Did you hear there was a total eclipse that swept across the entire United States? Wink, wink. The Great American Eclipse, as I heard it called, was talked about so much that I had a slight fear that it wouldn’t live up to the hype. Lucky for us, a 3 hour trip to be in the path of totality was very much so worth it and I hope the girls remember it, much like I will, for a long time to come!
The celebration started for us on Saturday at home with some baking.
Hailey is quite interested in space and we’ve been talking about the basic concept of the eclipse for some time. To further drive the point home with Kaitlyn, we decided to bake cookies depicting the moon’s coverage of the sun.
Did it work? Maybe? …but at the very least we all enjoyed a very donut-like treat! We used this recipe for the cookies but made our own icing from powdered sugar, milk, and cocoa powder.
On Sunday, the girls and I took off southbound for Mema and Grandpa’s house, which is near Clemson University in South Carolina and was in the middle of the path of totality.
Since the girls are still on a very summery schedule, they stayed up late to soak up an evening boat ride and watch the sunset as the adult conversation turned to excited discussion about the next day’s event.
After a good night’s sleep (have I mentioned they are able to sleep in the same room now?!) we played the morning away.
The girls took a ride on the “tractor” then we set up shop on the porch to play games
(the girls loved this wooden block game!)
and decorate eclipse viewing masks.
The masks ended up being really useful, as I was a bit of a nut about making sure the girls didn’t even look slightly towards the sky without it.
As the time crept closer to 1:00 (the start time) the buzz of anticipation began to fill the air. Slowly, but surely, the sky began to dim. The best was I can describe it was that the air started to appear hazy. It felt very surreal, as the temperature also began to drop.
Finally at 2:37 pm, the total eclipse began.
For two glorious minutes, we could look directly at the moon covering the sun and the view did not disappoint.
The air was cooler, the crickets started singing, and we saw a bat fly by. There were fireworks going off in the distance and the whole feel was completely unlike anything I had ever experienced. We could see Venus shining brightly in the sky and were grateful that the clouds that had been teasing us stayed away for us to experience totality in all its glory.
As the two minutes came to an end, we all started to look away and slowly, the grass beneath our feet illuminated as the moon moved past the sun. The crescent shadows appeared on the ground and the crickets kept chirping for a bit in confusion.
Hailey facetimed with David to tell him all about it, and I was excited that the girls thought it was just as neat as the rest of us.
We stayed another night because, as predicted, the highways in the area turned into parking lots with the mass exodus of eclipse chasers that were headed home. The girls kayaked and swam and were worn completely out by that evening.
The quick trip was all totally worth it. It was such a unique experience and one that I think would be worth traveling to again in 2024. Mark your calendars!
If you are in the US, did you experience the eclipse?
If so, what did you think?!