won’t be bikini-clad.

What’s something you never fail to pack in your suitcase?
My socks.

Carry-on or check-in?
Carry-on. I don’t check in stuff. I don’t have the time, or enough clothes.

Window or aisle?
Window, so I can press my face against the cold window when I start to get claustrophobic and sweat.

What’s your idea of the perfect vacation?
A tropical island where I can sit on the beach, drink whatever fruity drink that beach is known for, and sleep.

Tell us about a vacation you’ve taken that’s come close thus far.
Once I vacationed on Hawaii’s Big Island with my wife and in-laws. It was fabulous, but there wasn’t a lot of sleeping on the beach, more chasing my toddler son around and making sure he didn’t run into the water.

What’s the worst vacation you’ve taken?
Every vacation I’ve taken I’ve enjoyed, because I got to stop working.

Any fun film/television location shoots?
I’m a New Yorker, so now that I live in Los Angeles, the idea of shooting on location in New York is exciting. When you’re shooting, they put you up in a nice hotel, which is an extra bonus, because I can’t afford New York hotels. One I loved was The Greenwich, Robert De Niro’s hotel in Tribeca. I ate one of best meals I’ve ever had at Locando Verde, the Italian Restaurant connected to it.

What's the most decadent souvenir you ever came back with?
I try not to buy souvenirs because they won’t fit in my carry-on, so I just take pictures. My favorites are the pictures of my wife and I on our honeymoon in Italy. You can’t go wrong with a backdrop of Italy. We went all over -- Venice, Rome, Tuscany, even to the top of Lake Garda, where it was snowing like crazy. It was very romantic.

The one thing you're willing to splurge on above all else.
Really great food. What else would you spend money on? That’s what it’s really all about – traveling around the world eating really great food.

Any restaurants that stand out?
Ralphs on the Park in New Orleans. I even remember the chef’s name it was so good – Chef Chip Flannigan. It was hands down the best meal I ever had.

Ever try a food that you wished you hadn't?
I’ll eat anything at least once. We ate some crazy fish in Greece. We ate crazy fish in Japan, too. In Tokyo, we went to the Tsukiji Fish Market. You’ve got to be there before the sun rises, so we took the subway at 4 a.m.. You can watch them unloading gigantic tuna that have to be moved with forklifts. There are endless fish markets in the area with buckets and barrels filled with crazy-looking fish. Afterwards, at 8 a.m., we ate sushi at a place right next to the market.

Favorite hotel, resort, yurt, train, boat you've ever stayed in/on?
It’s always nice to go to a nice hotel with a really soft bed.

Biggest regret you've ever had while on vacation.
When I only book one week instead of two. Every time I go on vacation, the last two days I get depressed because I have to go back to work. Are you sensing the theme that I like getting away from work?

Where would you take someone visiting your hometown?
My hometown is Long Island, so I grew up in New York City. I’d take them downtown to the West Village and East Village to walk around and check out the restaurants.

You only get one more trip in your lifetime. Where will it be?
I’d go back to Italy with my wife.

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