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. Everyone 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.