“Once the travel bug bites there is no known antidote, and I know that I shall be happily infected until the end of my life” – Michael Palin
What can I say? Except that those words are my sentiments exactly.
My plan was to stop escorting tours after Kenya 2022 but the truth of the matter is I can’t seem to stop. I’m thankful that in 2022 7 International escorted tours are all SOLD OUT with waitlists except Dubai (2 rooms remaining).
Now even though I have visited at least 64 countries including all 7 continents, plus been on 89 cruises; there are still a few places the wanderlust within me has a need to return to. That being said, if anyone has an interest in joining me on any of the following, feel free to inbox me at email@example.com
Egypt, the land of the Pharoahs next month then in December to The Maldives. Both destinations have been long awaited for so many. For some, Egypt and a cruise on the Nile River has been a dream for over half a century. For my 5th plus tour not including my solo trips; I’m honored to be their escort. We have the best 5 star hotels in Cairo, Luxor and Aswan (home of the Nubians) as well as a private Egyptologist and an awesome grounds and security team upon our arrival. What’s needed? Negative PCR, Completed Travel Health Declaration. Fully vaccinated is smart and highly recommended. There are 18 in our group from both coasts and the Midwest, and almost half are brothers for a change. If you think you want to join us; we can still add you. Dates: Oct 12-26. Cost: $3100pp Dbl occ. (add $1050 for single occ). Airfare from JFK less than $900. There is an optional day trip from Aswan to Abu Simbel. Depart after breakfast and you’re back late afternoon. Now that’s some real jet setter kind of business.
The Maldives, we can still add you. Set in the middle of the Indian Ocean, a short 4 hrs from Singapore. Truly a place for total relaxation It is not your typical running here and there to see this, that and a 3rd. Simply RELAX. Your Over the water bungalow will allow you to be lulled to sleep by the gentle sounds of the Indian Ocean beneath you. There’s a wonderful spa, all types of water activities including water aerobics classes, night fishing, breakfast and dinner is included, transportation from the mainland to your private resort by speed boat is also included. Dates: Dec 6-12, 2021. Land Cost: $3300pp dbl occ. Airfare from SFO approx $1200. I can get you a great savings on Business Class on Emirates. If interested in either destination; inbox me
Upcoming 2022: Australia, Black Paris, North Sea Jazz and Iceland, Kenya Safari and South Africa. We are hopeful the pandemic will be behind us. These will be my last Escorted Tours. After which I will continue to arrange unescorted trips for groups and individuals.
There are times we can be still and reflect on travel adventures that bring pleasant memories and laughter. This blog will deal with sharing just that. Some go back so far the exact year is your guess is as good as mine. Names have not been changed to protect the innocent because we were all guilty.
I will start with a 14 day cruise on Azamara November 2013 sailing from Singapore to Vietnam and Bangkok. Road dawg Robbie Bell and I decided to spend the day in Da Nang, see China Beach and venture to Hoi An, known for its gastronomy. We had a delightful time, and a wonderful lunch until we headed back to the ship which was docked there for 3 days. The taxi dropped us off in the freakin shipyard, drove off and the police wouldn’t let us through. They actually tried to shake us down, demanding a crazy amount of money. We were not giving in. Finally, they agreed to take what we were willing to give and a tip. The joke was on them as we scurried away. The tip was: We are not to be “effed” with. Looking back in hindsight, I don’t think I’d try that again.
1995 Paris, France – A group of us had left Haynes Soul Food Restaurant walking in the 9th arrondissement, in the seedy part of town, passing bars with hookers in the doorway. Then a single brother from the Bay named Larry said, “ Hey, I want to go back to where it had pussy on the door”. Robbie snd I looked at each other and fell out and said, “knee grow, that’s Poussez, which means “push” in French.
2017 Cartagena, Colombia – There were only 4 of us. Man what a trip. We were dying to get on a Colombia party bus called a Chiva. It was Diva McPherson, Brandy Washington and Angelique Hadden and myself. We took seats towards the rear, each row had rum, coke, cups, buckets of ice and this loud azz live music and people partying. Lord, after a half an hour of this craziness the bus stopped at this deserted park, pitch black except for the colored lights on the Chiva, people were getting off to party in the park. Oh hell no. We decided to make our move. It took a bit for us to climb and jump down to the street but that’s all she wrote. The guide was running after us saying, “Ladies, Ladies, Ladies come back it’s too dangerous over here”. We didn’t stop walking almost running and I said, We’re from Oakland, we know dangerous but we are out of here”.
Same trip, last morning – Overslept, Diva and I woke up at 636a for an 8am flight. I swear we were at the airport like it was business as usual and checked in at 710a. To this day we refer to each other as 636.
