JOURNEY TO MACHU PICCHU

Coming June 3-12,  2017  there will be a tour of culinary, exploration and adventure.  Our tour will consist of 2 nights Lima, 3 nights in the Sacred Valley of the Incas, 1 night Aguas Calientes, 2 nights Cusco.   This is as good as it gets for the mature traveler with joint and other health issues.  We will not do the 26 mile trek to reach Machu Picchu. Maybe 30 years ago when we were all so physically fit that would have been the thing to do but not now.  Plus consider altitude sickness; no sense in subjecting yourselves to 26 miles of torture and discomfort over a period of  3 to 4 days.  I’m just making a point.  Those that know me well know that I am Kat “creature comfort” StThomas and definitely looking out for your best interest.  Anyone making their way to Machu Picchu must first traverse the Sacred Valley of the Incas.  A very fascinating adventure.  We fly from Lima to Cusco, vehicle to Sacred Valley, comfortable  Vistadome train to Aguas Calientes and from there a 25 minute climb up the hillside to Machu Picchu, one of the seven new Wonders of the World.  You will also have a 2nd day to explore the Lost City of the Incas.

Machu Picchu is not really the name for the city —that name is lost forever. When Hiram Bingham arrived in 1911 the locals told him of the ruins between Machu Picchu (old mountain) and Huayna Picchu (young mountain). When Bingham told the world of his “discovery”, the name stuck .  How does one discover something that lots of people already know about?  Smh

On the roofs of most houses in the Sacred Valley are small shrines that include a cross indicating the family is Christian , ceramic Bulls for strength and fertility, a cask of corn beer to tie them to their ancestors and a vial of holy water to sanctify the house.  Yes, I like that very much.

Our Vistadome train ride is about 1 hr 45 mins on the PeruRail which is the 2nd highest railroad in the world and you will view the spectacular Andes Mountain scenery as we make our way up. Oh so exciting, so fascinating!

If you plan to join us, you can arrange your own flights into and out of Lima or we will be happy to assist.  Email me for rates and reservation forms at rivoli98@yahoo.com       This tour is now on the website http://www.kattraxonline.com (click on the Adventure tab).

Until next time……next week, it’s the FIJI ISLANDS.  Keep God first place, HE will take you places you’ve only dreamed of.

 

 

 

 

A WATERFALL KINDA DAY

As you can tell I stayed and chilled at the hotel while most of the group from 5 to 75 yrs went to Mayfield Falls.  It turned out to be a very, very rainy day but it didn’t stop them from having big fun.  Next year we may either do the Appleton Rum Factory tour or check out the new nearby  Zip Lining/ ATV spot.

Last night several lobster lovers  made it to 3 Dives and dug the hell out of it.  I was in a SWEET SPICE kinda way and that’s where I went along with Casey, BT, Lucille and Juanita.  It was most enjoyable local cuisine all the way down to their famous banana shake.

This morning 16 signed up for the cooking class in the mountains, transportation provided.   It’s a fabulous 3 course meal. Some have  their 420 meds before and finish up with wine along with their meal.  Smh.  What happens in the cool Jamaican mountains, stays in the cool Jamaican mountains.

SUNDAY IN NEGRIL

We started our Sunday morning by giving thanks to the Most High One. We all have so much to be thankful for.  As I was getting dressed I could hear Elricks band kickin it off with some gospel music.  One difference here is that even the gospel music has that distinct reggae beat. By the time I arrived in the restaurant, a few servers, staff and even the owner, Mrs Jackson were working on some serious moves to the beat.

My long time friend and true sista, Jolene Williams introduced me.  I shared my thoughts and then turned it over to minister Sherri Washington  and Sister Rita Ward who conducted our devotional service.  Minister Sherri broke it down on how Unless we forgive those who have wronged us, we cannot receive the grace and healing God has in store for us.   Forgiveness benefits us NOT those who have used and abused us.

Later on in the afternoon our boat pulled up to the hotel,  Rasta Monica and the crew loaded up our goodies and we were soon underway.    It was a beautiful afternoon, complete with snorkeling at the reef, music,  and cruising down to Ricks Cafe watching a few jumpers from 90ft up.  Things heated up on the boat when Rasta Monica let down her lovely “Loks”—— was seriously Workin that pole in a classy kinda way; such  a beautiful sight to behold and then folks including the little ones got jiggy when they played Nay Nay, and ended with The Wobble as we slowly cruised back to shore.

Tomorrow will be a day at Mayfield Waterfalls.   No doubt a great time in store for those going.  Negril 2017 is on and crackalackin — JULY 13 – 20, 2017.  Some  of you already know the OCEANVIEW SUITES are the first to go and we do have a few left.  $300pp deposit confirms your room.

