Friday, August 31, 2018

Lake Leelanau Street Fair Announces Band Line-up for 4th Annual Event September 15

Lake Leelanau, MI – Aug 31, 2018 The Lake Leelanau Community Association announced the names of the 4 musical groups performing this coming September 15th,at the Lake Leelanau Street Fair.  All the bands have local roots and are well known in the county.

The President of the Lake Leelanau Community Association, Madeline Hodek said,” We are delighted to announce our performers, Zip and Zippers, Soul Patch, KC Jones & the Benzie and the Playboys and Grupo Aye. We are exceptionally excited to have the legendary Polka King, Zip Fleis kick off the event with Zip and the Zippers. Fleis has been performing polkas and waltzes with his family band in Northern Michigan for the past 7 decades and we’re thrilled to hear him again”.

Zip and the Zippers will open the Lake Leelanau Street Fair in Tip Top Fashion with their legendary Polkas and Waltzes. Zip Fleis has been followed by all Polka lovers in the region. Joined by his long time accompanist and his sister Tillie Fleis, Zip will be welcoming a couple of new Zippers from the local duet Dolce to the stage. We dare our visitors to not want to get up and kick up their heels, so bring your dancing shoes!

Soul Patch is another local favorite and celebrating their 11th year together as a band. This special group brings a soulful approach to all their music. Authentic, fresh and we promise, standing still will not be an option.

KC Jones & the Benzie Playboys are bringing the roots sound of southwest Louisiana’s Creole, Cajun, and Zydeco scene to ya’ll up here in the Great Lakes area. K.Jones and the Benzie Playboys play straight up dancing tunes with button accordion and fiddle leads.

Grupo Aye
known for its Cuban sound and with Omena roots! We will be closing the night with music that will make you sway and move to the orchestra size band. This group will make you feel you are in Havana sipping a lime drink and basking in the warm breeze on the Island of Cuba!

Local food from Dick’s Pour House known some of the best bar food in Northern MI and Rosie’s Indian Food from NJ’s will be serving up a community favorite of homemade Indian food. Pleva Meats from Cedar, Scalawags White Fish from Traverse City and up and newcomer to Lake Leelanau, Figs Restaurant will also be dishing out their favorite recipes. Meredith’s Family will be offering their Meridith’s Family Kettle Corn.

Local wineries and breweries attending will include wineries from 45 North, Amoritas, Bel Lago, Blustone Vineyards, Boathouse Vineyards, Laurentide Winery, Verterra Winery, Shorts Brewery and Tandem Ciders.

The public is invited to the heart of Leelanau County for a celebration of food, art and music. Artisans and venders will line the main streets of the village from 11AM to 8PM, Saturday Sept 15.

Come prepared for a day to get your groove on with all 4 bands!

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Sandy Dhuyvetter invites you to the 3rd Annual ‘May the 4th Be With’ You Celebration at Martha’s Leelanau Table

A special evening to celebrate Music, Food and Art, while supporting Human Trafficking Awareness
Martha, Matt and Andi Ryan with
Dolce with Sandy and Georg

April 19, 2018 - Suttons Bay - Join local talent at Martha’s Leelanau Table for an evening with musicians and artists Sandy Dhuyvetter, AKA Mama Fett, and George Powell. Together they bring about the sweet music of DOLCE and will be playing at Martha’s during the Friday May the 4th Celebration from 6 – 9pm. 

Sandy is also known for her development and production work on the original 3 Boba Fett Costumes created for Empire Strikes Back in 1977-78. Her nickname Mama Fett came about years later when she recreated a duplicate of the original helmet for a Make a Wish Project a few years back. Sandy will be signing autographs during the evening.

