What comes to mind with just the mention of Brazil? Copacabana, Ipanema, Christ the Redeemer statue, Sugarloaf Mountain, Samba, etc. Yes, its definite! Hotels are in place, we are just waiting for our air contract to come through with the exact dates for early November.
Yes, those sites listed above are the norm but the highlight for me is always Salvador de Bahia – truly the “Soul of Brazil”, renowned for its African-influenced cuisine, music and architecture. The Pelourinho, with its colorful colonial buidings and cobblestoned streets, definitely takes you back through time. We don’t stay there but we spend a lot of time there. You will experience the magical energy everytime. Our haven, located 1 block from the beach is a tropical luxury hotel with 2 pools, amid lakes, trees, birds and chefs that know how to put it down with a soulful touch. This is the purr-fect spot to relax as we end our tour.
This will be after we have “samba-ed” our way through RIO which by the way… our hotel there faces Copacabana beach, just a short stroll from Ipanema beach. You be the judge as to your preference. I love Copa!
The piece de resistance will be our visit to IGUASSU FALLS. We fly there from our first stop in Rio. Ours is the only hotel located within Brazil’s Iguassu National Park. This luxury colonial-style hotel has the purr-fect location; just a short stroll from the magnificent waterfalls. You will have exclusive access to this unbelievable sight in the evening and at dawn when the park is closed to other visitors. Spa connoisseurs —- their spa uses responsibly harvested ingredients from the lush rainforests of Brazil and with energy from the Amazon, their therapies are designed to comfort, cleanse & energize you.
If you haven’t already claimed your spot on this tour, let me hear from you. Information (land & air cost) should be available within the next 2 weeks and will only be sent to those on the list. Air will be from Miami so you must make your way there to join the group. This is a tour that will not disappoint!
Until next time….
My friends, most know that “International” is my middle name. So no, not In New Orleans although I do love that fair city with a passion but coming in 2016 and 2017 the organizers have decided in addition to NOLA they will be taking it to SOUTH AFRICA. It will be held in Durban, right on the INDIAN OCEAN. I’ve been arranging international music Fests since the 80’s so this is right up my alleyway. Yesterday I was just reminiscing to a few on the bus about the lovely time spent at a Bed and Breakfast, in UHMLANGA ROCKS overlooking the Indian Ocean. It was one of those “I just got to put my feet in the warm Indian Ocean” experiences. That was in 2007, a most lovely time but so fresh in my mind it seems like yesterday. UHMLANGA is pronounced with an “S” between the M and the L and it’s about a 20 min drive from Durban. I am so about the spiritual. My purpose, my journey has been just that. I might add that sista Joyce Crum who happens to be on this tour is the one that back in 2005/2006 told me how beautiful that place was and It fueled me to get there. Thank you Joyce!
The festival dates in 2016 nor the exact venue has yet to be announced so stay tuned if there is an interest, especially you Essence die hards (cousin Darryl you know you are in that number).
Today is Cassandra’s birthday so we celebrate on a dinner cruise tonight.
Yesterday was our full day tour to the capital city of Abu Dhabi. Before boarding the bus for our 2 hr picturesque, scenic drive our guide gave everybody the once over to ensure everyone was in compliance and would not be dress coded for entry to The Great Mosque. Even though a lady may have a floor length garment; no sunlight can show through and she must have long sleeves just in case one fails to read my info or even look at the pictures of what not to wear
Once in Abu Dhabi, we drove past residential palaces of the Royal Family and beautiful villas and then a stop at Heritage Village, which depicts life as it was in the old days.
Lunch would be as usual at the magnificent EMIRATES PALACE HOTEL. There is no getting in this place unless you are a registered guest or with a reservation to do business here. This is thee most expensively built hotel in the world. Notice I said “expensively built”. It was built for the Sheik’s residence but he didn’t like it so thus it became a hotel. Lunch at Le Vendome is about $125pp. Of course, I make sure it’s included in the package for my group. We were ushered to our reserved tables and the feast began. There were literally hundreds of items perfectly prepared for our dining delight. I started with jumbo cocktail prawns with a bourbon dipping sauce, spicy Cajun chicken, pasta bolognese, roasted duck salad, and the most tender BBQ short ribs. Everyone dined sufficiently then took their time strolling through the hotel taking pictures of such opulence, including the Gold to Go ATM—- yes, buy a bar of gold out the ATM if your plastic can stand it. Oh, let’s not forget the bakery counter showcasing baked goods topped with 24k gold.
Our final stop was FERRARI WORLD, just a pit stop to pick up some FERRARI souvenirs and memorabilia. This is the home of the fastest roller coaster in the world. All in all, this was a most beautiful day.
Will Kat repeat this DUBAI/ABU DHABI trip? My friends, that remains to be seen but if there are 20 definites out there reading this blog that want to commit next year…..holla at ya girl.
Some may be wondering why isn’t Kat blogging? Well my friends, this being my 3rd visit to this off the chart destination I figured most have been following me for a few years so I did not want to bore you. Past trips here in DUBAI are right here in the “Archives” for 2013 and 2014.
We are 18 strong and reppin’ East coast, Midwest, West coast, and DELTA SORORITY here to celebrate Ms Cassasndra Caldwell’s birthday. Those of you that have been blessed to partake of her annual “Be my guest” Fish Fry held at her mini mansion in North Carolina know how this young lady throws a party. I mean sho nuff southern hospitality. So it was only fitting she celebrate her birthday at the most “over the top, out of the box ” destination on the planet.
Tonight most went dune bashing on the Desert Safari but been there, done that, don’t have to do it again so I thought this would be the perfect time to try out a new restaurant. My contact here suggested NOIR at the Fairmont, where you dine in total darkness with the waiters wearing goggles. The chef wants the diners to use the senses of their palates to distinguish and identify tastes of the pricey 3 course meal. If I’m doing high end dining, I want to see what I’m ingesting. Then there is an Italian restaurant called VANITA’S at the new PALAZZO VERSACE but I wasn’t feeling Italian tonight. I settled on ASADO an Argentinian restaurant located at the PALACE DOWNTOWN. Lucille who has been traveling with my groups since the 80’s and a repeater on this joint would be joining me. Since we have both been to Argentina I figured why not? My contact made the reservation sent his car and driver. We had the best Al Fresco seat possible, overlooking a private waterway, with a perfect view of the dancing Fountains and The Burj Khalifa (tallest building) lit up in the tri colors of the French flag in honor of those who lost their lives last week. Let’s continue to pray for our friends and loved ones all across France and this crazy world we live in.
Dinner was perfecto! Our appetizer was a platter of fried king crab, calamari, and shrimp. We decided to share this huge main course called PARRILLADA ARGENTINIAN. it is thee most varied mixed grill in the world complete with: Rib eye, tenderloin, sirloin, short ribs, baby chicken, baby goat, lamb T Bone, lamb sweetbread, and homemade chorizo. We added creamed spinach and the sweetest asparagus ever. The service and ambiance were impeccable. I must say tonight was truly a culinary delight. I may be back later this week to tell you about our day in the capital city of Abu Dhabi and of course Cassandras celebration on the cruise Thursday night.