Saturday, August 26, 2017

SUN, MOON and SWEAT: THE PATH OF TOTALITY

Nature always has a significant role in most favorite and pivotal life moments. On Monday, the cosmos came together to make another one happen...the total solar eclipse! Eclipses are not something that have ever been on my radar, though I soon learned that tons of people in my area had had epic eclipse plans for years! Also, being an Eclipse Chaser is a thing. So...#lifegoals.

Once the eclipse was on my radar, I was surprised to learn that my parents already had plans to travel to THE PATH OF TOTALITY. Totality means that the moon completely blocks out the sun, making it so dark that it looks like nighttime for a few minutes or seconds, depending on your location. Lucky for us, the center of the path (AKA the longest total darkness) was only one hour from me and where my parents would be vacationing in Montreat. My sister made a last minute decision to join and it became a full family affair!

This cool Nasa video shows the path of totality, in case you were under a rock this week!



Leading up to Monday, the news was warning everyone that our area would run out of gas, that the highways would be so backed up that folks should be prepared with water, food, and maps due to over-taxed cell towers. My inner girl scout kicked in and I packed a couple gallons of water, lots of sun protection and SNACKS.

There were so many places to view the Eclipse, including parts of the Blue Ridge Parkway, camping spots, and even where we got married! But my parents had planned to go to Greenville, South Carolina to the Furman campus where they met and lived the beginning of their married life! We began our trek at 9 in the morning for the 2:30 pm event, and had no traffic issues! 

Luckily we were able to snag a shady tree spot outside the metal-sweat-trap stadium where the college put on some performances and the physics department narrated the changing sky. It was ungodly hot and we were so lucky to grab a shady spot with our chairs, blankets, and cooler where we could see and hear everything. We spent the day following the shadow, sweating and chasing hot babies with a screen screen bottle until around 1:30 pm when the moon first touched the edge of the sun!




The 'eclipsing'  hour was spent periodically tracking the path of the moon crossing the sun through our super cute eyewear.






As we got close to 2:38, our totality time, the energy totally changed. The light was reminiscent of the 'golden hour' right before the sun sets when everything feels dim but glowy at the same time. Know what I mean? When it finally got dark...I couldn't believe how bright the ring of light around the moon was. That, I did not expect! 

Right before total darkness




We spent the next two minutes bumbling around like idiots, trying to take pictures and staring at each other. I regret wasting time on silly iPhone pics when I should have been focusing on the sky, but it is crazy to see now how dark it really got. What you can't see is the dramatic temperature drop which was so welcome on this 90+ degree day.

I had never considered how quickly 2.5 minutes would pass!! It was such an intense experience, I wish there had been a moment of silence or some sort of reverence. That said, it was totally crazy and really cool to experience with my whole family (minus my bride who couldn't take the day off work). We were really fortunate to have had great weather and a clear view, so that was the trade off for being surrounded by thousands of people. Lots of people who went to the mountains had clouds and rain! Also, the Furman band played the Stars Wars theme song as the full eclipse was completing, so there's that.

Crazy moon-shaped shadows, made by tree leaves!

We ended the day racing back to Black Mountain for the last reservation spot at the Red Rocker Inn. If you are ever in Montreat/Black Mountain their food is incredible!


It was a fabulous celebration of a really cool day. Hope you all had a memorable Eclipse day!

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Summer of Love: The End

So, the summer of love is officially over. Here's how I know: My boss is pretty shocked when I'm at my desk on a Friday morning and I don't currently have any dog sitters lined up.

It has been an amazing spring and summer getting to see my best ladies so often; who knows if that will ever happen again. Twas' a pleasure to ring out the summer with a bang at Andrea and Ian's wedding in CT last month!

Our celebrations began Friday afternoon at a really lovely oyster bar on the water called Shell and Bones. I love kicking off a wedding weekend with an intimate lunch before the wedding craziness! We drank champagne, enjoyed fresh seafood and took in the view. It was a perfect, relaxed way to start off the weekend.







Andrea arranged her room block at the hotel where we did the rehearsal events and wedding prep, which was super convenient. The Study at Yale is right on the Yale campus, so the SOs not involved in the wedding party had tons of roaming and exploring at their fingertips. After checking in, we had a little welcome drink up in the hotel penthouse before the rehearsal and then gathered back there for dinner. My favorite part of weddings is always the toasts, and Andrea and Ian had me cryinnnnng Friday night. It didn't help that I was sitting next to Andrea's sisters. #emoparty





(Obviously Friday night ended well )

Saturday we made the long journey (2-second elevator ride) back to the penthouse for breakfast and beauty! We hung out there all day getting our hair and makeup done before heading to the venue to get dressed. Their ceremony and reception was at the New Haven Lawn Club and it was totally fulfilling to see my dear friend marry the love of her life!

There is really not much else to say, it went off without a hitch and it was a damn blast. I danced my butt off all night and have to give a shout out to these shoes that supported my old lady feet all night. Highly recommend!





Sunday morning we started our journey to Newark for the lovely little direct AVL flight I've been taking all summer. Little did we know we would spend all day in the airport, only for our flight to be canceled late that evening. The epic disaster of United customer service cannot be understated, but it all ended with a silver lining. We rented a legit #momvan Monday morning and drove 11 hours back to the mountains with some lovely folks we met in the customer service line. All of us agreed that we'd never had a better road trip - and each of us only drove 2 hours. Despite missing work and the hassle of it all, we arrived back home with grins on our faces!

Nothing better than ending the final love weekend with an unexpected adventure. Congrats Andrea and Ian - you all are a beautiful couple!