Tonight the group went to the very classy and upscale cocktail and piano bar, CLUB RaYE’ ( in French, ray yay, meaning stripes). Yes stripes everywhere.  Just minutes from our hotel by metro but a few arrived by taxi before the rest.   We were led down to the cellar where we were set up and Preston was already enjoying his Moscow Mule served in a copper cup.  The bartenders here know what’s up, from a properly mixed cosmopolitan to a French 75.  Our very engaging and accommodating host, Nick was on point and handled the group’s requests with the greatest of ease.  They had a menu of “Bar Bites” which included items like: Shanghai Spring Rolls with sweet chili dipping sauce, chili con carne, lasagna, a hot and naked dog, etc.  everything came from the kitchen fresh, hot and tasty.

The day had been quite a full day with sightseeing and shopping for the group escorted by Dedie but they were all hangin’ real tough even though most  were looking forward to a very early start the next morning taking the train to the wild and crazy Amsterdam.  You know where what happens in A’dam stays right there ; be it artistic, cultural, historical or smoker’s delight.  OMG, if coffee house walls could talk.  I doubt if anyone will have a report for me.

Tonight was a good night.  Everyone was enjoying their cocktails,  mingling and socializing and I did my usual, said good night to all and made my exit.  Saturday and Sunday are leisure days for all to do their thug thizzle  whatever that may be.

Until next time,



Coming soon:  Details for A CUSTOM JOURNEY –  Especially for the KATTRAX descriminate  traveler — CUBA, It’s Culture and Gems.  Join Kat as she Kat Tracks thru Cuba December 2017.  You can expect some of the best 5 star accommodations CUBA has to offer.  Included will be 6 breakfasts, 6 lunches and 5 dinners.  You will enjoy 4 nights at Jazz Plaza 2017 in Havana which will include an ALL ACCESS JAZZ PASS.  Some highlights in Havana:  You will cruise the Malecon, Revolutionary Square, stop by the Nostalgic Cars Workshop, attend pre-dinner cocktails with one of the remaining members of the world famous Buena Vista Social Club enjoying his unique anecdotes and stories, you will interact with leading architects, journalists, artists, musicians and dance groups in exclusive environments while learning  more about their lives and arts.  As you leave Havana you will stop in Matanzas also known as “The Venice of Cuba” because of its plentiful bridges and “The Athens of Cuba” after its abounding poets. It is here where you will visit the Afro-Cuban and Slave Museum.  In  addition, you will spend 2 amazing  nights in Varadero, the picturesque peninsula with world-class beaches and crystal clear water.

Pricey? Yes!  In the range of $4500-$5100pp based on 2016 rates.  But this is truly a trip of a lifetime.  If you are still interested please inbox me at rivoli98@yahoo.com

First Night in Paris, Babylon Bis


Kat with owners of Babylon Bis

The majority of the group flew together nonstop to Paris  from San Francisco.  My Business/First ticket gave me everything I needed:  privacy, a lay flat bed, fine dining and an attentive crew.  Dinner was served and oh la la it was divine: for starters a wonderful salad of mixed baby greens with sliced tomatoes, cucumbers, croutons, honey mustard peppercorn dressing with a side of  thinly sliced salmon.  My main course was a huge serving of short ribs of beef in red wine sauce, Amarillo mashed potatoes and julienne green beans and carrots.  I passed on the cheese course because I needed to save room for dessert which was ice cream sundays made to order.  “I’ll take mine with strawberry  topping with fresh whipped cream and cherries, please”.   A few hours later I reclined my seat to a bed and before I knew it they were serving breakfast and almost time to land in the beautiful city of Paris.

This tour would be different from past tours.  I would be joined by my newest team member, Dedie Stevenson-Bailey; the lovely daughter of  Paris resident and Owner of Black Paris Tours; the charismatic, knowledgeable Historian Ricki Stevenson.

We hit the ground running, after we got the group settled into our quaint hotel in the lively Latin Quarter area.  Everybody had time to rest a bit before heading out to dinner at Babylon Bis.  In 1995 Robbie Bell and I spent 1 month Criss crossing Europe hitting various jazz  festivals from Copenhagen to the south of France.  Acting on a tip she received we made our way to this wonderful restaurant.  Every year I have taken my groups here and now my picture hangs on the wall with Marvin, Snoop, Sean Paul, Beyonce’ and many others.  The word Bis attached to an address in French means a house has been divided.  I believe the idea of the name came about because the original husband/wife owners were from East Africa and Guadalupe in the French West Indies, respectively.   However today it continues with mainly the West Indian fare under the direction of the wild and zany Chris.

Jean-Claude took very good care of the group as they dined on the famous poulet braise’ (grilled chicken, steamed rice/red sauce, plantain, and shrimp and avocado salad.  Most started off with the very popular French aperitif, “Kir”.   A few had juices. Mine was the fruit cocktail and it was the bomb.

Friday will be the HoHo tour (hop on, hop off)  after which Dedie will take the shoppers to some of the best shopping in La Defense (la  day  fonsz).

In the evening we will head to CLUB RaYe , an American type jazz bar with some of the coolest cocktails.  The entertainment will be a sister belting out her repertoire of jazz classics.

Next year we will probably switch back to our 4 star uptown boutique hotel and our private bus service for all events.   Of course, the price will return to the original.  The last 2 years has been quite a savings for the participants that took advantage.

We’ve got more goodies lined up so stay tuned…….



My world traveling friends,

It appears that it’s finally coming together pretty much the way  I want it to with my hand picked hotels and working the program I want to work.  Participants will be limited.  Cost may be pricey but it’s on and crackalackin.    Til next time, Kat