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Punxy Phil told me that it's winter and it will snow and be cold.

Almost two weeks ago J and I spent a few days at my mom's while my older brother and his family (as well as my little brother's oldest) were there. My older brother is all about doing something fun and/or different when we are together, whereas I am just happy to hang out, since I tend to see him about three times a year. His suggestion this time was a trip to the Punxsutawney Weather Discover Center, which was about 45 minutes from Mom's.

It was a small, but neat, place, and I learned a few things (nothing that I can remember, unfortunately). The kids, who ranged in age from almost 7 to 11, were mostly enthralled with a slide that ended in a bunch of foam blocks; the idea is to feel as if you are in a tornado.

I thought doing a mock weather forecast was kind of cool, but the kids were less impressed.
Representing my two favorite Pittsburgh sports teams while on air


When were finished, a woman working there gave us a directions to see Punxy Phil. Even though I grew up about an hour and 10 minutes from Punxy, I had never seen Phil, so this intrigued me, and we made the short drive there. I was surprised Phil lives in what I can best describe as a storefront, complete with awning proclaiming his dwelling place.

 

mmm, granola bars



When we finished watching him (and on 4:15 the Monday between Christmas and New Year's, we were one of several groups who had the same idea), we headed to Gobbler's Knob, where all the excitement occurs every February 2nd.


The entrance
   


The stage

Where, presumably, Phil's handler pulls him out to check for shadowing

I find it odd that thousands make the trek to Punxy every February 2nd, to stand shoulder to shoulder with many people in (what is typically) the freezing cold. I am just happy to have saved myself the crowds.

Oh, and here is a sign that talks about the movie. I was too cold at this point to get out and read it. I think the five minutes we spent at Gobbler's Knob was plenty.


By the way, Punxy Phil told me that it is winter and we can expect cold and snow. I did not ask him how many more delays J's school can expect, but I am pretty sure when you are delayed 4/5 days of the first week back, you can safely bet that we've only just begun. :-)

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