Your First Trip to Paris June 6 -13, 2016

For complete information, go to my website:

6 Days 7 Nights

$2999 Single - Land Only
$2499 Double - Land Only

Thursday, April 30, 2009

More Cattie Shows!

For fans of my rockabilly band, please add these to your calendar!

My Birthday Show - May 16 - Audie's Olympic - Fresno: Oh yeah! I've invited the OC's HELLBOUND HAYRIDE to headline my birthday show. This means we are playing first, about 10PM. Why are we playing first, when it's my birthday party? (I get this question all the time.) Three simple reasons. First, a lot of my older friends want to see us, so this way they can, and they get into bed at a reasonable time. Second, as the night goes on the bands get more rockin' and I don't want them scaring my older friends (haha, you know who you are) and the younger people get more excited as the night goes on, and third, this way I get to play, then kick back and enjoy my party and my friends. Also on the bill is THE HANGING, from Orange County as well!

SUDZ in the City - May 23 - Chukchansi Stadium - Fresno: Yes, we're playing the big Fresno beer festival at the baseball stadium. We'll go on at 7PM at the left field appropriate, because I am always coming from left field!

Hillbilly Jeff's Americana Brunch - June 21 - Redwood Bar & Grill - LA: Ooooooh, this is so exciting. This is a huge event every Sunday in downtown LA. Where else can you have brunch, nurse your hangover, and enjoy some good rockin' bands?

Women of Rockabilly - Old Ironsides - June 27 - Sacramento: We're the headliners here! Plus two other female rockabilly led groups. How cool is that?

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Paris for Art Lovers: November 16 - 23, 2009

Here is a highlight of the museums we'll be visiting on the fall tour. We visit generally two museums a day. One in the morning, then do lunch and then off to another for the afternoon. Guests are provided museum passes that are good the entire stay that can be used at over 30 museums in Paris. A few on the list are even open in the evening, plus you get priority entry, meaning no long lines.

Remember to find the English link on the museum websites. (Hint: Sometimes it's a UK flag and sometimes you have to really look.):

LOUVRE: Everyone knows the name and that it's huge. Well, it's beyond huge. They say nine miles of precious artisan pieces from the earliest civilations through the mid-1800's.

To quote the website: The Musée du Louvre houses 35,000 works of art drawn from eight departments, displayed in over 60,000 square meters of exhibition space dedicated to the permanent collections.

My first visit to the Louvre I decided to start in the Denon section and try to work my way through it. After about four hours, the sensory overload was too much and I had to leave. I never even made it out of the Denon section. Not to worry, these days I generally take the group to see the 'big three' plus you can use your museum pass to visit again.

What are the 'big three'? Of course, number one is the Mona Lisa (or as the French call it La Joconde) painted by Leonardo da Vinci. King Francois I, whose art collection started the Louvre, was his patron . Leonardo lived near the king the last few years of his life and is buried in a small chapel on the royal grounds of Amboise.

Second is Venus de Milo, known at the Louvre as Aphrodite. You will know her as the beautiful woman without arms.

Third on my list is Nike or Winged Victory of Samothrace (shown), which is enormous and imposing,stands at a crossway of steps going to the different areas. You really have to wonder if the people who lived here didn't get lost. Which reminds me, not only is the art displayed overwhelming, but the rooms, the stairways, the ceilings are all incredible works of art themselves.

Whatever period of art history you are interested in, there is a section for it at the Louvre. There is also an area that exposes the medieval Louvre's earliest beginnings that was uncovered when they built the pyramid and the underground reception area. Or you could visit Napoleon's apartments with incredibly rich furnishings. Also, for a separate fee, there is always a temporary exhibition or two or three offered.

We will be attending one of my favorite temporary exhibitions ParisPhoto at Carrousel du Louvre. It's an annual event that runs for four days during November. This event is really a collectors' fair with an incredible range of collectable photography offered by galleries and brokers. You'll see everything from vintage Brassai to Robert Maplethorpe.

To quote the website: PARIS PHOTO - A few figures* A prestigious showcase of 3000 m² in the heart of Paris under the Pyramid of the Louvre* 37 760 visitors (30% foreigners from 47 countries)* 115 exhibitors - galleries, publishers and magazines – from more than 20 countries* more than 500 international photographers represented* Media coverage totalling some 500 stories in the most prestigious international news outlets* 1,200 accredited journalists.

