2013 Road Trip Photos #4: Travel Bits from Day One

The bulk of Day One was a repeat of our Days One from several previous vacations: barreling through the vast expanse of Ohio with minimal stops so we can reach the states beyond. The only Ohio stop that left an impression was lunch in Dublin at a chain called Jason’s Deli (which we don’t have back home). I liked their heated lunchmeat fare more than my family did, but their mostly teenage staff weren’t quite focused on service. When we needed a box for leftovers, I stood at the counter for a few minutes watching half a dozen employees crowded behind the same counter all chatting, teasing each other, fiddling with supplies, or otherwise too preoccupied to afford me the courtesy of a simple “May I help you?” till I lurched closer to the counter and raised my voice. We’ll be skipping Jason’s on future road trips, then.

Unlike that motley crew, Pennsylvania certainly seemed happy to welcome us, once we were free of Ohio’s clutches.

Welcome to Pennsylvania

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2013 Road Trip Photos #3: Punxsutawney, Part 2 of 2: All the Groundhogs of the Rainbow

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:

Before we settled in at our hotel, we detoured for one exploratory stop in the famous li’l town of Punxsutawney, annual Party Central for the American celebration known as Groundhog Day. The town’s most famous resident is Punxsutawney Phil, the groundhog who supposedly determines America’s winter destiny by crawling out of a hole and letting the sight of his shadow, or lack thereof, foretell whether or not winter would end on schedule. The town is littered with artistic tributes to Mr. Phil himself. Walk twenty feet with your eyes closed and you’re liable to trip over one of Phil’s many simulacra.

I wasn’t kidding by much. In addition to the individual works, Punxsutawney also sports a collection called “Phantastic Phils” — over thirty different fiberglass groundhogs scattered all over town. Each Phil is between four and five feet tall, has its own title, and is painted by different local artists in assorted fashions or practical occupations. My wife captured a fraction of them on camera, as a sort of self-appointed scavenger hunt with a time limit.

Most indulgent on Phil’s part: “The Wizard of Weather”. In this scenario, Phil clearly dreams of controlling the weather so that his forecasts would never, ever be wrong again, even if he had to alter reality and fix the weather to match his predictions. This is a glimpse into our new way of life if Phil ever turned to the dark side.

The Wizard of Weather, Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania

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2013 Road Trip Photos #2: Punxsutawney, Part 1 of 2: All Hail Phil

The first half of Day One was spent rocketing across the wide expansive of big fat Ohio as quickly as possible so we could spend the evening in Pennsylvania. Before we settled in at our hotel, we detoured for one exploratory stop in the famous li’l town of Punxsutawney, annual Party Central for the American celebration known as Groundhog Day.

Punxsutawney sign, Pennsylvania

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2013 Road Trip Notes, Day 1: Surprise Groundhog Festival

Groundhog Festival, Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania

Before we left home, my wife and I were lamenting how we arrive at our locations each year with a knack for missing all the local celebrations and festivities. This year we’ll be arriving in Boston the week after Independence Day (which I’m sure Boston commemorates with revolutionary pizzazz) and three weeks before the Boston Comic Con. We’ve lost count of how many special events in years past that we missed in other cities by arriving one week late or leaving a day too early.

Imagine our surprise when we found a full-blown town carnival awaiting us when we arrived in the tiny, famous town of Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, home of the latest bearer of the title Punxsutawney Phil, the world’s most renowned and wildly inaccurate weather prognosticator.

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