2018 Marseille, France – BJ lost her passport. Man were we on a beat the clock mission to get everything done before the US Embassy closed at 2p. First stop was the police station, we Ubered there, waited til we were called, made the report, then to a photo location another Uber to take her photos, then finally to the Embassy with very little time to spare. Goodness gracious! Thank God for favor.
Do I have news for you? You betcha! Let’s take it from the top. Negril was AWESOME. So much so that it is already a confirmed Treehouse Take Over next July 21-28, 2022. With the sell of the remaining Gardenview Twin, it will be a wrap. In other words we’ve got approximately 116 travelers on board and confirmed. Can you believe this was accomplished in a little over 2 weeks time? Some haven’t been since 1999 and some will be new to the Negril on the beach experience KATTRAX STYLE.
October 13, 2021 20 of us will be in Egypt 13 days, The Land of the Pharoahs and sailing up the Nile River to Upper Egypt for 4 days. All travelers must enter with a Negative PCR and a caution to be fully vaccinated. That my friends, applies to all of our upcoming tours.
December 6-12, 2021 will find at least 18 of us chillaxin in The Maldives, located in the Indian Ocean a 4 hr flight from Singapore. You don’t have to be rich or famous these days just be yourself and ready to enjoy what life has to offer. Several will be flying Emirates Business Class. They have learned to treat themselves not cheat themselves.
February 14-22, we are headed back to Dubai and Abu Dhabi. We will all be on Emirates and I understand several have purchased their tickets in the fabulous Business Class. We shall see the new marvels that await us and all that the delayed EXPO 2020 has to offer; opening in October and ending the month after we show up. When you get your PCR ensure it will have a QR code that can be scanned. UAE is not playing.
March 16-28, Australia what’s going on? We are hopeful your borders will be open for us. Our contacts there are also keeping a thumbs up and are telling us not to worry.
April 21-28 Black Paris still has a waitlist. We’ve got 26 still confirmed and ready to go.
July 7-14 North Sea Jazz Festival will be kicking off and we have 25 still holding firm for this highly acclaimed jazz festival that the pandemic brought to a screeching halt for 2020 and 2021. After our time in Rotterdam we will head to Iceland. July is their warmest month and we look forward to frolicking in the BLUE LAGOON where the temp in the geo-thermal waters stay 104 degrees year round and then we will have lunch in the Lava restaurant overlooking the BLUE LAGOON. We only have 2 rooms available just in case you are interested.
The next week July 21-28 will find us taking over the Negril Treehouse, a dream come true for me to sellout an entire hotel with just us. A week of fun-filled events for the grown and sexy and plenty to do for the little people.
Sept 18-27 South Africa – We have 47 with a waitlist to enjoy Joburg, a Game Lodge and safaris followed by Cape Town. We are over a year out and believing all will be fine. Don’t be dismayed at the 2 days of rioting you just read about. It was no different from what we’ve seen here in Portland, Minneapolis and other US cities. The difference was when the Zulu Kings stepped up and said “End this foolishness” it stopped.
Sept 28-Oct 6 We fly to NAIROBI, KENYA Then travel to Sand River Masai Mara followed by relaxation at Diani Beach. We just may get lucky and see the Great Wildebeest Migration.
Whats shakin in 2023? Only time will tell. I’ve got a couple favorites I’d like to revisit : Ghana, Morocco, Italy. If not, it’s a Kattrax wrap. We shall see…
My dear travelers, I have decided to make a strategic change and pivot towards a new direction after 38 years of escorting tours. Everything must change, nothing stays the same. But what will stay the same will be Kattrax serving up the BEST of the BEST in hotel accommodations and tours WORLDWIDE without escorting groups but customizing tours for the discriminating travelers. After all I’ve got the “competitive advantage” unlike travel agents in the industry for what travel can do for them and not what they can do for you, those that sit in an office or at home booking people but have never set foot in foreign soil or perhaps they’ve gotten a glimpse of a destination due to a “familiarization trip” looking at hotels from sun up to sundown and dining with a bunch of folks they don’t even know. I’ve been to over 64 countries and islands, all 7 continents and 89 cruises. I know what’s out there. I’ve been in the trenches, on the front line and have forged lasting relationships with hotel owners, guides, transportation companies and restaurant owners. If you need that specialized, customized tour for yourself or family and friends; do not hesitate to email me for details starting NOW at firstname.lastname@example.org. Below you will see various special memories from past tours. I wish I had room for all the fabulous photos. On another note: A dream is about to come true – to sell out somebody’s hotel somewhere with just us. Well for July 21-28, 2022 with only 12 rooms left at the NEGRIL TREEHOUSE RESORT it will be a wrap. We’ve got a waitlist for the 1 bdrm Oceanview suites but I highly doubt if anyone will be giving up theirs. A week of activities on the beach at a very well run black owned resort is really the “Kat’s Meow”.