Until next time…..

JAMMIN’ IN JAMAICA 2016

There are 55 in this great group, 16 of which are repeaters for this fun-filled week in NEGRIL, JAMAICA.  At least 40 of us arrived at MONTEGO BAY AIRPORT  within minutes of each other.   Allow me to give you an insider tip. There is a service provided by VIP ATTRACTIONS called FAST TRACK and its  the best thing since sliced bread. As you exit the plane and enter the terminal; your own personal uniformed escort is waiting for you with a with your name on it.  She takes your Immigration card, checks it for completion and whisks you to a dedicated FAST TRACK line with only a few passengers.  I hate to say that the regular line for Immigration as usual was ridiculously long.  Your escort stays with you, assists with your luggage, thru Customs, to the lounge if you have the time or if you are waiting for your driver.  I had people to meet so no time for the lounge. This service is well worth the $50 for arrival and $80if you want the service for your departure.

It was about an hour + drive to  Negril. Once at THE NEGRIL TREE HOUSE RESORT, everybody began to unwind and get into the moment of finally having arrived in PARADISE situated smack dab in the middle of thee most beautiful stretch of white sandy beach.  Before I forget, I must mention that UNITED showed 4 of us some real love and upgraded us to First Class ( myself, Shonda, Lucille and Zandra).  Thank you UNITED! What a way to get the party started.

The next day @ 5pm we had JAZZ IN THE LOBBY. The combo along with a jazz vocalist did the  thang as folks mixed, mingled, got acquainted with one another and took plenty photos.  It was late when my colleague Simon of Intrepid Expeditions arrived but a few of us awaited his arrival.  He and I have collaborated on the following tours and they all have been WINNERS these past 8 years:   SOUTH AFRICA, DUBAI, ITALY BY MOTORCOACH, AUSTRALIA/NEW ZEALAND, SUMMER JAZZ IN EUROPE, FIJI, upcoming are PERU, and ASIA.

7am on Friday found me walking a few miles on this stretch of  beautiful beach and thanking God for his goodness and tender mercy.  This trip is a little different because my little road dawg granddaughter. Casey who practically grew up here spending summers with me from the age of 6; learned to swim here from Kenrick, and oil paint from King Pinto is now my assistant at the age of 21. Not for all tours, only Jamaica she says because she has a special place in her heart for this magical place. Afterall she knows the place and how “dem tings run”.  She’s a natural!

The group was treated to the Managers Cocktail Party Saturday in the lobby.  Owner, the lovely Gail Jackson-Brooks puts on the best I’ve seen and you know I’ve been in hundreds of hotels worldwide. Appetizers, cocktails, Jell-O shots were served,  live music, dancing and a fashion show on top of all that.

We are off to a great start!  A fabulous week lies ahead.  If you don’t believe me just watch   Will we do it again next year?  You betcha by golly wow.  They are already claiming suites as I write this blog.

 

 

ROYAL PRINCESS FOR NEW YEARS

imageEver since she showed out 3 New Years ago playing the Theme from Love Boat on her fog horns as she left our  Celebrity ship still docked; Ive been anxious to sail on her. She is only 4 years old and that Baby is beyond beautiful.   So here’s what’s up:  there is an opportunity to switch from the 14 Night on the very small Pacific Princess to this very classy Royal Princess on a 10 Night.   Some said 14 days was too long or they didn’t want to be away for Christmas.    We will still depart from Fort Lauderdale and the ports of call are: Princess Cays (a tourist resort at the southern end of the island of Eleuthera, Bahamas; St Thomas, Dominica, Grenada, Bonaire (one of the ABC islands) and Curaçao.  You can get a 319 sq ft Mini suite with a 8′ x 9′ balcony for $2774pp abd airfare thru Princess is currently $500 R/t from the west coast.

My friends, there is nothing like being on the water ringing in the new year.  No need to worry about careless people celebrating with guns and  no designated drivers are needed.   Interested?  Inbox me at rivoli98@yahoo.com

AUSTRALIA 2017???????????

Hello Travelers!    Before I put the Down Under package together, there were at least 10 that said, “Count me in”.  Deposits were due April 30th and guess what? No deposits arrived til late June.  So now I’m getting requests again and if we get 10 we can make it happen   MARCH 3-13, 2017

Being in  Sydney was divine and the time in Port Douglas at the SEA TEMPLE  near the GREAT BARRIER REEF exceeded the word “EXCITING”.   This time it’s 4 nights in Sydney and 4 nights in Port Douglas    If you are interested, I mean SERIOUSLY INTERESTED, let’s not sleep on it this time.  Inbox me for rates rivoli98@yahoo.com