The organizer of the Make a Wish Project, Art Andrews, said this about Sandy,This is a really big deal to me, perhaps one of the biggest in this event. For many who don't know, Sandy is one of the artists involved in the original creation of Boba Fett. She has gotten very little credit or notoriety for it, but her work helped shape the imagination of so many of our childhoods. The 2nd Prototype Boba Fett costume seen on your original Kenner Boba Fett figure card? That was Sandy. All of the early Empire Strikes Back promotional photos/posters? That was Sandy as well. Boba's helmet from Return of the Jedi (my favorite)? That was also Sandy. This lady's work not only helped shape our youth, but has helped respark the imagination of thousands through sites like The Dented Helmet, LLC, Mandalorian Mercs Costume Club, The 501st Legion and other Star Wars based fan clubs, not to mention thousands and thousands of pieces of fan art, Sandy is surely Fett's “mom”.

What is a really big deal to Sandy is Human Trafficking Awareness. Sandy was one of the first trainers in 2010 for Airline Ambassadors International, a non-profit organization providing Human Trafficking Awareness. She had taught more awareness classes than any other trainer at AAI by the time she left San Francisco in 2013. She continues to assist AAI by supporting the trainers with fund raisers, travel and other needs.
DOLCE with Sandy and George will be entertaining Martha’s guests with music from Europe and beyond. For more information on Dolce go to:
Come enjoy the delicious food at Martha’s and music of DOLCE. There will be handouts and more information on Human Trafficking available. Don’t forget, Sandy will autograph Boba Fett photos and if you have something you want signed, please bring it with you. Stay for dinner or just stop by to say hello.
May the Force be with You and hope to see you at Martha’s on May the 4th
For Reservations call 231 271 344

About Martha’s Leelanau Table
Martha Ryan is the creator and proprietor of Martha’s Leelanau Table. Celebrating 10 years in the county, Martha continues serving the community delectable blend of mouthwatering foods surrounded by local artwork and music. When the weather permits she supports local musician in her outdoor patio. Martha, her son Matt, and daughter-in-law Andi are known for stepping to the forefront when there is a worthy cause or an effort to support. 

Located at 413 North St. Joseph in Suttons Bay, Michigan, Martha’s has been a favorite gathering spot for friends, family, visitors, and regulars alike for over 10 years. Martha’s features breakfast, lunch and dinner, plus a full espresso bar, fine pastries and beer, wine and cocktails – it’s the place to go to enjoy specialties from Leelanau County.

About DOLCE with Sandy and George
The mandolin and accordion present a natural organic sound that is unique, romantic and sweet. Then there are times when sweet and romantic become country and rock. Sandy and George are accomplished musicians that play many styles with many good friends. DOLCE is the sweet music of the mandolin and accordion, or as the Italians say 'mandolino' and the 'fisarmonica'. Sandy and George play every Friday night at Martha’s Leelanau Table in Suttons Bay from Memorial Day through Labor Day.

For more information Contact: or

Monday, April 9, 2018

Autism Awareness Month Launches in Jordan

Jordan is awake, listening and acting on compassion and knowledge. I am so happy to be bringing you the news of this wonderfully warm and welcoming country.  .  .  . Sandy Dhuyvetter

Jordan “Lit Up Blue” in Recognition of World Autism Day April 2nd  at
One of the Wonders of the World, Petra and the Lowest Spot on Earth, the Dead Sea

April 9, 2018 – Mona Naffa, Founder of Destination-Jordan and Sandy Dhuyvetter, Founder of 
TravelTalkMEDIA announced their support of World Autism Month in Jordan. The Awareness month began with the kickoff ‘of the blue lighting’ at the New Wonder of the World,-Petra and the Dead Sea, the lowest spot on earth.
‘Light It Blue’ is a campaign that runs throughout the entire month of April, during which the world commemorates the observance of the UN World Autism Day. The Jordanian awareness campaign includes partnering hotels, The Landmark Hotel in Amman and the Dead Sea Spa Hotel situated at lowest spot on earth.

Destination-Jordan’s Mona Naffa said, “We are eager to be part of World Autism month here at Destination-Jordan. It is an opportunity to create awareness of autism with a compelling message to use respect, dignity and compassion towards autism’s individuals.

