Our original plan was to head to McClellanville on the coast of South Carolina. Unfortunately the weather forecast thunder storms for the entire afternoon so we were afraid we’d miss the main event so we headed southwest to Lexington, South Carolina.
Specifically we went to Blowfish Stadium on the centerline of totality (1200 yards from the centerline) where the entry was free. They handed us souvenir tickets and free eclipse glasses.
We were there with like-minded people from all over the world: Canada, Guatemala, England, Australia, etc.
We were teased with a little cloud cover but during the totality the sky was clear.
The moon was a black disc and the sun was only corona.
It lasted 2 minutes and 36 seconds. I could have watched longer. We could see stars.
I was mesmerized by the eclipse. The difference between seeing the eclipse personally and seeing it on video is about like seeing fireworks in person and watching them on TV, nice but not the same.
After the eclipse we stopped at Starbucks before starting our return drive to Maryland which ended up taking almost 12 hours. Happy to be home.
What was your eclipse experience? Will you try to see the next one in April, 2024?
A couple of weeks ago I discovered (after almost everybody else in the United States) that a total solar eclipse was going to cross the continent on August 21, 9 days from now.
After clearing our calendars and hemming and hawing for awhile we finally decided to try and make it to a region where we could be in the path of totality — a place where day literally turns to night.
At first I thought we would head to Smoky Mountain National Park but they were selling tickets to the best viewing area which have been sold out for ages. Instead I mapped the 6-and-a-half-hour route and made an AirBnB reservation for the night before within a additional two hour drive to the eclipse area.
Next on the to-do list was to get some solar eclipse glasses so we would be able to view the sun as it is covered by the moon.
Unfortunately all local brick-and-mortar stores, Lowes, REI, Wal-Mart, Best Buy, were sold out as were their on-line counterparts. The only option left to me was to buy children’s models which I ordered from Amazon.
I’m hoping the glasses will arrive in time for our trip. I’m also going to try to get a pair from our local library which will begin to distribute a limited amount on August 14th.
While we were in New York City we stayed at The Benjamin hotel on the northeast corner of 50th Street and Lexington Avenue.
Diagonally across the intersection is the renowned Waldorf Astoria.
We took a stroll through the lobby and a short rest in their atrium.
Unbeknownst to us the Waldorf would close the next week to undergo a complete renovation and restoration. It is planned to reopen in two to three years. Waldorf Astoria New York will feature restored historic public and event spaces along with luxury condominiums and guest rooms and suites that will set a new standard for luxury and service in New York.
The Waldorf Astoria New York hotel is an essential destination for enthusiasts of the Art Deco style. Recognized as one of the world’s most significant examples of Art Deco art and architecture, this New York City luxury hotel is a living museum of decorative ornamentation, design, remarkable paintings and beautiful motifs. An official New York City landmark since 1993, the Art Deco hotel occupies an entire city block in midtown Manhattan.
The original Waldorf Hotel was built on the site of millionaire William Waldorf Astor’s mansion at the corner of Fifth Avenue and 33rd Street. The 13-story hotel opened on 13 March 1893. Four years later, Waldorf’s cousin, John Jacob Astor IV, erected the 17-story Astoria Hotel on an adjacent site. John Jacob Astor IV died on the Titanic on 15 April 1912. William Waldorf Astoria, having returned to England in 1893, died 18 October 1919.
In 1929, the owners decided to tear down the original building due to it becoming dated and the draining of its revenues caused by Prohibition. The site was sold to the developers of what would become the Empire State Building. The current location on Park Avenue opened on 1 October 1931 as the tallest and largest hotel in the world.
Hilton purchased the property in 1949 (the building and management contract), for $3 million, from New York State Realty & Terminal Company. New York Central RR owned the land, which Hilton purchased in 1977.
When it opens again, if we get to NYC, perhaps we’ll take afternoon tea.
The 3 Gladeskateers left The Glade at 10 a.m. headed for New York City. I had planned to make our first stop breakfast but unfortunately the place I chose stopped serving breakfast at 10 and didn’t serve lunch until 11.
So we jumped back on the highway northbound.
After checking into our hotel we headed to the theatre district.
We had tickets for Wicked which started at 8 and ended about 10:45.
From the Gershwin Theatre we walked north 3 blocks to a cabaret at Feinstein’s 54 Below.
I’ll leave the details until later. Now we’re just trying to get a little shut eye to prepare us for tomorrow’s extravaganza.