JODY VICTOR®

Let's go on an adventure with Jody Victor!


Travel conditions could be trickier than usual Wednesday due to a winter storm moving through the Midwest and Northeast. The storm is sending rain and snow across the Upper Midwest and will end up in the Northeast by early Thanksgiving morning (National Weather Service).

Snowfall ended in many places, like Minneapolis, Wednesday morning, but will continue most of the day across places like Wisconsin and northern Michigan (National Weather Service). As the storm moves farther to the east, areas of light snow and freezing rain will likely cause a few travel disruptions across the interior Northeast by Wednesday night into Thursday.

The wintry weather will expand from northern Pennsylvania and New York on Wednesday night, and into parts of Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont and New Hampshire on Thursday (AccuWeather). Snow and ice accumulations are expected to be relatively light but could still make for hazardous road conditions during the busy Thanksgiving travel week (National Weather Service).

The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City is expected to proceed under cloudy, cool and damp conditions.

Elsewhere Wednesday, rain and thunderstorms could cause a few travel problems from Texas to the Ohio Valley. The heaviest rain should be in Louisiana and Arkansas. None of the thunderstorms are expected to reach severe levels.

A separate storm will bring rain to the Pacific Northwest coast and high-elevation snow to the Cascades and northern Rockies. In elevations above 3,500 feet, 3 to 7 inches of snow is possible, the weather service predicted.

Be safe in your travels and have a happy Thanksgiving!

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The Wanda Reign on the Bund has created itself as the first “seven-star” hotel in Shanghai. The exterior is made of glass and steel designed by Foster and Partners and Heather Wick Studio. The lobby is Art Deco inspired with jade inlaid floors and a wall sized original painting by renowned Shangai artist Shi Qi. Other commissioned artworks are nestled among the hotel’s 10 meter high marble pillars.

The hotel took three years to build and cost over $500 million dollars. The hotel sits along with other super high end hotels and hospitality options along the famous Bund waterfront of the Huangpu River. Its peers included the Peninsula, Waldorf Astoria, the Shangri-La and Grand Hyatt.

In less than six months the Wanda Reign has become the new home of China’s traveling elite. And appropriately so as it is owned by Wang Jianlin, China’s richest man. It is the 51st hotel in his Wanda Hotels and Resorts group.

A must see for high-end hotel lovers!

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The Apostolic Palace at Castle Gandolfo is located not far from Rome on Lake Albano. Twenty previously private rooms, such as a private library, study, chapel and bedroom, were opened to the public for the first time on October 22nd, 2016.

Pope Francis, as always dancing to the beat of his own drum, broke tradition by allowing the public access to these exclusive rooms. While Pope Francis is well known for denying himself luxuries, like use of this exclusive residence, only 15 of 33 Popes who could have vacationed at Castle Gandolfo indulged. Pope Francis has only visited the residence a few times and never spent a night there.

Pope John Paul II also made a splash at this papal summer home when he built a swimming pool and was subsequently photographed wearing only his swimming trunks.

The tour includes gardens, opened to the public by Francis in 2014, and Pope Benedict’s organic farm, as well as the newly opened residences. Vatican Museum authorities say that Francis or a future pope could choose to close any of these facilities from public viewing at any time. So Vatican history lovers, book your tours now!

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Crater of Diamonds State Park has attracted both amateur and professional treasure hunters alike for years. They come equipped with buckets, shovels, maps and perhaps most importantly kneepads. The Arkansas state park is the only diamond-producing site in the world where not only can fortune seekers dig for gemstones, they can keep what they find.

Lauren Frederick and her father Dan where one such duo of treasure hunters who got lucky – lucky to the tune of a triangle shaped diamond coming in at 2.03 carats. This was the father’s and daughter’s first visit to the park and after only an hour they saw the diamond just lying on the ground, shinning up at them.

The Fredrick’s find is, as you might except, is out of the usual. The park offers visitors just shy of 38 acres to explore. Finds like this are what make Crater of Diamonds State Park so unique.

Though there is no information yet on how much “Lucky Diamond,” the Fredrick’s nickname for their find, is worth, we can be sure it is worth more than the $16 the father and daughter spent getting into the park. And perhaps mostly important the Fredricks will have the memory of their uncanny find.

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Not So Great Restoration


Posted By on Sep 28, 2016

Historical restorations typically require a delicate touch to maintain authenticity. Unfortunately a large section of China’s Great Wall got a repair job recently that looks like amateur chuckhole fill-in. A 700-year-old “wild” stretch of China’s Great Wall has been covered in a smooth, white trail of cement under orders from Suizhong county’s Cultural Relics Bureau.

The repairs were carried out in 2014, but they only came to public attention recently. It was an effort to restore parts of the wall which have fallen into disrepair and are not open to the public, but the restoration has been met with condemnation by social media users and advocates.

The repair work took place near the border of Liaoning and Hebei province and photos of the results were widely shared by Beijing News on Weibo this week.

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