TravelTalkMEDIA’s Sandy Dhuyvetter said, “I was inspired by a recent article published in Autistic Globetrotter that highlighted Jordan as an ideal location that warmly welcomes families with autistic children. Activities like walking, exploring and eating healthy delicious foods make Jordan idyllic for visiting families”.

There are multiple organizations that are actively bringing about autism awareness and support in Jordan. One group, Autism MENA is an active non -profit foundation that develops infrastructure and services to support children with Autism in the Middle East and North Africa.  
Founder of Autism MENA, Jemman Ammary was quoted as saying, "The concept of Travel with a Cause is important. We at Autism MENA believe it is of the utmost importance to support groups who, like our own, create a positive impact on travelers while they explore new countries like Jordan".

About Destination-Jordan and TravelTalkMEDIA:
These two organizations are made up of energetic and talented women with diverse backgrounds. The American and Jordanian ladies bring a fresh vibrant look into the many stories of Jordan with fun and
For more information please contact

Friday, March 23, 2018

Food Glorious Food, Jordan is a Bounty of Opportunity

What a great project to be involved in with my dear colleagues in Jordan. I have been working with Mona for over 10 years and we feel we have just begun! Our team continues to highlight the wonders of Jordan. The country never stops amazing me! Enjoy this joyful look at cooking in Jordan . . . Sandy Dhuyvetter

March 22, 2018 Destination-Jordan and US based TravelTalkMEDIA have announced that in the upcoming year, a special emphasis will be put on the importance of Jordanian food coupled with the travel experience. Sandy Dhuyvetter, travel blogger and retired TravelTalkRADIO presenter said today, “Tours and food experiences are the staples of travel, and Jordan has rightfully positioned itself as a trending food destination alongside the world renowned likes of Italy, Mexico and Japan”.

As part of the company’s ongoing commitment to honor women and their contribution to empowerment thru food, Mona Naffa, Founder of Destination-Jordan said the food experience in Jordan is “the best insight into the pure soul of Jordan. We at Destination-Jordan believe experiencing food is one of the best ways to get to know the heart of the people and the story of the land”. Growing up in Anaheim, California with a half Palestinian half Lebanese mother and a Jordanian father, we cooked and ate Middle Eastern foods as part of our daily lives. Hummus, tabbouleh, stuffed grapevines and homemade baklava are basic to our culture and our roots. 

The Mediterranean diet has long been touted as the healthiest
of all cuisine and described as "those blessed lands of
sun and sea and olive trees"

In the spirit of empowerment and women, Destination-Jordan has aligned with Dina Saoudi the co-founder of Seven Circles, a consulting agency that works on building a kinder world, Seven’s World. Dina also created a vision and gained support for the book, Empowering Women through Cooking as part of the food culture in Jordan. Dina honored a dynamic group of inspirational women whose aggregated experiences in different specialties are contributing to the success of the cookbook.

Dina’s hope is that the book will “inspire readers to come up with ideas and projects that include civil society, public sector, private sector, academia, impact funds, and aid agencies working together on empowering women.”

The Cookbook is designed using professional photos, quotes and photos of each inspiration woman and their recipes extraordinaire. The book is being replicated in more than ten countries including South Africa, Japan, Dubai and Lebanon.

The launch of the book is scheduled for March 24 at the Landmark Hotel in Amman Jordan. Part of the proceeds go to Seven’s World #FeedingAll that proudly supports the UN World Food Programme and Tkyiet Um Ali.

For more information please contact
Sandy Dhuyvetter

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Jordan Celebrates National Treasure, Zeina Barhoum, founder of the 1st Opera Festival in the Arab World.

