life, thoughts

Epic Fail or Epic Success

I thought I’d write about my adventurous eclipse experience before it becomes irrelevant, so I quickly put together this post this morning.

We decided to go to the Adler Planetarium in Chicago to watch the eclipse. The journey started out slightly bumpy. We were running late to get to the train station to commute down there. In the rush, I forgot to bring bottled water and nutrition bars, but no worries, they were supposed to have food kiosks at the Planetarium’s Eclipse Festival.

Because we were running late, we barely had our parking pass in hand when the train pulled up, but we made it.

Once we arrived at Union Station in downtown Chicago, we used the service Lift for the first time. It went well. We rode with two really fun people on the drive to the Planetarium. When we were dropped off, the line to enter and get viewing glasses wrapped around about two miles. It moved at a decent pace, but it was hot out.

Trying to find the end of the line. Are we there yet?

Once we had viewing glasses in hand, our slightly bumpy ride became covered with potholes. There were about half dozen food kiosks and the lines for each were a mile long. No exaggeration. We waited in line on hot black top for an hour to get food and the line barely moved. We gave up.

At that point, my husband and I decided it was time to leave. Due to the suffocating heat, we were starting to dehydrate. Vertigo waved over me a couple of times.

On our way out, we talked to lots of people about the heat, about the lines, about the clouds that may hinder our view of the eclipse.

Then someone said the eclipse started. EveryoneΒ  stopped walking. We put on our viewing glasses and saw the tip of the moon cover the sun. We could see it right through the hazy sky. In our part of the world we didn’t get a total eclipse, but even eighty percent was cool to see.

We still had a long walk ahead of us, so we sauntered along, periodically stopping to watch the moon cross in front of the sun.

Along the way, we continued to talk with different people, from all walks of life. People of all different shapes and colors. People speaking all different languages. None of us asked if we were Democrat or Republican.

None of us asked what we believed in. No one knocked over statues or threatened anyone. In fact, we smiled. We helped each other out with directions. We passed around viewing glasses to those who didn’t have any.

This was the Chicago…the America…the society I grew up in.

At first I thought that going downtown to watch the eclipse turned out to be an epic fail. We could’ve done it just as easily at home, and without the hassle. The heat, the lack of food and water, the loooooooong walks (my legs and feet are aching as I type)….it was all unnecessary.

But, by the time we arrived home, I realized our journey was an epic success. We had watched the sky show together with beautiful people…marveling together, smiling together, supporting each other. I wish I could’ve brought some of the wonderful people I met home with me. I wish I could bring that unifying peace to the world.

I know, another crappy amateur eclipse photo. It was taken through the viewing glasses.

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25 thoughts on “Epic Fail or Epic Success”

  1. Beautiful post, Lori. I’m sorry you went through such a hassle. But what a lovely aftermath. Isn’t it wonderful when people come together and share what they have with each other?

    I loved your eclipse photos! The cloud cover was very heavy out this way. So I’m glad to see your photo!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi L. We had wanted to experience the Planetarium, but inside it was also wall-to-wall people. But yes, you’re right, it was a lovely aftermath. Thanks for coming over to read. πŸ™‚

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  2. Lori, what a truly wonderful unifying experience…I had to smile at how the eclipse became the side show to you all gathering together, meeting up, chatting, sharing life. Moments like these are precious and ones to treasure. I love your final heartfelt comment of ‘I wish I could bring that unifying peace to the world.’ You have, Lori…each little bit helps, I feel! πŸ˜€β€οΈ

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It’s amazing the power that an awesome natural event has to bring people together and make us forget our differences, I’m glad your eclipse experience was such a success. We had about an 80% eclipse here two years ago and it was good to see it through gaps in the clouds!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. What a great story, Lori! I’m sorry you and hubby had to suffer in the heat with no food or drink, but as you say, I think seeing the eclipse “with your fellow man” as you did was probably a much more rewarding experience than seeing it through a telescope or whatever at the planetarium. Good for you!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Sounds like a good adventure with memories to keep. I had 97% and watched it from my back deck. The tree frogs got really loud as it looked like dusk here and the temp dropped.

    Nice to hear good things about Chicago. You tell a good story.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow, 97% coverage. I wonder if the frogs thought it was nighttime. It never got dark here.

      Yes, Chicago gets a bad rap due to the gang violence, not to mention the media only focusing on the bad stuff and never the good. What I experienced on Eclipse Day is what I remember growing up here. It was nice to have it back for a while.

      Thanks for the nice comment, Linda.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. What an extra great experience for you what with that sense of ‘having it back’ for awhile. I was ‘late’ on my eclipse post, too…just too overwhelming to do it credit, but slapped something up for posterity so to speak. We got to experience 100% totality…really once in a lifetime I think.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Wow, 100%. Did it get dark for a few minutes? Very cool. We wanted to experience the Planetarium while down there, but it was wall-to-wall people inside. Could barely move. So, we went on our way and made friends in the street. Thanks for reading, Laura.

          Liked by 1 person

  6. It’s sad that it takes a rare phenomenon such as this to bring people together. It kind of reminded me of how people were the days following 911. I’m happy you enjoyed it. We had 98% totality and our hummingbirds went nuts! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, eclipse day was sort of like after 9/11, except this time it wasn’t something tragic to bring us together, it was something fun. I wish we could take that with us all the time. Can’t help but wonder if it’s all the media that stirs things up. But yes, despite the exhaustion and feet pain, I did enjoy it.

      How cool that you had 98% totality. It never really got dark here, but it was gray from hazy clouds. It was amazing that we could see the eclipse right through the haze.

      I wonder why the celestial wonder made you hummingbirds go crazy.

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  7. You think that’s a bad picture? You should see mine! No, I take that back. You should not and never will see mine. πŸ˜‰ Sounds like you went through quite an ordeal, but there was a good side to it and you’ve described it very well. An adventure.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ha. That picture I posted is the only one of LOTS. You know how it is …. keep clicking until getting a good one. Yes, the day was exhausting but an epic success. Thanks, Anneli.

      Liked by 1 person

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