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Photography by George Powers

Update: February 2, 2014, 8AM

It was a cold, soggy morning in Punxsutawney, PA,  for Groundhog Day. The world’s most famous groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil, emerged from his hole on Gobbler’s Knob and, to the chagrin of the crowd of over 20,000, saw his shadow, meaning 6 more weeks of winter.

Despite the rain and unfortunate prediction, the atmosphere in Punxsutawney is simply electric. If you ever have the chance, a visit to see Punxsutawney Phil is sure to excite.

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Tired of winter? There may be some relief in store this weekend in the form of a furry, little groundhog.

That’s right, it’s once again time for Groundhog Day! The one day a year when everyone focuses their attention on the tiny Pennsylvania borough of Punxsutawney to see whether the world’s most famous rodent sees his shadow. Tradition has it, that if Punxsutawney Phil, as he’s affectionately known, sees his shadow, we are in store for 6 more weeks of winter. However, if Phil doesn’t see his shadow, we can all look forward to an early spring.

Without a doubt, Groundhog Day is truly one of America’s more odd traditions, but it’s a big deal all throughout the country.

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This Week in Photos
The Idiotarod of … Brooklyn, Chinese New Year, the Grammys and more festivities roll into this week in photos. Meanwhile our favorite travel bloggers are in search of the elusive perfect dive, the Lock Ness Monster and more this week.

Stuck on a plane Super Bowl Sunday? Some airlines will ease fans’ pain by airing the big game live and stocking up on hot-buffalo-wing-flavored pretzels, skittles and extra libations according to Skift.

Our pal, the Expert Vagabond, went in search of Scotland’s fabled Lock Ness Monster. Did he find it?

Camels & Chocolate prolonged her stay in Anguilla — and we’re happy she did. Just check out her amazing dive photos.

For those already thinking about Valentine’s Day, Fathom rounded up romantic ski hotels in the Rockies and the Alps.

Finally, we’ll leave you with a blast from the past — Delta’s new 80s-inspired, in-flight safety video:

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Stranded commuters took to Instagram to post photos of their (mostly abandoned) commutes home. From left to right, top to bottom: @theycallmejethro, @themuaalex, @trishthedish512, @t4vista, @somethingintheroad, @millakilluhh, @hwellj13, @crystal_2246, @scharlesquinn.

The Deep South has been in a deep freeze since yesterday, when a winter storm left some commuters and students stranded overnight and flights canceled at the world’s busiest airport, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

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Festival International de Ballons, Château-d’Oex, Switzerland

Photography By Christophe Dayer, Flickr

For the last 36 years, Château-d’Oex, located in the Lake Geneva region of Switzerland, has been home to the Festival International de Ballons (International Balloon Festival), which will take place Jan. 25 to Feb. 2 this year. 

A fun and affordable event for all ages, this year’s football-themed festival, chosen for the impending World Cup in Brazil, is expected to attract 40,000 to 50,000 attendees. Entry fees — charged on Saturdays and Sundays only — cost CHF (Swiss Franc) 15 for adults, which equals approximately $17, and is free for children under the age of 14. If you plan on attending the festival more than one day, a pin can be purchased for CHF 20 ($22).

Hot air balloons varying in size, shape and color will be on display, and spectators can experience a variety of activities including air shows with hot air balloons, F1s and hang gliders, hot air balloon competitions, and even take flight on a tether ride or, a much pricier option, their very own passenger flight.

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This Week in Photos

From festivals in India, Spain and Taiwan to Haute Couture Fashion Week in Paris and the Winter X Games in Aspen, CO – see this week in photos from around the world. Have headlines frozen over? During another slow news week we turned to some of our favorite travel bloggers for loads of inspiration.

This may sounds like a sick joke after another polar vortex, but Johnny Jet explains why you may want to get bumped off your flight — and how to do it.

Once strictly off-limits, now adventurous travelers are flocking to Burma aka Myanmar. You’ll want to go even more after seeing the Classe Touriste’s photos.