Zeina Barhoum Launches Amman Opera Festival as International Musicians Gather to Perform at the Roman Amphitheater in downtown Amman

June 15, 2017 - San Francisco, CA. - TravelTalkMEDIA and Monaco Business Development announced that under the Royal Patronage of HRH Princess Muna Al Hussein, Jordanian Soprano Zeina Barhoum has unveiled plans for the first ever opera festival in the Arab world. The Amman Opera Festival will debut with the full operatic production of Verdi’s La Traviata on July 19 and July 22 of 2017. The historic performance will take place at the 2000 year old Roman Amphitheatre in Downtown Amman. Zeina’s motivation behind this initiative is to plant the seeds towards growing the opera culture in Jordan and the Arab world, and perhaps inspire the building of a purpose-built Opera House in Jordan’s Capital, Amman, joining the company of other Arab states such as Oman and the UAE.

The production will include over 150 International musicians and dancers from more than 10 countries, starring Zeina Barhoum as Violetta, Andres Versamendi as Alfredo, Simon Svitok as Germont and Ady Naber as Gastone, accompanied by the Sichuan Philharmonic Orchestra, featuring musicians from La Scala and local talent and musicians, The Batumi Opera House Choir led by Conductor Lorenzo Tazzieri and directed by Luigi Orfeo. Amman Opera Festival is supported by Greater Amman Municipality, with the Strategic Partnership of The Ministry of Tourism and Jordan Tourism Board, Embassy of The People's Republic of China, Embassy of Italy and Embassy of Georgia in Jordan with Royal Jordanian Airlines as the official carrier. The official hotels include Marriott, Rotana Towers, Arjaan Rotana, The Sheraton and Crowne Plaza.
HRH Princess Muna Al Hussein, who is the Royal Patron of La Traviata said, “Zeina Barhoum has helped to put Jordan on the map with all her hard work that she does both here and around the world.  It has always been delightful to work with her. I have had the pleasure of listening to Zeina at various concerts and also enjoyed her voice on CD’s very much. I consider her a great Ambassador of Music for Jordan."
Zeina also promotes Music and the Arts for the Arab youth in the region. Her tireless work to promote women’s issues, peace and healthy lifestyles are evident in her lengthy list of credits with performances in Jordan, UAE, London, Italy, Austria, France and Lebanon with renowned artists including Italian Baritone and tutor Walter Alberti and Roberto Alagna. Previously, Barhoum was invited to take part in the International Peace Festival Tour with the Prague Youth Symphony Orchestra conducted by Riad Al Kudsi. She was also hosted for a concert at the UNESCO theatre in Paris, organized by the Jordanian Embassy in France and in honor of Dr Irina Bokova in celebration of the listing of the Baptism Site in Jordan as a World Heritage Site.

Zeina Barhoum remarked. “Throughout my career, I have been blessed to work with people from around the globe. Through my music and art, I have realized the importance of cross cultural connections and I have seen first-hand how music provides an important bridge that unites cultures from all over the world. Through the use of music, we speak one language, a language we can all understand without interpreters,”

 La Traviata in Amman will be on the 19th and the 22nd of July 2017 starting at 8 30 PM. Doors open at
7:30 PM. Tickets can be found at: and at Amman Opera Festival’s ticket booth at Cozmo in Amman, Jordan or call: +962 77 7980081 or +962 6 5515383. For more information go to:

About Zeina Barhoum
Zeina Barhoum is a classically trained Soprano and founder of The Alcantara music and art series. Zeina has performed at benefits countless times for the benefit of women, children, peace and prosperity. Among her many invitations to perform, Ms. Barhoum was invited to perform at Kensington Palace in celebration of Women achievers, and for bridging cultures through The Arab International Women’s Forum.

