Where does Jamie Lee Curtis find her travel bliss? At a motel just eight miles from her front door. Dani Shapiro gets the lowdown on Casa Malibu.
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“I remember the first time I drove out to Casa Malibu. A friend of mine was staying there, and I had the address on a scrap of paper. I drove past all these celebrities’ houses—many of which I had visited in the past—and pulled up to a little inn, thinking, What is this weird place? It’s on Carbon Beach, one of the most sought-after stretches of sand in the world. A few hundred yards down the beach are the homes of some very famous and wealthy people. So there we were, two girls born and bred in L.A., sitting on this completely empty, gorgeous beach on an 85-degree day in January. And I thought to myself: Anybody can stay here. Anybody can have this. I don’t like traveling very far; I have children and I want to be close to home. Chris [Christopher Guest, Curtis’s husband] and I have never been away from home together for more than two days. Casa Malibu is eight miles from my front door; it’s my secret retreat. It’s not a tea shop in Bangladesh or Bali—but it’s such a sanctuary for me. I go there with Chris, Tom, who’s 11 now, and Annie, who’s 20, and I can sit on the balcony and watch Tom and spend hours painting pieces of driftwood and rocks. To me, that’s what travel should be: going to a place where you can shed your skin, just like Tom’s pet bearded-dragon lizard sheds his skin. The weight and obligations, the emotional lives of all the people I love— I can leave it all behind. The part of my personality where I have to provide everything for everybody in my life—that goes away. I don’t feel it there. Casa Malibu fits perfectly with our family motto, which Chris came up with and I put on the back of some T-shirts for us: otium cum dignitate. It means ’leisure with dignity.’"