Some may be wondering why I haven’t blogged since my arrival on Thursday. The reason being: I have been bringing folks to Paris since 1983 and doing the “Stroll” since 1998. For the most part, the “Stroll” has remained the same with the exception of replacing a restaurant here and there. Some will admit, my blogging makes them feel as though they are right here with me and that has been my most valuable tool to get Travelers on board. Next year’s tour is practically sold out with 1 room remaining so I will leave it at that. I will say though, if anybody wants that room, let me know soon. I may not be able to get more later.
The majority of this group is from the Bay Area with a few from Los Angeles, Pennsylvania and Atlanta. Just putting together such a tour is not enough. It continues even after arrival. If you didn’t know, I do it all. Ensuring all get picked up by their private driver at the Paris airport with so many terminals can be nerve wracking as they don’t all arrive on flights with myself or team member, Robin. This tour faced a few challenges with Air France going on strike and if that wasn’t enough; the trains had work stoppages which could have impacted those going to London and Amsterdam on their 2 weekend days. Thank God we had favor but it kept me hopping just to check and reconfirm for everybody.
Our first night Welcome Dinner at Babylone Bis, serving French West Indian fare, was as usual an instant hit. The group loved it! The next day was a full day tour by private bus with the knowledgeable, charismatic Ricki Stevenson. She met the group at our hotel and before leaving on the bus she literally took them to school in the most fascinating way. Some so blown away with her facts, they are still commenting on how they so enjoyed her. Ricki was in top form as she took them to pre 17th century and chronologically bringing them to now so they could see how black people had a major part in forming this city. On tour they learned about the 3 Dumas, the grandfather who was a general in Napoleon’s army. He was called the “black rebel”, the son, Alexandre Dumas, author of “The Three Musketeers “, “The Count of Monte Cristo” the most prolific writer of all times and his son, a much acclaimed Playwright. Among so many more stops and so much more history , They stopped by the Catholic Church in Neuilly sur Seine to see the Black Madonna.
That evening several were up to an evening of jazz at Chez Papa in the Latin Quarter. It was a very full day.
Saturday, some went to London and I chilled with more chillin tomorrow when they go to Amsterdam or just do what they feel like doing. Robin and I enjoyed our Breakfast in America with Paula Kelly, Patricia Derico, YaVette and Charles Sanders. Afterwards, I hopped an Uber back to my apartment while they all set out to explore more of Paris. That evening, myself along with Ann and Ken Wynn enjoyed a wonderful meal at Le Relais de Venise —-no menus needed until dessert and where they hold back half your steak keeping it hot til later. Ann and Betty Jacobs were here with me back in 2005.
We have a new African restaurant, VILLA MAASAI, the night we see Paris by Limo so of course I will return with pictures and a review of that evening but this is it for now.
I’d like to shout out to repeaters from last year: Yvette Binns and her Lovely daughter, Michelle Peacock. Billie Dupree from several years ago who brought along granddaughter Amani, Nicole, and Tai. 8yr Old Amani is studying French at the French school in Oakland. I’m all about exposing our youth to International destinations. Other Kattrax VIPs from Fiji, Dubai, Jamaica and several other destinations; Shirley McWilliams, Sharon Taylor and Lisa Kidd and from our recent Antarctica cruise; Sylvia Hutchings and Carolyn Peterson. Last but not least, here to celebrate her birthday, Princess Washington, sister of Kattrax VIP, Brandy Washington. Happy Birthday, Princess!
I may not do my thing the way some are accustomed to having it done but I’ve been blessed and it works for Kat.
Until next time…..