Her album titled Alcรกntara refers to the Roman stone arch bridge built in ExtremaduraSpain. The title of the album reflects Zeina’s dedication to building strong connections of understanding and compassion through her music. Her second Album, Alcantara II was recently recorded live and launched in a concert accompanied by The Philharmonic Orchestra of Lviv and Choir lead by Conductor Lorenzo Tazzieri. Zeina also obtained a Bsc in Visual Communication at American University of Sharjah.
For more information about Zeina go to:

About HRH Princess Muna Al Hussein.
About Monaco Business Development and TravelTalkMEDIA Founders
Working together for the past 10 years, MBD and TTM founders, Mona Naffa and Sandy Dhuyvetter, both daughters of immigrants, have brought the good news of Jordan to the world via radio, TV print and online distribution. ‘Highlighting Jordan as a family destination and provided exciting stories has given the world a moment to pause and take notice that life in Jordan is full, rewarding, and available to visitors from all over the world’, said Sandy Dhuyvetter, TravelTalkMEDIA.

Mona Naffa
Phone: +962796600962

US Press Sandy Dhuyvetter:
1415 806 5740

Thursday, May 4, 2017

It’s Official. Taking Jordan by Storm, A Tour of Film Locations, August 5 – 13, 2017

May the 4th, 2017 – USA Taking Jordan by Storm is an innovative tour developed for travelers and movie fans. The developers MONACO Business Development and TravelTalkMEDIA have announced a new upcoming tour this August.
After a successful launch with notable Star Wars artists, Lorne Peterson and Sandy Dhuyvetter last December, Monaco Business Development and US Media Company, TravelTalkMEDIA are offering a second tour, highlighting some of the most stunning backdrops used in modern films.  Located in Jordan’s treasure chest of locations, Taking Jordan by Storm will incorporate visits to Jerash, Amman, the Lowest Spot on Earth, the Dead Sea, Petra, Wadi Rum and Aqaba.

A special dinner is planned in Wadi Rum where Rogue One was filmed and Petra will be highlighted as the background of where Indiana Jones was filmed. The Martian and the timeless wonder, Lawrence of Arabia are other examples of familiar films where Jordan provided some of the most unique natural sets ever filmed.

‘You will find the natural wonders of Jordan with the open and statuesque rock and sand formations second to nothing else in this world’, said Mona Naffa, President of Monaco Business Development, ‘that is why we are thrilled to be working with film enthusiasts who come to Jordan and at each stop, stand in wonder as they absorb the beauty of Jordan. ‘
Ms. Naffa and Ms Dhuyvetter have worked together for the past 10 years to offer unique views and stories of Jordan as a family destination.’ After years of creating zany events and attracting news worthy stories and winning 2 Guinness World Records for the longest Slip and Slide and another for creating the 'Largest Human Floating Image in a Sea', Taking Jordan by Storm has become the next evolution and the latest venture. We are planning many more opportunities to get movie fans excited about Jordan’, said Sandy Dhuyvetter, the Executive Producer of TravelTalkMEDIA.’  

Both women are first generation Americans, Ms Naffa is an Arab American and Ms Dhuyvetter is a European American, respectively, both ladies understand the importance of creating bridges between countries and extending hands in friendship.

Royal Jordanian Airlines is the National carrier of the Kingdom and flies direct to Amman.

To view more information including a short video please stop by here:

For more information about joining this special tour contact Monaco Business and/or Nebo Travel , the official Travel Agency to the Taking Jordan By Storm Tour. 

Mona Naffa
Monaco Business Development Jordan                                             

About Nebo Tours
We are one of the largest and best known travel companies in Jordan and the Middle East, providing tours to satisfied travelers from all over the world, and working with the best partners in the Region. As third generation hospitality professionals with over 80 years in the hotel and hospitality industry, NeboTours provides travelers with unforgettable first- class tourist experiences throughout Jordan.

About Jordan
Jordan offers an infinite variety of landscapes and terrain from the desert inhabitants by the Bedouins to Cosmopolitan life in the city. Jordan is about bringing the old and the new together. Amman, Jordan’s Capital, is known as Philadelphia-The City of Brotherly Love. Jordan is a nation of multiple cultures from Syrians, Palestinians, Europeans, Iraqis and Jordanians, and Americans, a cosmos of the Arab World.