An old Jamaican saying, “Think long, you think wrong “ So let me bottom line it for you: We literally have 14 rooms available- a few lovely Gardenview Twins, some Gardenview Kings, and 1 Gardenview mini suite. The package includes 7 nights accommodations, R/t airport to resort transportation, Managers Cocktail party, Daily Bountiful Breakfast, Gospel brunch, Sunset Cruise with food and booze, and Farewell All white Dinner Party with dancing and open bar. Optionals: Cooking show in the mountains at Zimbali Retreat, and a Waterfall excursion. If you don’t want to be left out; don’t delay, inbox me today email@example.com or call 510-499-5909
Just back from Tree House and yes I was working and networking while I was there. Covid made me sit down 15 months and now Kattrax is back with a vengeance. It’s always been my dream in this travel game to “sell out”, “lockdown” an entire hotel with just my group. It looks like it’s finally going to happen if the Lord says the same. We started with my 50th and we partied there like it really was 1999 because it really was. Now this will be year 23 and everybody’s gonna be there, we got people coming’ from everywhere. We got Ling Ting Tong from China, Long Tall Sally from Carolina, we got 007, the private eye and he’s bringing all the guys from “I spy”. It’s not just a reunion, not just a take over but a FUNCTION AT THE JUNCTION. I will be 73 and great grandson King will be 5; what a blessing. If you slow dragged already, you may miss out because rooms are going going and soon will be gone. They all be gathering here, from far and near for the Function at the Junction. Brother, you’d better come on right now. If you want a piece of this fun; Inbox me at firstname.lastname@example.org AINT NO PARTY LIKE A KATTRAX PARTY CUZ A KATTRAX PARTY DONT STOP
It’s been a wonderful week here at the Tree House. Everything has been in point in this semi post demic world we live in. My props to the country, Negril, and Gail Jackson Brooks and her staff for the safety protocols in place. We have all had an incredible time here and look forward to July 2022 when lobster season will abound. We have been getting requests all week from repeaters saying, “It’s been too long. I’m ready to return for the Negril Tree House Take Over”. We may have 30 rooms available but you better believe we have 30+ already GONE. Shown below is the tee shirt from 2019 when King was 2. It was too big and pinned at the back but almost fits now. We are working on a bangin new design for 2022. Hope to see your face in the place.
Greetings from Negril my Travelers! We’ve been here 7 days and time is almost up. What can I say? Other than it’s been one beautiful experience for me. After traveling here for over 35 years and actually living here for 3 years; I must say it’s just like my first time. We did our Covid test 3 days before leaving the states, got our Travel Authorization within 7 days of leaving, most of us did the VIP ATTRACTIONS arrival and were ushered through Immigration and Customs and then on to the Lounge where we recharged ourselves, our devices, had snacks and drinks while waiting for others in our group. The safety protocols in place at the airport, here in Negril hotels, shops & restaurants are quite impressive: masked up and mandatory hand sanitizing upon entry. Tree House upgrades to the rooms are amazing. Gail and her hard-working staff have done a remarkable job. Our group dwindled down to 24 this trip with so many apprehensive about traveling this year but 2022 has been named the Reunion Tour and I’m happy to say rooms and suites are going like hot cakes. One will be lucky to get any room. It will definitely be a Tree House Take Over. I’m creating this blog on my phone, something I never do but I’m having difficulty with my IPad. Hopefully I can send pictures later. Our gospel brunch was uplifting with the live band and the Bay Area’s own Reverend Rob (Robin Eldridge) bringing the message of, “Can you hear me now”?, the boat cruise was yesterday and a fun time was had by all young and old dancing, snorkeling and swimming into the caves. Tonight is our dinner party. It will be a little different with the curfew in place but will be lifted after tomorrow. They are doing their best here to stop the spread. Getting our return Covid-19 return test was seamless; a walk directly across the road to the Boardwalk Village Shopping Village and voila! Done! New places have popped up around here; a bank, shops, Western Union and an amazing restaurant called Matthews. The presentation, preparation and the service are all on point. If you even think you want a piece of this fun next year July 21-28, 2022; do not delay, inbox me at email@example.com
Our website, Kattraxonline.com has been updated. We were blessed to move some 2020 tours over to 2021 and 2022. For 2021; Negril is happening next month, Egypt is in October and the Maldives in December. On deck for February 2022 is Dubai and Abu Dhabi – Sold out with a waitlist. Black Paris April 2022 – Sold out with a waitlist