Surprise Discount for Abu Dhabi and Dubai

Greetings Travelers, in order to remain in good standing with my hoteliers in Abu Dhabi and Dubai;  it is necessary for me to offer a deep discount to an already fabulously priced 8 night trip to the U.A.E. Nov 24-Dec 3, 2019.  Yes it’s over the Thanksgiving holiday….. and??  Yes, We can give thanks wherever we are.   You may or may not have been to Abu Dhabi but I will bet my paycheck you haven’t stayed in Abu Dhabi at the 5 Star RITZ CARLTON GRAND CANAL and then finishing up in Dubai at the 5 Star KEMPINSKI AT THE EMIRATES MALL.

The land  package $2325 pp double occupancy price has been slashed to $2,000pp.  This is for new bookings only.

Some friends and family will not be able to make it to the wedding affair in Egypt in June so there just may be a small intimate reception for the happy couple at the Ritz in November. It’s  Still in the planning stages, will keep you posted.


Kat’s Kibbles & Bits

It’s been nonstop for me and a few others hangin with ya girl since September in South Africa, then Egypt, then Dubai, then The Maldives, next Ghana, black Paris, and this month Vietnam.  All the  above mentioned tours were awesome filled with so many of my beautiful friends and family. Once you go KATTRAX as a client you quickly become a part of the KATTRAX family and immediately prepare yourselves for the next adventure.  Our groups are all generations and  very diverse.  I must commend 2 Deltas from the “Silent Generation” , Ms Dorothy Morrow and Ms Helen Adams of Durham.    They were with me in Egypt,  this month in Vietnam and set to get in that 7th Continent, Antarctica which is upcoming. A big thank you to my Baby Boomer and Generation X tour members in Vietnam  on hand to lend a hand if needed by these two classy ladies but sometimes Ms Dorothy would be seen either bending over touching her toes or doing an OJ through the airport pushing her own luggage trolley. What grande dames!

Yes, I’m ready for some rest and after Colombia, South America next week; I will get some in NEGRIL, JAMAICA at the TREE HOUSE June 20-27.  We still have some available rooms if you are interested. This is one of my most affordable trips filled with a ton of activities for the week.   Just added will be the cooking School in the cool mountains of Negril.  Space is limited.  For less than $100, the school offers: r/t transportation from Tree House, a farm tour, welcome drink, cooking show,  a 4 course lunch, and 1/2 bottle of wine per person.  This fills up quickly.

In late November, we will be in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.  You can give up Thanksgiving day in America once in awhile.  We as a people, give thanks anyway, everyday that  the good Lord allows us to wake up clothed in our right minds. (Do you Remember that from testimony service?).  We have a few rooms left that will be released this week.  Formula 1 Grand Prix takes place a couple days after we arrive in Abu Dhabi and celebrities will be flying in from all over to see my boy, Lewis Hamilton- Team Mercedes do his thing.  Rooms will be totally unavailable. Our affordable package is $2325 plus air which currently is $1080 r/t from San Francisco on Emirates –  The world’s BEST!

The Maldives 2020 !     Now that is relaxation at its finest in an over the water bungalow.  Just the mention and my mind takes me back to listening to the gentle waves beneath my bungalow lulling me to sleep.  I continue to preach that it’s not only for the rich and famous.   Its  for you and for me and KATTRAX makes it affordable and within your grasp. We’ve got December birthdays to celebrate…..Won’t you join us?



Hanoi…Chillin’ and Still Shoppin’

The tour, down to our last 2 nights. It’s been one magnificent tour! We landed in Hanoi and hit the ground running. We had so many things to see and do but just not enough hours in the day.  For starters, we had 22 people to get 2 complimentary spa treatments.  The first session was minutes after our arrival, then we needed to be ready in 2 hours for our very fun and exciting rickshaw ride through the town.  Everybody had their own “pedicab” and driver.  We enjoyed the sights, smells and sounds as we rode 22 deep.  This is always a highlight in Hanoi.