About Royal Jordanian Airlines 
is the flag carrier airline of Jordan with its head office in Amman, Jordan, operating scheduled international services over four continents from its main base at Queen Alia International Airport at Amman Jordan. For Travelers in North America, Royal Jordanian Airlines travels to Amman direct from Chicago, New York, Detroit and Montreal Canada.
Sandy Dhuyvetter and Mona Naffa

Monday, December 26, 2016

Airlines Ambassadors International Launches into Jordan

Airlines Ambassadors introduced to SOS Orphanages in Aqaba.                                                                                                By Sandy Dhuyvetter

Costume creator Sandy Dhuyvetter, Academy Award Winning Model Maker Lorne Peterson and
Photographer George Powell visit SOS Orphanage with US And Jordanian Team.

Taking Jordan by Storm was an amazing tour of Jordan lasting 8 days as myself and another Lucas/Star Wars designer Lorne Peterson spread the good word of film and travel. We did this with our US Team and friends and fans, Hector Cruz and Rich Appendzeller who brought their Storm Troopers 501st costumes. We were also joined by our official photographer, George Powell. 

Our partnership with Jordanian company, Monaco Business Development undoubtedly gave us the support we needed in Jordan. Mona Naffa and our Jordanian Team were amazing. After we landed into Amman everything was handled, from our expediting process at the airport, to our guide and drivers and including touring, accommodations and the organizing of our autograph signing, presentations and meeting government officials like the US Ambassador, Alice Wells and Princess Dana Firas. We are very grateful to Mona, Eva and Sami for their kindness and diligence on his important project.

The sign outside the SOS Orphanage in Aqaba

We were able to hit the road running each day making new friends and honoring Jordan for the exquisite backdrops it has provided for world class films. In the end, we have a message. We want travelers to know that Jordan is safe, welcoming and vibrant with new and innovative companies emerging in every industry. Known as the Switzerland of the Middle East, it is unique and it continues to woe even the most timid of travelers.

Sandy being escorted into the Orphanage with 2 members the 501st 

Perhaps the most memorable stop on our voyage across Jordan was to the SOS Orphanage Village in Aqaba were we autographed photos of costumes and models that both Lorne and I had worked on for George Lucas.

I was particularly interested in the SOS model because as a board member of Airline Ambassadors International, I was curious to see if we could help with a visit to the orphanages in Jordan and in some small way make their tasks easier.

Storm Troopers along with Mona Naffa (second row on right) Sandy Dhuyvetter (bottom row middle) George Powell (bottom row 5th from right) and Lorne Peterson (bottom row right)

The SOS model is to create a family home for each child. Children who grow up at a SOS orphanage do so with an SOS mother or SOS parents, and sisters and brothers. The SOS aunts (directors), who are part of the village, support SOS mothers in caring for their children. In turn, SOS families are part of supportive communities. These communities are called SOS Children's Villages. The one in Aqaba had 9 houses in the village.

Storm Troopers saying hello to the Mom's.

We had fun playing and visiting with the children. Watching their excitement as they met the Storm Troopers was worth the trip to Jordan. I seriously wanted to take each one home.  However, seeing the SOS operation, we were certain the children's high success rate into the society was due to a real understanding and implementation of an effective and thriving social and business model. SOS is a worldwide organization and I hope that 2017 will bring much success and happiness to every house in all the SOS villages. 

Sandy and Lorne visiting one of the homes in the SOS Village! 

Airline Ambassadors International will be offering the Taking Jordan by Storm Tour this coming May to all of it's members. The May date is beloved by all Star Wars fans as May the 4th. You can be sure the tour will be doing something very special on that date. During the tour guests will be visiting film locations in Jordan and also the SOS orphanage.

If you are interested in this trip, please contact us regarding: AAI Jordan 2017 Taking Jordan by Storm Tour at 
Airline Ambassadors International at: or Monaco Business Development is our partner in Jordan.

Special thanks to Ferial Nabas, Assistant Village Director - SOS Childrend's Village Aqaba.