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I was always a somewhat fascinated by Punxsutawney and Punxsutawney Phil the groundhog. But when I saw the movie Groundhog Day, I knew I had to visit Punxsutawney sometime. When my wife and I moved from Seattle back to Rochester, NY, it was close enough to easily drive to. So a couple years later, we took a driving trip that took use through Punxsutawney (not on Groundhog Day).
Punxsutawney, PA is a quiet little town. There are a few places here that sell souvenirs, but it doesn’t resemble a tourist trap at all. If you have seen the movie Groundhog Day, the town will look familiar. But if you remember in the movie, Bill Murray walks from the bed and breakfast down the street to Gobbler’s Knob. But if you visit Punxsutawney and go to Gobbler’s Knob, you will see Gobbler’s Knob is actually about a mile and a half away. You can walk there, but it would probably be easier to drive. In town, there is a little park, and I think they may have used that as Gobbler’s Knob for the movie. If you drive to Gobbler’s Knob, there is a big field for cars to park. The stage is at the bottom of a hill where people can watch from. There are trees behind and to the sides of the stage. Like I said, not like the movie.
At Punxsutawney Memorial Library which is in town you can see Punxsutawney Phil and other groundhogs behind glass windows. They were really cute.
One of these days, I want to get down there for Groundhog Day. It will probably be a zoo…no pun intended.

After 9/11, the security was raised dramatically. Now they seem to be hand inspecting most luggage. If you had a lock on you bag, they would simply cut it off. It was just brought to my attention that they sell TSA accepted locks that you can use on your checked luggage without fear of them being cut off. These TSA approved locks can be unlocked by a special key that the bag checker’s have. So now you can lock your luggage so that the people who need to have access, have it, and the people who shouldn’t have access, don’t have it. The locks I have seen seem to be all combination locks. I am not sure if someone makes a regular keyed lock that also takes the TSA key. I am not sure if the locks allow you to change the combination. I know it would be handy to have all of the locks that my wife and I use have the same combination. I saw some for sale in an airport store, but I didn’t need them at that moment, and didn’t want to pay what most likely would have been an inflated price. I will check some local stores.

On our recent cruise, I had learned of something that Carnival Cruise Lines does. They have something called the Concierge Club. Members of the Concierge Club our called Platinum Guests, and get a platinum colored Sail & Sign card. You become a Platinum Guest after you take 10 cruises. Apparently, Platinum Guests are VIPs and can shortcut the check in lines. They can also disembark before the other people.

Here are some of the perks that Platinum Guests supposedly receive:
– A special Carnival Logo Item
– Canapes and petits fours in stateroom one evening.
– Personalized stationary

Concierge Club member may also request these cruise benefits:
– Complimentary laundry service
– Guaranteed dining assignments & Supper-Club reservations
– Escorted tours of the ship
– Priority spa reservations
– Priority shore excursions reservations
– Priority tender tickets
– Priority debarkation

We just completed our 4th cruise, so we have a while to go. They may have other perks as well, I don’t know. Maybe dinner at the captain’s table or something? I have no idea. But we have already very briefly discussed taking our next cruise in maybe 2008. Maybe in the next 10 or 15 (or 20) years, we might make Platinum Guest status. Who knows, we might take some shorter cruises, or a couple 7 days cruises back to back. Actually, that is something I thought might be cool. Where the ships that do eastern/western caribbean itineraries, get on one ship, and do both. So a 14 day cruise made up of two 7 day cruises.

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