Punxsutawney, PA!

Haven’t updated this sucker in months! Well, everyone, I went back on the road.

This time, to a famous Borough, called Punxsutawney located in Pennsylvania. Famous for what? You might ask.

Famous for Groundhog Day, of course. Let’s start with a little backstory on Punxsutawney.

Punxsutawney. What a peculiar name, right? How the hell do you even pronounce it? Here’s how (Click dat ->): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yDz8LXVnDKY

I spent a good while trying to pronounce it correctly. My Gypsy Mother insisted on mispronouncing it, although I corrected her consistently. Punxsutawney was home originally to the Lenape (Delaware Indians) and the name “Punxsutawney” stems from a Native name in Unami – it translates to “town of the sandflies” or “town of the mosquitos”. Our main goal in this sweet, small adventure, was to see the famous Punxsutawney Phil.

 

Phil
Healthy Looking Groundhog

Every February 2nd, Phil’s job is to predict the weather. If Phil sees his shadow and returns to his hole, he’s predicted six more weeks of winter. If not, he’s predicted an early spring. With the help of the infamous 1993 movie, “Groundhog Day” starring Bill Murray (love that guy) and Andie Macdowell, Phil has become quite the celebrity.

A special group, called the Inner Circle (I like to call them “the Cult of Phil”) takes care of Phil all year-round and they plan annual ceremonies.

 

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Inner Circle

Our main goal was to see Phil. You may be thinking, “He’s just a groundhog!” I know. I’m well aware of that. But, he’s Phil! And it would have been too damn cold to visit Gobbler’s Knob in February just to get a prediction. It was about a 5-hour drive from Reading, PA to Du Bois, PA – a nice smooth ride. Instead of staying in Punxsutawney, we decided to stay about 45 minutes from the borough. Du Bois was nothing to holler about, but it was manageable. We stayed in a Best Western – a peculiar Best Western.

It was about a 5-hour drive from Reading, PA to Du Bois, PA – a nice smooth ride. Instead of staying in Punxsutawney, we decided to stay about 45 minutes from the borough. Du Bois was nothing to holler about (except for a hole in the wall cinema, in which I’ll get to that), but it was manageable. We stayed in a Best Western – a peculiar Best Western.

Peculiar (to me) because I had never seen a playground in a hotel.

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We stayed on the first floor and the hallways were awkwardly long and narrow. It had the tendency to place one in a creepy world that didn’t exist or… did it? The laundry room was a few steps away and the beds were extremely comfortable. Syfy channel has definitely upgraded and the bathroom was well cleaned.

We arrived in the evening time and decided to ditch staying in the hotel and venture to Punxsutawney. It was about a 50-minute drive and along the road, there had been roadkill galore. The restaurant we intended on going to had been closed so we took a detour at a restaurant called, “The Burrow”. Didn’t turn out well so we took yet another detour to Wendy’s, and I regret eating those fries — super salty.

The next day smoothed in and I didn’t really want to get out of the bed.

It was way too comfortable. The Gypsy Woman insisted on taking full advantage of the hotel gym — I complied. It was enjoyable. My little feet and short legs never ran on a treadmill and I was quite satisfied with my experience.

 

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Working Out.

After a nice workout, we hit the town and I found that it wasn’t as lively as I expected.

It was super… super… quiet.

We attempted to find all 32 of The Fantastic Phils of Punxatawney statue. We drove and stopped, ran and snapped, drove and stopped, ran and snapped for almost a whole day. Twas’ a great workout. The Gypsy Woman was more concerned about her photos with Phil. I just wanted a good two or three.

Gobbler’s Knob, which is where they hold the big event every year, had such a beautiful scenery.

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Gobbler’s Knob wasn’t as big as I imagined but I’m sure the land was a lot longer than my eyes could see. After a cute 11-15 minute ride, we decided to go to Phil’s Burrow – his little home. On our way there, we found a few other Phil’s and only two tourists like ourselves.

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Behind that Phil is the real Phil!
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Found across the street from Phil’s Crib
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I found this pretty rad.

Most of my time in Punxatawney, I spent eating. A lot. Yes, I gained weight. Wasn’t much to do out there but eat anyway and enjoy the scenery.  We drove around a lot, in which I enjoy tremendously.

Olive Garden, Ruby Tuesdays, and Cracker Barrell were all terrific.

Overall, I give this trip a 6/10 just because I was where the trees were.

And the food.

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