Jody’s Travels


Two tourists who were scheduled to travel around the moon and back via a SpaceX rocket will have to wait until 2019 (at least). James Gleeson, SpaceX spokesperson, confirmed the delays in the trip that was first announced last year. No date was given for when the trip might happen.

According to Gleeson, SpaceX is still planning on flying private citizens around the moon. The company, owned by Elon Musk, hasn’t offered very specific reasoning behind the delay beyond technical and production challenges.
SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket only launched in February and it was delayed several times of the past few years.
Musk announced the mission in August 2017 and it will be the first manned moon mission since the last Apollo mission in 1972—46 years ago.

If and when the mission does launch, it will be in the SpaceX Dragon V2 space vehicle—this vehicle hasn’t yet gone through thorough testing, however. The mission won’t land on the moon, but would come very close as it circles around it.

Read More

Flaws in the design of the “smart” luggage made by Bluesmart Inc. is causing the company to close its doors. Several major airlines have banned the luggage due to its lithium batteries—which could ignite and set fire to cargo compartments.

The company was started in 2014 with an impressive $2 million crowdfunding campaign.

The lithium batteries in question powered a GPS that users could track through their cellphones—which is the major selling point of the luggage. The batteries, however, also acted as a charging station for other devices, auto-locking mechanisms and a scale the weighs the bag.

The design flaw isn’t so much the lithium battery itself—other manufacturers have stayed in business as their designs avoided the issue—but the fact that to remove a Bluesmart battery one has to remove four screws and unplug at least three wires. The other makers’ batteries are easily removed.

Overall, these kinds of smart bags become just normal luggage without a power source to run features like the GPS tracking.

The company has already come out and stated they won’t be responding to any requests for refunds or replacements and will not honor any warranties.

Read More

Ashley Spencer, Philadelphia native, boarded a flight bound for Cleveland this past Saturday in hopes of having her eosinophilic granulomatosis with polyangiitis (EGPA), an extremely rare autoimmune disease that causes inflammation in a person’s blood vessels, treated at the Cleveland Clinic.

As it turned out, it was Spencer’s severe peanut allergy that almost killed her. 28 year old Spencer believes the bag of chips she ate pre-flight may have triggered the allergic reaction. On board the plane she went into anaphylactic shock. Thankfully a Dr. Erich Kiehl was on flight and agreed to help Spencer. Along with assistance from a North Carolina doctor, Kiehl, of the Cleveland Clinic, gave Spencer four shots from an EpiPen to stem her allergic reaction.

Spencer was rushed to a hospital in Pittsburgh where the plane made an emergency landing.

Read More

Jody Victor: It took 70 million years of volcanism, migration, and evolution to produce the unique ecosystems and distinct human culture displayed by the volcanoes in the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.

It was over 1,600 years ago when Polynesians from the Marquesas Islands migrated to Hawaii. They came in great double-hulled canoes guided by the sun and stars, and reading the winds, currents, and the flight of seabirds.

The beautiful park you see today was created to preserve the natural setting of Kilauea and Mauna Loa and as a refuge for the islands native plants and animals.

If you plan on visiting and hiking the wonderful trails, be sure to wear light layers and hiking boots or shoes. The temperature and weather can vary from rainy and chilly to hot, dry and windy depending on the elevation and area you are visiting. Park trails range in difficulty from easy walks (Bird Park/Kipuka Puaulu or Thurston Lava Tube/Nahuku) to longer hikes such as Kilauea Ike or Mauna Iki.

 The true character of the park is best discovered on foot. With over 150 miles of trails in the park, exploration by walking and hiking can be a fascinating and enjoyable experience.

Located within Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and nestled on the rim of Kilauea caldera is the Volcano House. With its unique charm it has captured the hearts of travelers and islanders alike. The Volcano house has offered spectacular views and warm hospitality for decades as Hawaii’s oldest continually operated hotel with a history dating back to 1846.

Hawaii has always been one of our family’s favorite vacation destinations. Add in the spectacular volcanoes and you’ve made a wonderful choice for the whole family.

Jody Victor

Read More

Jody Visits St. Augustine


Posted By on Nov 10, 2011

There is much to see in the oldest city in North America! The mainland of the North American Continent was first sighted by the Spanish explorer and treasure hunter, Don Juan Ponce de Leon on Easter, March 27, 1513. He claimed the land for Spain and named it La Florida, meaning “Land of Flowers.”

Sometime later, Don Pedro Menendez de Aviles was named governor of Florida. When Menendez arrived off the coast of Florida, it was August 28, 1565, the Feast Day of St. Augustine –  that is how St. Augustine got it’s name.

So, St. Augustine was founded forty-two years before the English colony at Jamestown, Virginia, and 55 years before the Pilgrims landed on Plymouth Rock in Massachusettes – making it the oldest permanent European settlement on the North American Continent.

The oldest fort in the US is in St. Augustine – you can visit it – a great place full of history. If you visit on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday you can watch as soldiers in period costume, load one of the many cannons at the fort and set it off! Loud but interesting. Also the oldest school house is located in the old part of St. Augustine. As you walk up and down the old narrow streets it is easy to picture Spanish soldiers and their familes living and working in the area. There are quite a few Bed and Breakfast inns and smaller hotels in the Old section if you want to get the real feeling of Old St. Augustine. There are many tours availabel throughout the city. You can ride horse-drawn carriages, visit the old lighthouse, the Fountain of Youth, Ripley’s Believe It or Not, museums, and of course, there’s a multitude of quaint shops, taverns and restaurants sprinkled in among it all!

The beaches around St. Augustine are some of the best in Florida.All in all it’s a great place to visit whether you are a couple, a family or traveling in a group.

Read More

If you ever get the chance to visit Australia, don’t miss it. It’s a great country, full of surprises! On one of our visits there we were able to take in the Great Barrier Reef. Because of its natural beauty, both above and below the water, the Great Barrier Reef has become one of the world’s most sought after tourist destinations.

The Great Barrier Reef is one of the seven wonders of the natural world. It is larger than the Great Wall of China and the only living thing on earth visible from space.

The Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest reef system composed of over 2,900 individual reefs and 900 islands stretching for over 2,600 kilometres (1,600 miles) over an area of approximately 344,400 square kilometres (133,000sqmi). The reef is located in the Coral Sea, off the coast of Queensland in north-east Australia.

A large part of the reef is protected by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, which helps to limit the impact of human use, such as fishing and tourism. Due to its vast biodiversity, warm clear waters and accessibility from the tourist boats called ‘live aboards’,the reef is a very popular destination, expicially for scuba divers. Tourism on the Great Barrier Reef is concentrated in the Whisundays and Cairns due to their accessibility.

Many cities along the Queensland coast offer daily boat trips. Several continental and coral cay islands are now resorts, including the pristine Lady Elliot Island.

A variety of boat tours and cruises are offered, from single day trips, to longer voyages. Boat sizes range fron dinghies to superyachts. Glass-bottmed boats and underwater observatories are also pupular, as are helicopter flights. By far, the most popular tourist activites on the Great Barrier Reef are snorkelling and diving, for which pontoons are often used, and the area is often enclosed by nets. The outer part of the Great Barrier Reef is favored for snorkelling due to the clear pristine water.

Our trip was by boat and we snorkeled the reef. We saw beautiful corals, many varieties of fish and other sea creatures. All in all, it was well worth the time and expense. We highly reccommend it!

Read More