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June 25, 2018

Sandra Scott Travels: Groundhog Forecast Six More Weeks Of Winter


Last week I asked: Did the groundhog see his shadow?

Yes.

Sorry, it's six more weeks of winter, folks!

Sorry, it’s six more weeks of winter, folks!

I didn’t realize there were so many groundhog weather prognosticators.

I thought Punxsutawney Phil was the one and only.

After all, they made a movie about him.

And, as amazing as it may seem, Mexico Middle School had, at one time, three teachers from Punxsutawney.

They made Groundhog Day seem like a national holiday.

Puxsutawney Phil saw his shadow, which means six more weeks of winter, as did Ohio’s Buckeye Chuck.

Chuck's home

S. I. Chuck’s home

However, Staten Island’s Chuck, formally known as Charles G. Hogg, predicts an early spring.

A local elementary school tracks the weather to see how it compares with a normal winter season so they can compare.

What is normal?

Chuck has a better record than Phil.

Chuck has been accurate 78 percent of the time whereas Phil has only been accurate 39 percent of the time, which is worse than the human forecasters.

So, what will it be?

In Oswego County there were both sunny and cloudy times on Feb. 2.

Woodchuck data

Woodchuck data

The forecaster that is most likely to be correct is Potomac Phil, a taxidermiesd animal in Washington, DC, who predicted six more weeks of winter and also six more weeks of political gridlock.

If you go to Staten Island, and you should if you visit New York City, visit the zoo which has many things to see and do; and staying on Staten Island is less expensive than staying in Manhattan.

Regardless of what the groundhogs predict, the first day of spring is not until March 20.

So there will most likely be lots of winter ahead.

The Mohonk Solarium

The Mohonk Solarium

There are places to visit in NYS that celebrate winter such as High Peaks Resort in Lake Placid with two indoor and two outdoor pools or the Mohonk House, the iconic historic hotel has an outdoor heated mineral pool infused with Dead Sea salts.

If winter is not your fun time, then get out of town if you can.

Where to go?

There are always cruises that go to warmer climes.

To save money take the train to NYC to catch the cruise out of New York or drive to Baltimore.

Catch a show

Catch a show

John and I recently took our first cruise on one of the big cruise ships.

We were in Galveston during the East Coast cold snap and wanted to get away.

The Royal Caribbean sails from Galveston as does Carnival.

There was no availability shown on the cruise websites so I called Nanette’s Cruise Cats, a local agency.

Amazingly, she was able to get us a great deal on a great room on the Royal Caribbean cruise to Cozumel.

The Royal Caribbean

The Royal Caribbean

The cruise was less expensive than staying at the Holiday Inn Resort Galveston.

A free shuttle bus transported us to/from the cruise dock.

I was under the impression that getting on the cruise ship was easier that boarding an airplane – not so.

I was not thrilled with the long lines and walks to get aboard.

Before we set sail there was the safety drill with all 2,500 of us going to our assigned spot on the deck.

Too many people I thought – not for me – but once we set sail I really enjoyed it.

Relax at the RC pool

Relax at the RC pool

When most of the passengers went on a day trip we had the pool all to ourselves.

We enjoyed the evening shows and the food was excellent.

Before we left on the cruise Nanette called to ask if I would like a tour of the historic district of Galveston.

Of course!

How is that for service?

Travel Trivia Tease™: What president got stuck in the bathtub?

Look for the answer next week.

Sandra and her husband, John, have been exploring the world for decades, always on the lookout for something new and unique to experience. We have sailed down the Nile for a week on a felucca, stayed with the Pesch Indians in La Mosquitia, visited schools in a variety of countries, and — to add balance to our life — stayed at some of the most luxurious hotels in the world. Let the fun continue!

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