Our 5 star hotel is in the French Quarter with every conceivable high end store within walking distance and believe you me, our shopaholics were in formation to get it done. Everyone in this group is special to me but a few are dear to my heart. Leon and Tammy Primas — she unselfishly shares him with me.  Leon’s dad was my dad’s best man and my dad was his dad’s best man…way before we were even thought of and his dad even occasionally babysat me and my sister.   Holly Johnson Friar; the daughter of my mentor, the smartest man I was ever blessed to know…Dr.Wesley Johnson (rip).  Words of wisdom he imparted with me still resonates through my being and I continually share with others: “Don’t get mad, get paid”.  Something that is really needed in any entrepreneur’s business, especially mine. Smh.

Our trip to HALONG BAY for our day cruise was a long day.  Shopping was available along the way and even I shopped.  There was art, clothes, handbags galore at one stop and then pearls where they learned about cultured pearls.  I even purchased two lovely silk kimonos; a white one of course and a black one both with golden dragons embroidered on the back.

Everybody did their own thing for dinner and several still had to get in their last complimentary spa treatment.  I enjoyed dinner in the hotel’s courtyard with Diva and Dana.  No doubt the head chef is French. His/her signature is clear for this foodie to see. The breakfast spread is quite bountiful even down to the down home, Chicken  and Waffles.

Keep us in prayer as we journey home this day.  I look forward to  as others in the group to our Premium Economy cabin on EVA AIR.

In 2 weeks, there will be another KATTRAX REUNION as we Kat Track to COLOMBIA, SOUTH AMERICA.

From the Bottom to the Top

Some hit the beach at 5am to walk and to check out the happenings.  My Generation X  young ladies were out there helping the fishermen while Phil and Katrina were supervising the fisherman.   I came down to breakfast at 730 and it felt good seeing the group in their colorful tees.  We made a statement and we looked good.  This morning our driver and guide, David would take us an hour away to BA NA HILLS to the GOLDEN BRIDGE, aka THE HANDS OF GOD which was opened to the public June 2018.  Unfortunately last years group was here in March so we missed it. It has recently gone viral all over  the world and thanks to Instagram it has made everyone’s bucket list. You know I detest that term and I choose to call it “Gettin’ It In”.  I like keeping things in a positive vein.

The correct and exact length of the bridge is 490 ft and it is 1,489 meters high on Nui Chua Mountain.  It is not miles long as some write-ups have claimed.

Our timing was perfect and our guide, David got us on the closest cable cars to get to the right spot.  Some days are very foggy but today, It was on a clear day and as Carmen McRae and old Blue eyes Frank Sinatra sang:  “ On a clear day, rise and look around you and you’ll see who you are. On a clear day how it will astound you, that the glow of your being outshines every star.  You’ll feel a part of ev’ry mountain, sea and shore, you can hear from far and near a world you’ve never heard before…”.  Yes, my friends, it was all that and then some.  Words cannot express the feeling that came over me as we ascended to the top in the cable car.  Some have said they have even felt the clouds.  This place is an iconic architectural wonder that also serves as  an entertainment complex with The French Village, amusement rides, restaurants, and a spa.  This was a KATTRAX kind of day, yet another memorable adventure that will long be remembered.

Tomorrow we say goodbye to Da Nang and fly to Hanoi.



Doin’ The Dang Thang In DaNang

I began my day by saying good morning to the group at breakfast and to wish them a wonderful at the cooking school.  My plan was to skip breakfast and  get myself some tasty seafood within walking distance of the hotel. I didn’t want a lot because tonight 6 of us would be celebrating Antionette Jenkins’s 40th.  Her BFF’s, Adriane Primas and Crystal Hendrix wanted her to have a memorable birthday and I’m sure we pulled it off.  I wasn’t satisfied with the reviews I was reading at the nearby restaurants for my lunch.   Now, my dawg, Robbie Bell and myself have been known to walk 5 miles in the dead of night in search for that top eating  spot but not in hot as blazes 92 degree, noon day weather.  I resorted to the hotel’s Concierge.  They usually don’t steer you wrong. In this case,  she suggested BE-MAN, a 2 minute walk away. Ok but no menu, no English? What the heezy????  Was I in for an adventure.  I looked at this place with tons of tables and chairs, tanks and tanks of live seafood, water-filled tubs on the wet floor, nobody to seat you or take your order. My first thought was to say, “Later for this” but instead I thugged it out – (cuz  like DJ Mustard says, “Cause I’m really from Oakland tho’ ). A young girl walked me to the tanks and I pointed to the swimming prawns  and held up 7 fingers, then the Dungeness crabs and said 1. She weighed it, I paid for it, she sacked it up and I said, “No, you cook”.  I asked for fried prawns, and steamed crab with lime and salt. What was served to me was prawns in a spicy garlic sauce and crab in tamarind sauce.  Oh well, it looked good as hell.  I ate a couple then got a container to go as this was going to be a messy affair.  I wanted to really enjoy this and did not want to get anything on my white mini skirt.  When I tell you it was some of the best seasoned prawns and crab I’ve had in long time…..Trust and believe that!

