Monday, August 21, 2017

Total Eclipse of the...


Nope. Sun.

In case you haven't heard, and if you live in Greenville, that would be a massive rock under which you're living, Greenville is in the path of totality to get a total solar eclipse. We're one of 10 (I think...) cities across the US. This is unprecedented. The city is going bananas. There's been a run on eclipse glasses for about a week and all hotel rooms within 2 hours of here are completely sold out. Traffic is expected to be insane. This is the only total solar eclipse that we'll see in Greenville in our lifetime.

I saw this infographic on the GVLToday enewsletter, and copied and pasted it. This, to me, sums it up pretty well without making it way too scientific (read: over my head).

I witnessed this event today and am pretty much speechless. It was honestly one of the coolest experiences of my entire life. It was spectacular, eerie, bizarre, amazing and wonderful. I almost cried a little and did get some chill bumps.

Thomas's company had a party and invited friends and family to join the employees. They had Moon Pies, waters, eclipse glasses, a DJ, a drone and lots of photographers. First we gathered inside the office and a professor from Furman University came and spoke to us. Then it was time to go outside and get ready for the big event. They were trying to set a Guinness World Record for the "most people taking a selfie during a total solar eclipse, while eating a MoonPie". Too funny! I don't know how that is verified, but as an attendee, I would guess that they got the record.

We were hanging out, chatting, looking up at the sun and the eclipse (with special glasses on, of course) and the more time that went by, the darker it got. It was the craziest feeling to be outside in the middle of the day with darkness falling. It was like dusk, but not. We got to see the diamond ring, when is when the last little part of the sun is out and it looks like a diamond with the corona as the ring. It just kept getting darker and darker and eventually it was Totality time. We all got to take off our glasses and just look up. I cannot even describe it. It was unreal. My phone camera did not even come close to doing it justice. It just looked like a regular sun in the picture. Lame. I'm sure plenty of real photographers with appropriate lenses got some amazing shots. When totality happened, everyone at this party starting cheering and yelling. The DJ started playing....wait for it..."Total Eclipse of the Heart"...surprise! We were all taking pictures and just looking up towards the sky in awe. You could see the corona of the sun but the entire middle was blacked out. We were in a parking lot with music playing, so I didn't hear any of the animals or unusual nature sounds, but my neighbor told me that all the cicadas started piping up and birds were making noises as well. Incredible. When the moon moved and the sun starting coming out again, glasses had to go back on and the DJ played "Here Comes the Sun". Very clever. That was followed by "Walking on Sunshine".

You may be wondering if the boys got to experience this awesome total eclipse. Well the answer to that is NO. I was curious about what their school was planning to do and was a little disappointed initially when they let us know that they weren't participating and in fact, were going to cover the windows and doors so that no part got into the building. I realized what a liability it would be if they were in charge of keeping all those kids with their glasses on, and what would happen if a large portion of the students ended up with eye damage. Ultimately, they made the 100% correct decision. I was thinking about maybe picking my boys up and taking them to Thomas's office to join the party, but my practical side caught up with me. I was way too nervous about damaging their eyes to risk it. They're still too young to understand anything about it and I knew they wouldn't keep their glasses on. I don't have 3 hands to force it and just didn't feel like it was worth the risk. I did, however, DVR the local news coverage and we will watch it as a family this evening and talk about it.

Here are my pics!

The girls from our old team!
Steph, me, Wendy and Donna

Thomas and me participating in the
World Record!

Wendy and me
(remind me to never hold the phone for selfies!)

My little man Bennett!!!!

Brooke with Bo and Bennett

Brooke and me

More Selfies!
Wendy and me

Total Solar Eclipse
Lame camera did not work

During Totality
It was so dark out! It was around 2:40 PM

Here's a picture from WYFF 4's website:

Total eclipse 

I know this looks cool, but seriously does not even come close to doing it justice for what it looked like in person. 

The next total eclipse is expected to happen in 7 years, but Greenville won't be on the Path of Totality that time. This is most likely our one and only total eclipse experience. I'm here to say, all the hype was totally (or totality) worth it!!!!!

Prayers for all those fighting traffic to get home. 

Side note: In the last 24 hours, I've seen the following out-of-state license plates. CT, NJ, WV, NC, FL, WI, NY, VA, OH, PA, TX
People came from ALL OVER to see this gig. 

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