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Jody and Kathy Victor in Hawaii

Aloha and Greetings from gorgeous Honolulu, Hawaii….

The weather here is absolutely perfect…low to mid-80s…bright sunshine…blue skies…white sand…tropical breezes!!!! Heaven on earth for sure! The air is intoxicating with the scent of tropical flora everywhere…orchids…plumeria…antheurium…bird of paradise…hibiscus…frangipani and more.

The Hilton Hawaiian Village is a top hotel on Waikiki Beach and one of our favorites in the Islands. We have a fabulous room in the prestigious ALI’I Tower. We have a private pool, whirlpool and sun terrace with terrycloth-covered chaise lounges…just for guests in this tower. There is a beautiful Bird of Paradise flower painted on the bottom of the pool and we can view it directly from our front balcony.

Our room is very spacious with a king size bed, refrigerator, large bathroom area, large plasma TV, large and comfortable sitting and desk area with sliding doors and glass on 2 sides of the room giving us an incredible panoramic view from inside our room! The balcony terrace has tables and chairs so that we can sit out there and enjoy the warm tropical breezes!

When we arrived, we had two platters of fresh tropical fruits waiting for us appointed nicely with lovely orchids. Yum! Yum! They also have complimentary bottles of water for us each day in our room and the turn-down service leaves us chocolates on our pillows. Naturally, we’ve already enjoyed Lappert’s famous ice cream. It is incredibly yummy!!

There are numerous restaurants here at the Hilton Hawaiian Village including a Japanese Steakhouse, Italian and French Cuisines, as well as Island fare and lots of fresh Mahi Mahi and other fresh fish found only in these waters. All around the hotel are great restaurants such as the famous Hawaiian restaurant, “Roy’s,” where the food is just magnificent!

The beach area is huge with tons of water sports to enjoy, as well as, a large man-made shallow lagoon for the little ones to be able to enjoy the beach without being in the actual ocean. They have those big sand buggies to drive around the sand and the water, bike rentals, moped rentals and more.

There are tennis courts on the property and 6 golf courses within 30 minutes of the hotel. They also have Atlantis Submarines for exploring the sea gardens and ocean life, as well as scuba and snorkeling. Or if you just like to lay in the sun and enjoy the beautiful blue water, white sand, and blue skies, there is no shortage of that.

For those of you who enjoy indulging yourself a bit, there is a fabulous spa that offers massages, facials and body treatments, as well as a fitness center. There are plenty of fun shops right here at the resort and two large malls within walking distance. No matter where you walk, there are lots of exotic wildlife all around including beautiful parrots, swans, pink flamingos and even tropical penguins!

Each evening, after a fun-filled day, Conch Shells announce the close of the day as torches are lit throughout the grounds to the rhythm of island drums. If you ever get the chance, and we know you will, visit Hawaii – it’s paradise on earth!

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Jody Victor Tours Washington D.C.

For a weekend or a week the Washington, DC area has loads to offer – it’s a great time to plan a visit to our nation’s capital.

Even though we’ve been to Washington, DC many times, I don’t think we will ever see it all, but it would be fun to try! Maybe you and your family would like to try too – it’s a great place to visit.

When Pierre Charles L’Enfant gazed northward along the banks of the Potomac River in 1791, he envisioned a “pedestal waiting for a monument.” Since that day, Washington, DC has evolved into a fascinating, lively city combining grand, neoclassical government buildings, monuments, memorials, museums and the National Mall with colorful neighborhoods, art, theater, music and culture.

Washington, DC is a powerful symbol not only of our nation but also of democracy and freedom. The District of Columbia’s neighborhoods, people, history and culture truly embody the American Experience – from Duke Ellington to John Phillip Sousa and from the Civil War to civil rights. Only in Washington, DC can visitors be inspired by touring the magnificent Capitol Building and Washington Monument by day and be moved by taking in magical performances by the National Symphony Orchestra and world-class opera by night.

You can discover Washington, DC as more than just a tourist. Become a part of the American Experience. Marvel at the Lincoln Memorial. Show your children the Star-Spangled Banner. Stop at the Eastern Market, an amazing European-style gathering of food vendors and artisans. And be sure to take in some of the many museums.

Located midway along the eastern seaboard of the United States, south of Maryland, north of Virginia, Washington, DC has glorious weather during all four seasons. Warm weather usually prevails from April until as late as October. Winters are short and mild with more rain than snow.

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Jody Victor Tells How He Packs for a Trip

Are you going on vacation soon or just visiting relatives? Packing can be easier than you think.

Packing for your trip needn’t be the time-consuming, dreaded activity, we’ve all come to hate. We can make it much more pleasant simply by doing a little planning, and not putting it all off until an hour before departure. You can even make a game of it – see who can be most organized and ready first.

