Trusting all had a glorious Mother’s Day weekend. Time spent with family is most important and there’s no better time than Mother’s Day. I so looked forward to this weekend because I would be with my family for a few days. It’s difficult when you’re on opposite coasts.
My 2 favorite things are sandals & fragrances so I was pleasantly surprised to be gifted a new pair of red bottoms from DeeDee. A cruise is definitely the way to go so that all can do their own thing but then still come together as a family. Here are a few pictures from our family cruise.
How ya gonna keep them down on the farm after they’ve seen Par-ee? Well let me tell you, it’s going to be difficult. These past two weeks I’ve heard chatter amongst the travelers of when they are returning. It’s been some kind of fun. Tonight, myself, Michael & Cynthia Stacks, Robin and Dedie had reservations at LE TRAIN BLEU. It’s been a restaurant since 1901, located at Gare de Lyon train station and when I tell you it’s fire, believe me when I tell you. The service, presentation and taste exceeded our expectations. Robin & I started with deviled eggs with Petrossian Caviar after the Chef’s Amuse Bouche. He truly made our mouths feel happy when he showed us what he’ was working with. The roast leg of lamb carved table side from the carving trolley accompanied by the potatoes au gratin were cooked to perfection. The desserts of course were equally as amazing.
This week’s group will head to the airport in the morning with lasting memories…only the best. Next year’s tour is set for two separate weeks with limited availability. Don’t be left out. Until next time.
Today was the shopping excursion with expert shopper, Robin. Our private bus picked up the eager shoppers at 10am and as they say in Formula One Racing: Lights Out or as Jackie Gleason use to say: “And away we go”. Galeries Lafayette; there are 3 buildings: one for house and food products, one for men’s fashions and the main building with 8 stories, more than 2000 brands, a number of cafes, bars and restaurants and a great view of Paris from the rooftop. So when they’ve tired of shopping they head to Lafayette Gourmet, the perfect place to explore French food culture. They say if you love food, you’ll find heaven in Paris. I love lemon tarts and was in heaven when Robin brought one back for me from Chez Meunier at the Gourmet.
I can pass on the shopping. It’s just not my thing. So I decided to break my fast at noon by visiting African Lounge at their new location. I enjoyed an appetizer of avocat et crevette (avocado and shrimp) while watching on a big screen their continuous stream of celebrities we love, past and present. Tonight it’s dinner at one of my favorite Senegalese restaurants, Villa Maasai followed by our traditional Paris by night in stretch limos. Tomorrow is the Louvre Museum, our last day and no doubt folks will be getting in more shopping.
Today, Sunday another leisure day. A day when our participants strike out on their own and do whatever their heart desires. After all, in a matter of 3 days they’ve got the lay of the land and even before they arrived they received our emails on where to go along with Do’s and Dont’s.
This being one of our days off Robin wanted to visit one of her most favorite cafes, Treize au Jardin which is situated on the Left Bank (rive gauche) which happens to be in the Latin Quarter. It was called that centuries ago when the educated had to speak Latin. There you will find the Sorbonne Universite’ and other schools of higher learning. Treize is across from the beautiful Luxembourg Gardens where Robin use to do her homework when she studied at the Sorbonne. The few times I’ve rented apartments in Paris, it’s the bohemian Latin Quarter that does it for me.
Curtis, Yvette & Gwen made their way back to Little Africa and parts of the 18th arrondissement while some headed to the famous Paris Flea Market or even a 3 hr train ride to Amsterdam. Mena, Kathy & Linda did some retail therapy by hitting LV and other high end stores and then an appointment to go all the way to the top of the Eiffel Tower at night and enjoy the spectacular view while sipping champagne.
I might also add, Lady Eiffel is also on the Rive Gauche, Y’all!
It’s official: There will be another week added in May 2024. As I sit here in Paris on this beautiful sunny Sunday morning, several thoughts run through my mind. One being; anyone who has always had a desire to see Paris from a black perspective really needs to see it with Kat & Robin; the true black Paris trailblazers; Kat in the early 80’s and Robin & Kat together since the late 90’s. Who better to show you the BEST OF BLACK PARIS than the original 2 Black Paris Divas and Kat the pioneer before there was even a Black Paris as it’s called today, back in the days of Haynes Soul Food Restaurant, Sharon Morgan and Bojangles and last but definitely not least Percy Taylor & his Percy’s Place. Time has brought about a change but we are still serving up Paris on the black side with true style & finesse.