On another note, photographers and photography lovers should make a note that November is photography month in Paris. Over 100 galleries and museums participate with exhibitions.

MOYEN AGE (Cluny): My favorite of all is the Museum of Middle Ages (or Moyen Age). The museum is referred to by both names, and is officially
known as Musee National du Moyen Age, but the building is known as Hotel de Cluny. In French, hotel means a large mansion and Cluny was the sect of monks who lived there and made it a college. It is located in the Latin Quarter on the Left Bank. I have visited it every time I have been to Paris without exception.

This museum is famous for having the Lady and the Unicorn tapestries which, of course, have their own specially lighted and climatized room. The tapestries represent the 5 senses as well as the mysterious "To thine own self be true" tapestry. I love the room of Madonnas. This piece, of course, is Adam. Also located on the site are the vestiges of the Roman baths. On my last visit a few months ago, some of the rooms were being refurbished, so hopefully that will be finished by November.

l'ORANGERIE: Another one of my favorites because it houses the Utrillos and Modiglianis, as well as others from the Paris School. But it is most well known for the series of Monet's Waterlillies that fill the two downstairs rooms.

Monet created these for the museum, and they are overwhelmingly beautiful and lifesize to scale. His home in nearby Giverny is a garden lover's dream, but is only open during the height of its beauty. Here is a little tiny piece of one of the images:
Each of the eight paintings is about twenty feet high and seventyfive feet long. (I'm guessing at the actual size, but I'm probably pretty darn close.) Very overwhelming!
You can also see a bit of the medieval Louvre as well, and images by Rousseau, Chagall and Soutine. They have a wonderful book and gift store as well.

Musee RODIN: This museum is dedicated almost solely to the sculptor Rodin, although recently they added a room for Camille Claudel, the woman sculptor he drove to madness. That aside, we enjoy everything from small pieces inside the lovely hotel to giant bronzes in the immense gardens. Truly lovely, especially on a beautiful day.

You can see the golden dome of Les Invalides from the gardens, the final resting place of Napoleon, which is a short walk away. You'll also find there the Army museum of World Wars I and II, suits of armor, and a very large bookstore.
His most famous piece "The Kiss" is shown here in front of Musee l'Orangerie overlooking Place de la Concorde, with it's obelisques and giant fountains.

The south side of the Louvre runs along the river, and to the west you can see the Eiffel Tower. Our hotel is near Notre Dame and, as you can see, it is a very enchanting walk home from the Louvre in the evening. After adding these photos, I am getting really really excited about visiting the fairytale that is Paris!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Central Valley Buzz with Chuck Leonard

Well I hope you saw me today on Chuck's show "Central Valley Buzz with Chuck Leonard". What a super nice guy, and actually very comfortable to hang out with. Somehow we were watching ourselves on TV with a few minute delay while continuing to look into the camera and chat it up, so that was a little confusing. He made it fun though, and we talked about everything without going into detail or staying on the subject. Plus he showed clips from the TV show La Panthere sort ses Griffes in Paris when I appeared with the Hot Rocks.

We seemed to have a positive response from the audience with one friend calling in, an obscene phone caller, and others either plugging their stuff or enjoying the show. One guy commented on the great background of the set, which is inserted digitally, and you can see to us in the studio that it's just a plain green screen behind us to do just that. The digital screen totally matched my new top. YAY! There were a few intervals with a brass band called Yesterday's Chonies that played some interesting stuff, and Diana, a medical marijuana advocate, who was on the first half of the show.
If you'd like to be a guest, I'm sure he'd love to have you. Just pay a visit to the website for contact information.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Celebrity ME:)

This afternoon I'm on local cable show "Central Valley Buzz with Chuck Leonard". Chuck hosts local musicians and other cultural artists on his very cool show. I'll be a solo guest today, but will have my bandmates on with me later in the summer. It comes on at 4PM on Channel 33, and is also online at .

Also tomorrow, check out Mike Osegueda's column in 7 (Fresno Bee weekend section) and hopefully he will drop my name when he talks about our buds Toshi and Tommy winning the Fresno Art Council's Horizon Award for their restaurant Tokyo Garden at 1711 Fulton.