About two weeks before your trip find out what the weather will be like at your destination. If your destination is tropical you will obviously need warm weather attire, but if you’re going to New York in January, well, you get the picture. It will also help you to know if you need any kind of formal wear, sportcoat, or dress. Check these kinds of items now to make sure they are clean and in good repair. If not, take them to your local dry cleaner to be ready in time for your trip.

Two weeks ahead is also a good time to check your luggage – is it in good repair and will it hold enough clothing for your length of stay? If you travel a lot, like we do, you may just need to replace your old worn luggage every-so-often, but for the once-a-year traveler you might try borrowing a piece or two from friends. Just make sure to return it in good condition. Also, make sure each piece has an ID tag with your name and address.

As far as how much to pack, that’s kind of a personal preference. Some people can get along on a lot less clothing than others. I believe in packing just what I will need with maybe an extra shirt and socks for emergencies. I have also packed with the intent of purchasing an extra item or two at my destination. This usually works well for those of us who like to have T-shirts, etc. from our trips.

If you are thinking of going to Europe or other destination out of the country, you may want to leave most of your toiletries at home as these items can leak and are not “airport friendly.” Most airports and hotels now sell almost any toiletry item you can think of in their shops. They come in small sizes – just enough for a few days to a week.

If you are flying to your destination you will need to have some kind of carry-on. Be kind to yourself and others and don’t choose a piece of luggage that is obviously too large for carry-on. I like to carry-on as little as possible to leave myself unencumbered for walking through the airport, embarking and disembarking the plane. The things that should be carried-on are: laptops, cameras, medications, passports, money, credit cards, jewelry, and possibly a change of clothes (if you’re afraid your luggage might get lost or delayed). Other than that, why waste your energy lugging more stuff through the check-points than you have to?

Several days before your scheduled departure, get your luggage out, leave it open, and start packing. To keep hanging clothes from wrinkling, put every-other hung item in a plastic dry-cleaners bag – this way the clothes slide against the slippery plastic instead of each other for less wrinkles. In your regular suitcase you can wrap shirts or other clothing items in tissue paper to keep from wrinkling.

If you’ve followed these few easy tips, the morning or evening of your departure you can simply add your last minute items, close your luggage, and take off. No hassle, no worry of forgotten items, no rushing around at the last minute. And, by the way, don’t forget to have a wonderful time!

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Jody Victor’s TSA Guideline Tips

A few simple steps can make your air travel smooth sailing…

Thinking about flying anywhere soon? If so, I’m sure you have checked out the Transportation Security Administration’s guide for carry-ons. Even so, check out the list below to make your airport travel time much quicker and less stressful.

3-1-1 for carry-ons = 3 ounce bottle or less; 1 quart-sized, clear, plastic, zip-top bag; 1 bag per passenger placed in screening bin. One-quart bag per person limits the total liquid volume each traveler can bring. 3 oz. container size is a security measure.

Consolidate bottles into one bag and X-ray separately to speed screening.

Be prepared. Each time TSA searches a carry-on it slows down the line. Practicing 3-1-1 will ensure a faster and easier checkpoint experience.

3-1-1 is for short trips. If in doubt, put your liquids in checked luggage.

Declare larger liquids. Medications, baby formula and food, breast milk, and juice are allowed in reasonable quantities exceeding three ounces and are not required to be in the zip-top bag. Declare these items for inspection at the checkpoint.

Come early and be patient. Heavy travel volumes and the enhanced security process may mean longer lines at security checkpoints.

TSA works with their partners. TSA works with airlines and airports to anticipate peak traffic and be ready for the traveling public. 3-1-1 has also gained International acceptance.

And for an even smoother airport departure, print out your on-line boarding pass at home before you leave – this saves time when checking in at the airline desk.

Have a great trip!

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Jody and Kathy Victor in Russia

From Russia, with much love!

In our wildest dreams we never thought we would travel to Russia, but it was an incredible trip! Of course, we flew over in first class and were treated royally. When we arrived in Moscow we were greeted prior to immigration by an airport official (who just happened to be a business associate). She whisked us through immigration and customs and took us to an executive lounge to wait for our bags to be unloaded and go through the proper channels.

When our bags arrived we were taken from the airport in a super-stretch Hummer2 limo. We certainly never expected that in Russia! We stayed in the Radisson Moscow, a five star hotel, with all the comforts of home. Our suite had everything in it that we could possibly want. And, of course, we had packed one suitcase full of XS since that product is not yet available in Russia.

Our first night there we attended a celebration banquet with dinner and dancing – that was great fun! The next night we spoke to a crowd of about 5,000 people and were introduced with pyrotechnics going off, a completely fogged stage, huge confetti shot off from somewhere on the stage, and a huge balloon crown in front of the stage with hundreds of balloons rising up from its’ center to the ceiling. It was the most extravagant introduction that we’ve ever had!

Towards our last day there we went for a tour of Moscow including the Kremlin and the Kremlin grounds. Moscow is a very large, modern cosmopolitan city – quite an interesting place. All in all a great trip – if you ever get the chance to see Russia – go for it!