May 9-16 – SOLD OUT
May 2-9 AVAILABLE – Maximum 24 Participants
If interested, inbox me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call
Week 1 has ended and a beautiful time was had by all and they have all made it safely to their respective homes. We are now into week 2 and another Kattrax reunion: Michael & Cynthia Stacks of Miami, Dennis, Clinton, Sonya, Joan, Martha, Mena from the Bay, Dianne & Donna of North Carolina and several other newcomers we plan to see on upcoming tours.
Cousins Lisa & Weldon Clemons took a lovely pre anniversary photo with Lady Eiffel in the backdrop before saying au revoir Paris. Then cousin Karla from southern Cal arrived for week 2. May 2024 sold out in 3 days last week so it looks like Robin and I will add a second week. May 2-9. We’ll see how it goes.
Yesterday’s Ricki Stevenson’s Black Paris Tour kicked off with a visit to Little Africa Village Boutique. Our private bus dropped us off at Chateau Rouge and we made our way with Miguel & Dedie through the colorful market with the freshest of fresh vegetables, fish, all types of meats, and past the fabric and tailor shops. Upon arrival at the boutique, Jacqulin gave an introduction on the boutique’s beginnings and then several purchased the loveliest prints, clothing and fabulously designed jewelry. Miguel is an amazing historian and storyteller and always has everyone’s undivided attention. He is just a wealth of historical facts and knowledge. Lunch never disappoints in Neuilly and the tour would not have been complete without a visit to the Black Madonna.
Week #1 we started with Karin Robinson-Smith and she hadn’t stopped. Next up was Mercedes Orozco. She’s just getting started and then last night the 25th anniversary for Ron & DeLisa Crosby we celebrated black love at Villa Masaai complete with sparklers, champagne and the Tony’s “It’s Your Annuversary”. Yes right there in our African restaurant. Later, The group was picked up in 4 stretch limos to take in a few night lights in this beautiful city. Yes, we had the street on lock for our pick up. As usual, I get a private Mbz ride to the hotel. Time for the Kat to get her rest. There was a young lady from the UK at our hotel who just flew over for the day and night to load up on her Dior. She said oh wow, so many beautiful Americans. She said they say Black don’t crack. My response, Yes baby, that’s so true!
Yesterday was Sunday in Paris. A leisure day for the group. A day to do whatcha want, whatcha like. Some enjoyed a cruise on the Seine River, which happens to be a 10 minute walk from our hotel. Others did the hop on hop off boat and after met up in the bar at the hotel celebrating Karin’s March birthday and did she have the champagne flowing. They kept bartender, Merci Dieu very busy. Yes, that’s what his mother named him. Translated: Thank you God. The ladies were having such a great time as I passed by; they corralled me in, said they wanted to pay homage to me. So we took a photo and the champagne continued to flow as I went about my business.
Others couldn’t resist the opportunity to stop by the Basquiat Exhibit at the Louis Vuitton Foundation which will be running until August 28th. Then there is the Faith Ringgold “Black is beautiful” exhibit at the Picasso Museum which will run until July 2.
There is always, something fun and exciting to do in this city.
In this business for a group, among other things, there are two important things that are needed: Good reliable transportation and a good hotel. The first group rolled in to Charles de Gaulle airport and our drivers were all in place throughout the morning. Robin flew in on Air France with 13 of the group, at least half were in business class and now totally spoiled and saying ; “No more Economy”. As they were dropped off ; I was posted up in my usual spot, the lobby to meet & greet everyone.
To dinner the first night Instead of 1 bus we had 4 black MBZ V Class vehicles roll up with 3 GQ suited brother chauffeurs and a pretty middle eastern Muslim sister, Soriyah, dressed head to toe in black. Kattrax showed the group what we’re working with.
That night dinner was at the iconic Babylone Bis, a West Indian restaurant where we’ve been frequenting since 1994. How did I get on their wall of fame with the likes of celebrities like Marvin Gaye, Snoop, Sean Paul? I don’t know but I appreciate them and the royal treatment they extend to our groups.
The next morning on the schedule was a full day with Ricki Stevenson’s Black Paris Tours by private bus. We were delighted her precious daughter, Dedie flew in to be with us and join master Guide, Miguel as he shared a wealth of knowledge on the tour, which included a stroll through Little Africa.
Saturday was every bit a highlight for all. Our capable driver, Jokunda from Mali, drove us safely to Nicolas Feuillatte’ Champagne house in Epernay where all were taken on a tour which covered 1 km throughout the ultra modern facility where they learned the entire story from the planting of vineyards to the finished bottled product. Afterwards, the group had a grand ole champagne tasting time. We topped off the day with a 4 course lunch where we were again treated like royalty and the chef and his sous-chefs came out to bid us farewell. All in all, it was a very good day and we relaxed on our 2 hr bus ride back to Paris.