While I was doing my thing the group was enjoying the RED BRIDGE COOKING SCHOOL experience; to shop, then go by boat to the school.  No doubt it would be a hit.  A day they will long remember.  Since I had done it last year, there was no need for me to go back.

Six of us had reservations at the WATERFRONT RESTAURANT to celebrate Antionette’s birthday.  This place is on bustling and trendy BACH DANG STREET with tons of clubs, shops and restaurants.   This was a very enjoyable evening.  Once back at the hotel , several headed up to the ZEN CLUB on the 23rd Floor for drinks, snacks and sweeping views of the coast line. We even saw fireworks.    I could only hang for a few because I was scheduled for my 2nd of 3 Foot Reflexology treatments in the privacy of my suite.  Today was a very good day and as Cube said it, “I didn’t have to use my AK.”


Why Vietnam? Beautiful, It’s Simply Beautiful !

We hated to say farewell to Saigon, but it was time to move on.  We had a 10am departure from Saigon to Da Nang.  It was quick.  1 hr and voila!!! We actually spent more time checking in than on the flight.  All I could do was shake my damn head at those that had to pay the cost to be the boss for exceeding the 50 lb weight limit. Nevertheless we all managed to get checked in but then the  security checkpoint line was no joke.

En route from the airport we made a stop at the CHAM MUSEUM.  It houses an incredible collection of Cham artifacts and Exquisite statues of Apsara dancers and Hindu Gods.  Believe it or not, African influence is plainly seen on several pieces.  Before reaching our hotel we stopped at the Non Nuoc Beach aka China Beach, stunning setting and golden sands.   It was once a popular place of R & R for American troops during the Vietnam War.  Our hotel,  FUSION SUITES is only minutes away and opposite the beach  The vibe in Da Nang is totally different from Saigon and I love the feel, definitely “Resort”.   Remember, we are doing North, South and Central and each region is totally different.

After getting my room key; Diva, Dana and myself grabbed a GRAB and made our way to HOI AN, the culinary capital of Vietnam.  It’s about 45 minutes away.  The cost $1.77 one way.  It makes me want to say to the driver, “ Here, take this $10 because it’s worth way more than a dollar”.     Last year we stayed in Hoi An and walking distance to the tailors but no beach.  This was not about food this time. It was about custom designed clothing.  My sister wanted a specific coat made. Others wanted suits, dresses and jackets.   Within 30 minutes, I had chosen the colors, silk fabric, and lining, conveyed the design to tailor, Ms Lise of PINK LOTUS and I was ready to make it back to the hotel.  I chilled out front while waiting for Diva and Dana.  My favorite couple, Phil & Katrina were at another top tailor, A DONG SILK,  doing their thing.

Back at the hotel, I reconfirmed my 3 complimentary foot reflexology treatments which are done in the privacy of your suite.   I had over an hour to get changed for dinner at the BROTHER’S CAFE in Hoi An but this time our private bus would take us there.  By the way, I paid extra for the coat to be delivered in 2 days.     Shoppers; Holly, Briana and Regina hung out after their shopping and met us at BROTHER’S.  Dinner, Al Fresco was delightful and very tasty. We all enjoyed dinner conversation alongside the Thu Bon river  as we dined which was a perfect ending to a perfect day.


The Real Saigon

Today’s tour took us off the beaten path. We began in District 4, once home to hoodlums and gangsters.   This is the real Saigon where few tourists care to venture. There were a few stares but mostly smiles and friendly chatter. After seeing how the boat people and the not so fortunate people live, passing through the areas of the rich and the super rich,   we made our way to the Long Buu Pagoda, the most important place of worship for practicing Buddhists.  Let me make one thing clear about the name of this city. It is HO CHI MINH CITY but formerly SAIGON.  Some still prefer  to refer to it as SAIGON,  and not by the name of the Vietnamese Communist revolutionary leader.

