Very recently my family and I went on a trip to Kentucky and Tennessee to watch the solar eclipse. Before our trip, we decided to take a break from our phones, computers and any portable electronic devices. They are everywhere. They take a lot of our time and sometimes develop an unhealthy attachment with ourselves materializing views or feelings. Everybody gave up of something: Phones, computer, and tablets. We had a phone with us which we used as a GPS. I am a photograper. I tend to take pictures of all things. Not having my camera with me was going to be very difficult.
The first planning for our trip was made more than two month ago. Everyone wanted to see the eclipse and everything was sold out. On top of it, we were going to be traveling with our dog, so all hotel reservations had to be pet friendly which added a little difficulty to the search.
Finally, I found places for which I pay more money than expected but they fitted our needs. My husband wanted to drive at night. I dislike it because I can’t manage to stay awake and I can’t appeciate the views either but he was driving so I let him with the only condition that we stop after 5 hours of drive to have some rest.
Our first stop was Washinton Indiana. It was a very small town about five hours South of Elkhart Indiana. We stayed in a small motel. Beds were very comfy. Place was very clean, which is always my main concern. Later that morning, looking to find a place to have breakfast we found a small bakery. They make their sandwiches with fresh baked bread. Breakfast was very simple but oh man… It was delicious. We went on the road again.
Our second stop was Kentucky, less than two hours away from Indiana. We arrived at our destination around 12:00 pm. Lake barkley Resort was my first choice to watch the eclipse but everything was sold out. I managed to find a room for a day only. The hotel is near Cadiz, Kentucky. It was a wooden building with the apparience of cabins. It is part of the Kentucky parks department. It has several wooded propierties surrounding the resort. It was spacious and clean and we had a very beautiful view to the lake from our room. There were several bird feeders outside and many birds stopped by. I took a bird guide with me and we tried to identify all the birds that stopped by.
The surroundings of the hotel were full of trees and we saw a lot of wild life specially deer. During our stay, we decided to take a hike, to visit the beach, to go to planetarium to see the observatory that was closed by and to assist to a “star party” where many people with telescopes would be watching the sky. Somehow we accomplish all of them.
I hadn’t been able to see a starry night as beautiful as the one I saw there since I was a child. There were no city lights blocking the brightness and no moonlight either. It was just darkness and stars everywhere. At the planetarium and from the telescopes we were able to see other planets, but the beauty was in the amount of stars and the sounds of nature.
We always wanted to go to Tennessee to enjoy nature since many friends who have visited always brag about the beauty of the place and this was the perfect opportunity. Next day we traveled to Nashville, Tennessee. It was the only hotel room I could find in the path of eclipse totality. Let me emphasize that I am from Mexico City and even thought I live a big part of my life there, I dont enjoy big cities anymore, nor I like country music either. Well, Nashville is both of those things: A big city and a country music city. We tried to go to the city to see what was around. After spending an hour we decided to go back to the hotel. Too many people. Too caotic. Too hot. Too much country music everywhere. It didn’t fit well with us. We will give it a try tomorrow after the eclipse crazyness was over.
We were determined to keep enjoying our vacation even with those downs. Our hotel was in a very nice area. For the eclipse was going to be an “eclipse party” at the hotel pool in the roof. It sounded just what we needed. A secluded area without many people around and with a perfect view.
The “eclipse party” was fun. A lot of people gather with the same interest. There were not many kids around but my daughter and another young lady. They had fun at the pool while the other ones watched the sky. We stayed in the rooftop for about three hours. We watched how the moon stteped in the path of the sun light as if we were watching in slow motion. The moments before the eclipse were exciting. We saw some clouds passing by, we were hoping that they would’t stay. They didn’t. The moon was almost all over the sun. Temperature started to drop. Sky started to look grayish. We were very excited. It finally happened. The moon cover te whole surface of the sun. All you could see was a dark circle with a halo of light. what astronomers discribe as the crown. Almost two minutes of amazing view. I couldnt keep my eyes away. It was a wonderful view. We even could see some stars. My kids were so excited and couldn’t believe how beautiful it looked. My husband and I had already a previous experience with a total solar eclipse in 1991 in Mexico City and we wanted our kids to witness the same.
It was a weekend full of science and starts. It was a weekend full of memories. Even thought I don’t have a picture of any of the beautiful things I saw. I have them in my memory. I have them in my heart. These are the things that you can’t forget. This are the things that we tend to materialze without giving them the real value. For a weekend, we saw life at it’s best. We lived experiences that won’t repeat again. We had fun and in the process we experience what is keeping us together: Love.