Tokyo has been a favorite place of mine since the 80's, the very first place I ever had Japanese food, and where I recorded my first album Live at Tokyo Garden. We made it a place to play destination with the Cattie Ness Cafe (my monthly show in the early 90's), and it bloomed from karoake at the bar to a great place for live music. In the rockabilly world, people from all over still ask me about playing Tokyo. We used to even have a saying: "If you don't know where it is, you don't need to be there!" Definitely a place for those 'in with the in-crowd".

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Gilmour-Floyd at the Tower Theatre

I worked wardrobe and make-up last night at the sold-out performance of local Pink Floyd tribute band Gilmour-Floyd, complete with a theatrical performance during Comfortably Numb. I re-created the surreal mom from the film, complete with 40's style hair, and 'Divine-esque' make-up, and enjoyed seeing so many old friends out on the town. It was truly one of those Fresno party nights where everyone is happy to see everyone else, with a giant melange of people you only get to see here and there every once in a while.

The Fresno Bee article, in their typical dissing of the locals, got it wrong when they focused their blurb on the opening act, Heartbreaker, a Led Zeplin tribute band, from the bay area. (Complete with a Robert Plant look-alike, who my husband warned me not to run off with.) Like Gilmour-Floyd, they were spot on, but the crowd of three generations was there to enjoy the songs of Pink Floyd and, of course, the light show (with over 150 changes).

Did I mention the food? I don't exactly know who the caterers were (Marilyn and her husband), but the food was fantastic, and I certainly didn't want to share. I'm so looking forward to it again next year!

Shirley Spencer - Naturalist/Artist

I spent yesterday morning in the beautiful foothills of Prather at a botanical drawing workshop. Shirley Spencer, a Naturalist in Yosemite National Park, shared her knowledge of drawing botanicals and using watercolors.

Our setting was the Intermountain Nursery, a wonderful place in itself, specializing in drought-tolerant plants and trees. We worked outside with a wonderful view of the moody skies and rolling green foothills, and I thoroughly enjoyed the class, experimenting with masking fluid and watercolors, a medium I have never spent time with.

Shirley has a book coming out this summer featuring her watercolors and drawings called Flowering Shrubs of Yosemite and the Sierra Nevada , and you can pre-order it on Amazon. It would make a lovely gift and I look forward to her book signing this summer.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Flying to Paris

So I'm starting my hunt for a great flight at a decent price for my fall trip to France. Can't start too early, at least the fare watching part.

The two main things I definitely consider when choosing my flight are the carrier and the stops. I always recommend taking using a European airline even though the fee may be a little higher. I've found that the level of service is astonishingly better than any domestic carrier when flying coach, the planes are nicer. Air France (and others) serve real champagne and Lufthansa's restrooms are discreetly located downstairs where there is also a little snack area .

The food is generally better too, although I try to make sure I eat enough that I won't really need to eat much plane food. I am just not that much of an experimenter when it comes to food, and have found myself being very hungry when I didn't go for island cuisine on Air Tahiti Nui. I did not touch the fish egg salad . Yes, fish egg, as in roe. The young woman next to me gobbled down the food, no problem, but then again she was Tahitian. I was just thankful that my friend at the hotel packed a couple of croissants for my flight.

As for the customer service issue, let me share with you that for some reason my last trip I used United. I waited too long to buy the ticket and was stuck with it. Not only did I have the horror of flying domestic and changing planes at Dulles (ie with plastic bag o' food on the overseas part or paying $10 for a snack box during the domestic part) , but needless to say my suitcase didn't make it to Paris with me. Sure I planned ahead, and had some extra items with me so there wouldn't be an issue. One of my guests flew American on her frequent flyer miles, and her suitcase made it.

Unfortunately we weren't staying in Paris, but taking the train to the Loire valley. After several phone calls to UNITED, and a promise of a $25 travel voucher for the inconvenience, my suitcase arrived. It showed up three days later, the afternoon before we headed back to Paris.

Now, a few weeks ago, a client came home on Air France. She won't fly anything else. So let me juxtapose her scenario with mine. At the airport, they asked for voluntary bumps, and she took it. They gave her a voucher good for $200 on her next flight, money to eat while she waited, and bumped her to business class for the direct flight home. All this for waiting three hours and catching the next flight.

Needless to say, I'm taking my own advice and choosing an international airline. The search starts now.