Take a road trip from Peru into Chile through the eyes of the charming family behind Our Open Road.

While the upcoming Winter Olympics has gone without much fanfare in the States — The Inspiration unearthed this truly badass BBC trailer for Sochi.

Finally, Prêt À Voyager’s Creative Guide to Amsterdam had us at hand-drawn map.

Grilled cheese

Photography By Thinkstock

Today, cheese lovers across America will ‘brie’ in cheese heaven celebrating National Cheese Lover’s Day. Whether you’re at home or planning a visit to Vermont’s cheese trail, it’s a day when you and fellow cheese lovers can enjoy anything and everything, well, “cheesy.”

While most cheese in the US is made from cow’s milk, there are still a variety of cheeses made from the milk of other farm animals, including goats, sheep, deer and llamas. Today, there are more than 900 different types of cheeses, which vary by age, texture, color and flavor. In 2012, the USDA found that an average of 33.51 pounds of cheese per capita was consumed in the US; that’s the most amount of cheese consumption on record. (And fun fact: The most commonly consumed cheeses in the US are cheddar, burrata, gouda, feta and mozzarella.) But don’t feel bad, the average person in France consumes almost double that each year! READ MORE

This Week in Photos

India celebrates Makar Sankranti, an International Kite Festival, and more in this week in photos. From a panda selfie to YOLO vacations, this week in travel brings you the best of the internet.

CNTraveler shared photos of stunning bodies of water around the world.

According to Today, The National Zoo launched its Instagram account with a panda cub selfie you just have to see.

Gadling brought to our attention a Singapore-based photographer who artfully depicts the passage of time.

Refinery29 presented 13 Tips for Taking a YOLO vacations. #nuffsaid

And while the NYT’s 52 Places to Go in 2014 caused much debate among travelers (including those in this office), Skift narrowed done the list to just one.

At Travel Channel, of course, we think Spain and Morocco should top your list — and we’re even giving away $100,000 trip there.

 

This Week in Photos

Winter was in full force in this week in photos with a Polar Vortex in much of the US, China’s 15th Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival, and an Igloo Village in Germany. See Niagara Falls on ice and more of the week’s best posts in our travel news roundup.

CN Traveler unearthed these winter wonderland photos of Niagara Falls’ “ice-crusted cascades.”

Gadling shared the top 5 family travel destinations for 2014 — and possibly beyond.

According to Gothamist, former Travel Channel star Anthony Bourdain is opening an international food market in NYC.

Check out 5 of the most awesome star-gazing spots on Earth thanks to The Huffington Post.

Skift has the scoop on New York City’s tallest hotel (753 feet!) opened by … Marriott.

 

 

This Week in Photos

The New Year was greeted by Vikings with torches, a massive flour fight, midnight kisses and more in this week in photos. A slow news week, 2014′s first travel blog roundup highlights what will be (or should be) overtaking your social media feeds this year.

What’s that clogging up your Instagram feed? Next to the -2 degree weather forecasts and Champagne glasses, Skift discovered an unexpected hit: Disney’s giant turkey legs.

JohnnyJet shares 14 travel tweeters to follow in the new year, including our favorite @ThePointsGuy and a flight attendant,  @Heather_Poole.

Off Track Planet’s favorite travel apps of 2013 included the likes of RoadTrippers, WeHostels and Kurrency.

Our own Andrew Zimmern, and James Beard-nominated Executive Chef of Chicago’s Sepia Restaurant, describes the perfect foodie day in the Windy City over on JetSetter.

Finally, Adventurous Kate, one of our favorite solo female travelers, brings us 9 more entertaining travel blogs to follow.

The birth of England’s future king, a high-wire act across the Grand Canyon, and a historic Miss America – see some of 2013’s most remarkable travel moments.

Photography by Reuters

Prince George of Cambridge
Royal baby mania gripped the world, as news crews waited outside London’s St. Mary’s Hospital on July 22 for news of Kate and William’s royal delivery: George Alexander Louis had arrived.

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