Lunch would be at XU RESTAURANT AND LOUNGE,   up the narrow staircase from the bar to the restaurant  and upon our arrival we were met with  total darkness.  Once we realized this was a blackout, we all immediately hit the flashlights on our phones and then management provided us with candlelight on our table.     Some thought this was part of the program,  No, I wouldn’t do such a thing   Our guide told us how the government randomly does this to certain areas since it’s the dry season with very little rain and water generates their power.  At any rate, our exquisite  lunch and the service was on point and to make up for the lighting issue, all drinks were gratis    That’s what’s up.  After lunch we were dropped off at our hotel and folks had free time until we fly to Da Nang tomorrow.   I chilled for several hours and then grabbed a “GRAB” vehicle with Phil and Katrina and beaded back to my favorite restaurant CUC GACH QUAN, for dinner which turned out to be a mini feast.    When we pulled up,  the attendant opened my door, recognized us from the night before, smiled and said, “WELCOME HOME”!





Good Morning Vietnam! Once Again

There are 22 in this lovely group; again, a great reunion for several, some met as recently as on the unforgettable Egyptian Odyssey in October; Ms Dorothy, Ms Helen of North Carolina, Diva and her daughter Dana of Florida, Phil and Katrina of Southern Cal.  Then there’s Regina Harris and Briana Moore from the Bay, recently in Dubai with me in November. From the Black Marseille Tour, I’m happy to have John and Carol Motte.  My sister in law Jacqueline Hebert and her partner in shopping crime Mary Ann Cancel.   Holly Friar, Leon and Tammy Primas from the Bay date back to my early years 80s/90s  and I am so happy to have them with me.  Rolling with me for the first time all the way from Paris; I am delighted to have Ricki Stevenson owner and founder of Black Paris Tours.

We all came together beautifully to fly EVA AIR out of SFO.  Half of us opted for the comfortable and spacious Premium Economy; only 8 rows in our private cabin.  It’s not Business Class but it can’t be beat. I love it when folks take my advice.  At our ages, comfort is EVERYTHING.  My newbie young sistas; Adriane Primas, Crystal Hendrix and Antoinette Jenkins would not be denied such an awesome travel experience.

Upon our arrival in Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) Simon and I had pre arranged  VIP VISA ON ARRIVAL SERVICE. I highly recommend it. The process was seamless and first class compared to not having it. Once completed, he handed us off to our Saigon guide, Hieu.  Even though I miss Twin from last year, We are blessed to have a very cool and knowledgeable guide.   Check in is 3pm, we arrived around noon and found favor…all rooms ready for check in. That’s what’s up!  This package includes 3 spa treatments, 1 in Saigon and 2 in Hanoi.   95% wanted them and were all making their appointments.

Our first dinner was at Hua Tuc, a former opium factory back in the day.  The food and service neve disappoints.  Myself and Road Dawg, Robbie Bell of Miami (not with me this time) enjoyed a cooking class at this very restaurant about 6 years ago.  I miss you girl: :(.

They no longer have Uber here but something similar called “Grab”. I downloaded the app and have enjoyed using it around town.   The first part of our 1st day of touring was a 2 hr drive to the Cu Chi Tunnels.  You get a peek at the underground life of Vietnamese soldiers back in 1948.  The site has over 120km of underground tunnels, with trapdoors, living areas, kitchens, armory, hospitals and command centers.  There are activities there to participate in including a shooting range.  Our adventurous couple, Phil and Katrina, jumped right in there with an M16; and an AK47.

Afterwards, foodie that I am, I was itching to have dinner at CU GACH QUAN, in 2017 we went for lunch and it became one of Cousin Darryl’s favorites. It’s also a favorite of Brad Pitt.  It’s on an obscure side street and if you blink, you will miss it.  I was joined by Phil and Katrina and man what a meal!  We had, zucchini flowers in garlic, soft shelled crabs in rock salt and garlic, prawns, and fried rice.

Tomorrow, will be an exciting adventure as we all go off the beaten track to a place called District 4.  Til next time!