Thursday, February 2, 2017

Happy Ground Hog Day

Its February 2 today, which means it is time for Second on the Second over at Elizabeth's blog.

Here's a post from back in 2011 called Travel Journal
Before my husband had his end stage kidney failure, we used to go away during my February school break. Its been 2 years now since he found out he had his anti-GBM disease which wiped out his kidneys,
 so now with dialysis 3 times a week its hard for us to plan any trips together.
But back in 2011 we flew in and out of Las Vegas. The main goal of our trip was to visit Death Valley over in California.  Its about a 2 - 21/2 hour drive from Las Vegas.
I really enjoyed this National Park. We spent 4 days there and stayed in a cabin at the main visitors area of the park. We did lots of light hiking and saw some amazing desert sites.
Here's a few views of my travel journal from that post.

I really loved the wide open spaces of Death Valley. When we left and drove back to spend 2 days in Las Vegas, it felt a little too crowded for me. I'm not really a big Vegas kind of gal anyhow, but I really wanted to go see the Beatles Cirque du Soleil show. It was an excellent show and the perfect way to celebrate my birthday, which happened to be the same day. If I ever do this trip again-I am just going to stay out at Death Valley National Park.

And February 2 is also Ground Hog Day here in the US. I didn't know but it is something celebrated by Pennsylvania Germans (Dutch). According to Wikipedia:

In southeastern Pennsylvania, Groundhog Lodges (Grundsow Lodges) celebrate the holiday with fersommlinge,[2] social events in which food is served, speeches are made, and one or more g'spiel (plays or skits) are performed for entertainment. The Pennsylvania German dialect is the only language spoken at the event, and those who speak English pay a penalty, usually in the form of a nickeldime, or quarter per word spoken, with the money put into a bowl in the center of the table.[3]
The celebration began as a Pennsylvania German custom in southeastern and central Pennsylvania in the 18th and 19th centuries. It has its origins in ancient European weather lore, in which a badger or a sacred bear is the prognosticator, as opposed to a groundhog.[7] It also bears similarities to the Pagan festival of Imbolc (the seasonal turning point of the Celtic calendar, which is celebrated on February 2 and also involves weather prognostication[8]), and to St. Swithun's Day on July 15.
The largest one is celebrated in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. If Punxsutawney Phil sees his shadow, then  we shall have 6 more weeks of winter, but if he emerges and doesn't see it, then spring is just around the corner, Of course what is more vague than saying just around the corner.

Anyhow, I have never been to a groundhog day celebration but it is just fun to see what happens if Mr. Groundhog sees his shadow. 
So have a happy groundhog day! Don't forget to stop by             and add your own second on the second post. And thanks for stopping by my blog.


Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

OMGosh. I had totally forgotten Groundhog Day. Punxsutawney Phil is getting a bit old, isn't he (grin)? I'll have to watch the national news this morning when they release him, as they do each year. For some reason, I always felt like that was backward and if he sees his shadow, spring and sunshine should be on their way. But, that's not the case, so my thinking is backward.

I'm like you and not a huge fan of Las Vegas. I enjoyed Hoover Dam, though. I've never been to Death Valley, because it is hot even in winter. I bet you were glad you were there in winter, too. Since I didn't "meet" you till just over a year ago, I can honestly say I've never seen this book before. I love how you make a different journal for each vacation you take. The idea of using maps and local ads, add to the fun of these pages.

Thanks for sharing this second look on the 2nd.

Valerie-Jael said...

What a fun post today. Your trip to Las Vegas and Death Valley sounds thrilling, and your journal is fantastic. Thanks for the information about Ground Hog Day, too. Happy 2nd on the 2nd, hugs, Valerie

CJ Kennedy said...

Cool journal. I especially like the rusted hinges on the cover. Have never been to Vegas or Death Valley. All I know about Death Valley I learned from the old television program (late 50s early 60s) hosted by Ronald Reagan.

I always feel bad for poor Phil the groundhog. Early morning and the poor thing gets ripped from his cozy den all for publicity. And the sad thing is, whether he sees his shadow or not, there's still 6 more weeks of Winter.

froebelsternchen Susi said...

Oh wow.. I would love to see Death Valley as well as I would love to visit Las Vegas!
You made fabulous pages in 2011 according to your trip!
Worth to see them again!
Happy Groundhog Day ( never ever heard about that-lol)!
And happy second on the 2nd!

Hope you enjoy a few days rest after the pages marathon month you did ...hihi!
I am on my ways to get friend with the red month theme... I am more the blue /green girl - but so I am forced to make more red and red is the color of love and so it is GOOOOOD!

oxo Susi

jinxxxygirl said...

Loved your post Erika... Well at least i speak a little German.. maybe i wouldn't have to pay too much... maybe just let hubby speak.. he has way more German.. lol What a wonderful travel journal you have.. lots of good memories.. you never know what could happen and change your life forever..... Hugs! deb

Krisha said...

What a great journal. I live in California and have never been to Death Valley....LOL! Your post makes me want to take the trip, I understand it is beautiful in the spring. With all our rain this year it should be breath taking.

pearshapedcrafting said...

I loved seeing the journal story of your trip! Vegas has always fascinated me but I don't think I would like the noise and the crowds! I'm hoping that Spring is around the corner! Hugs, Chrisx

Carola Bartz said...

Oh yes, the wide open spaces of Death Valley. It is an interesting place - and with such differences in temperatures. Whenever we're there (only in late fall, winter or early spring) I have the feeling that I go through several layers of clothing in just one day, from warm winter jackets to light tank tops. Crazy. I'm glad that you liked it there. I'm not a Vegas kind of person myself, but would love to see a Cirque du Soleil show.

Carol said...

Great journal pages... I have always wanted to go there... every year we say we are taking a long vacation but it never seems to happen. Maybe this will be the year. Yellowstone is also on my list to get back too before I'm too old to enjoy it :)

Lisca Meijer said...

Oh what a lovely blog post! I love your Death Valley journal. Wonderful!
And the info on Groundhog Day is fascinating. The pennsylvania Dutch (who are really German, they also speak German, not Dutch) turning it into a special celebration. Great fun!
I had to look up what a ground hog was. (some sort of marmot I guess). What is the forcast this time?
Have a fab weekend,

Jeanie said...

Erica, I love your new banner.

I'm awfully sorry that your traveling has been curtailed in recent times with the dialysis. I know it beats the alternative. Still, those had to be fun travel times together and now, a shorter period of time away -- but I bet still fun.

I was a little bummed to see the groundhog saw his shadow but I suppose technically spring is that far away anyhow!