It was a grand time had by all. Even though the group with family and friends had gone home ; Tree House staff surprised me and it was a surprise. Friends and family had gone home but my THR family made it nice. Dennis Freeman and Belinda Walker joined me for dinner at my favorite restaurant The Rockhouse, the cake baked by Ms Margaret was yummy and shared with staff. The next morning breakfast was in the Montego Bay airport Departure Lounge. A great way to relax before your flight. Next year’s rooms are going fast. Hope to see you then.
Everyone has finally made it to their respective homes safely. Yours truly is still here to celebrate my birthday. Before my daughter left she presented me with my 2nd Judith Leiber bag.I love it! Mr Bilani former owner of 3 B’s Jewelry store called from Miami to say Happy Birthday, sorry they couldnt be here but is sending a piece from someone here holding his stash. I love the love.
Negril and surrounding areas has so many things to participate in and enjoy. There are massages on the beach, The Blue Hole Mineral Spring, The Limestone Massages on the river, The Jamaican Giants Sculpture Park and Art Gallery and a host of excellent restaurants around town. Last night I had the best Vulcan Roll across the road at Matthews. Tonight dinner will be at my favorite, The Rockhouse. In the meantime enjoy the parting pictures.
September 18-October 6 our groups will be back to back South Africa and a Kenya Safari on the Masai Mara.
Our week long getaway ends with an All White Dinner Party. The selected menu was on point with escovitch fish, sweet and sour chicken, pasta salad, green salad, rice and peas, dinner rolls and a beautiful sweet potato souffle’ prepared by owner, Gail Jackson Brooks. We had a hosted open bar and DJ Absolute formerly of the Jungle, spinning the tunes. Everyone was looking so sweet decked out in their white.
Next year’s dates July 20-27 is in effect and rooms are going fast.
Its been an amazing time for me just to watch everybody having an incredible experience. Day 1 granddaughter Casey had already hooked up river rafting with limestone massages on the Great River for her friends. Swimming with the dolphins has become an annual highlight for great grandson King but hard to imagine how many adults long for such an experience. 2 days of the Zimbali Retreat Cooking Show was more than they expected it to be. Its been more than 30 years since I’ve parasailed here, Hawaii & Puerto Vallarta but soaring high in the sky with granddaughter Sakari this time was more than special. Tomorrow night will be our All White Dinner Party and guaranteed to be a hit.
We were so blessed in our travels from every corner of the United States to reach paradise on earth. They were reppin’ from Washington state, New Jersey, California, Arizona, Texas, Atlanta, North Carolina and Florida. We had minimal airline delays and my ground transportation was on point. We rolled up to Tree House over 100 deep and they were ready for us.
We are now on day 5 and its been a very beautiful experience. Owner, Gail Jackson kicked it off with her Manager’s Cocktail party complete with a reggae band, drinks and appetizers. Saturday was a leisure day and the kiddies celebrated great grandson King’s 5th birthday. His mom, Casey laid it out very nicely and Ms Myrie my cake lady did her thing, 4 perfect, tasty layers was like a wedding cake. Sunday, gospel brunch was all that. Minister Robin Eldridge took us to church. Her message was soul-stirring and Ms Eddie’s baby daddy of 56 years, Travis Williams aka uncle Travis gave us an A selection from his ever growing repertoire. A few hours to rest and we were ready to board our 2 catamarans. I dont know what went on, on Ms Eddie’s boat but a grand time was had by all on my boat; swimming to the caves, snorkeling, sliding, dancing and dining on jerk chicken, salad, coco bread and an open bar. Mr Richard Greer of Atlanta was on hand to take photos. He does a great job with those candid shots. Today will be swimming with the dolphins and day 1 of the cooking show in the mountains. A best kept secret set up by granddaughter Casey was the river rafting limestone massage on the Great River.
I know I’ve said this is it but after careful deliberation , Ms Eddie & I will do it again. Rooms are already being claimed and deposited.
July 20-27, 2023 are the new dates. It’s got to be July for the lobster lovers! To book, email myself or Ms Eddie. This year sold out within 3 weeks last year.
The most important things I want to share are: Do not let down your guard, keep on those masks, do not feel comfortable because she’s your girl or he’s your boy. Remember our fundamentals of the last 2 years “distancing and sanitizing”. Avoid those coughing and saying, ”Its only a cold”. The CDC and Dr Dr D says with this sub- variant Omicron BA.4 and BA.5; you cannot self diagnose. Test yourself and dont infect others.
The Blue Lagoon was all that I had hoped it would be but after 22 North Sea Jazz festivals and the insane mob of folks in line at the Amsterdam airport its not something I will do again. After a week I have yet to see my suitcase. Last seen 7/11 oh how unlucky that day was. Nonetheless, its all about keeping it moving. Jamaica is in 2 days and I have borrowed a page out of Dessie’s playbook of travelin light. I purchased a 21 inch carryon packed it with 8 outfits, 2 sandals, 3 swimsuits, cover up, toiletries etc weighing in at 22 lbs. No checking bags for me this trip.
We are all excited about Negril. Its going to be a KATTRAX TAKE OVER of The Tree House. A real function at the junction, people coming from everywhere. Its been an annual shindig now for 23 years and I look forward to this being the best.
They are still talking about the Blue Lagoon. A couple did not want to get out of the water they were enjoying the experience so much. If you ever want to come this way, ask me and I’ll give you a ”road map” that will make it as easy as ABC 123.
Today was a lovely day weather wise. There are only 11 days in the year that Reykjavik has completely blue skies and today was one of them as several of us took various sightseeing tours.
Tomorrow, the group will head to the USA to their respective cities and homes. Hopefully, you my friends have enjoyed the journey.
An hour drive from Reykjavik city center you will find heaven on earth. Our group had the Premium package which entitled them to have VIP entrance, robes, access to showers, facial algae masks, changing rooms, towels, a welcome drink in the lagoon followed by a wonderful lunch in the Lava Restaurant with sparkling wine and dessert. The 102 degree geo thermal waters was exactly what the doctor ordered for those with aches and pains and those without.
We were joined by Simon and family who we had not seen since my birthday party in Mykonos 2018. Charlotte as precious as ever and twins Jack & Simon all grown up quizzing me on countries I may have visited; ”Kat, what about any of the stans, Pakistan, Afghanistan” Me: Oh no baby, none of those.
Twenty years ago, granddaughter Casey was 7 and here we were at this jazz festival only in The Hague. She would ”excuse us” until she got us right in front. Those days are over for Kat. i leave it all for the young folks. Photos and videos are courtesy of Katrina & Phil. They along with the others are having a grand time.
The airline lost Gregory Porter’s luggage but the showman showed up and showed out. George Benson, Diana Ross, Erykah Badu did their thing as did Nile Rodgers; co-founder of CHIC. He has composed, and sold over 500 million songs and for some you’d never guess. Amsterdam’s own Female sax player, Candy Dulfer performed with Rodgers on stage. She’s in her 50’s now but still blowing strong.
Tonight, Alicia Keyes will close it out. You already know her performance is going to be so so dope.
First thing in the morning we will roll out of here back to Amsterdam for our Icelandair flight to Reykjavik, Iceland where we will spend 3 nights and the highlight will be The Blue Lagoon and her 102 degree geo thermal waters.