Eclipse

Where to even begin. So, the initial plan was that Kevin was going to take a trip with his friends to Nashville and photograph the eclipse and I was going to move heaven and hell to get the kids somewhere to see it. I was initially thinking about just driving to Charleston for the day (lmao yeah right) but then decided to just crash at my Dad’s Sunday night and drive to Columbia first thing in the morning. Kevin’s plans fell through and he ended up getting permission to stay in a friend’s family’s cabin with his friend…. I know, that sounded weird. I’m high on life, can’t type properly, right now. And he said the kids and I were welcome to stay. Um, duh? So Me, Shannon, and the kids drove up there on Saturday, since Kevin had to work. He drove with his friend on Sunday and they hit up a bunch of photo-worthy spots on the way, so they didn’t get in until later that night. Oh, this place was in Lakemont, right outside of Clayton. FREAKING GORGEOUS. I had no idea the mountains in GA got down like that lol. I’m used to going to Gatlinburg and that whole area. The place we were at was authentic mountain living. Nothing touristy about it. Clayton was more bustling but still nothing like Gatlinburg is. The area we were in was around this beautiful lake and there were tons of cabins and houses literally right on the lake….. all nestled in the mountains I mean I can’t describe how gorgeous it was. I thought it was cray cray that these people were letting us stay in their cabin, seeing as how they don’t even know us and the friend only ever chilled with Kevin 3 times. So I wasn’t expecting much but DAMN lol. This cabin was actually worth over a million dollars. Lower level with a game room, big bedroom, and a kids’ bunk room. First floor was an open living room/dining room/kitchen with a massive stone fireplace and tons of cute cabin decor, plus a master bedroom with a jacuzzi and separate shower. Second floor had two big bedrooms, bathroom, and another kids’ bunk room. Huge back porch overlooking a stream on their property, this place was just amazing. And they had it all laid out with other people in mind. They don’t rent the cabin out, they only let friends and friends of friends stay there. They had a bookshelf with books they made, showing all of the local attractions and places of interest, tourist pamphlets separated and labeled in ziplock bags, labels everywhere so you could find everything you needed…. even a draw full of new toothbrushes in case anyone forgot theirs. They have to be awesome people. They had a guest book on the table and I definitely let them know how much I appreciated them extending their hospitality to us. It’s so rare these days. That night, we hit up the grocery store and bought all of our food for our stay and ate at the Huddle House. The food was cold by the time it got there but we didn’t care, we were exhausted. Sunday, we got up and hit up Minihaha falls and Shannon and the girls had a situation….. they fell on the rocks and literally had to have a lady pull them out. I was up with the boys, totally oblivious as to what was going on. They were okay but damn. Damn. We left there and went to Hemlock Falls. It was a pretty long hike for the kids, we were totally over it by the time we left. It was gorgeous but there were people camping there, even though it clearly says no camping, so everyone who took all that time hiking to see the waterfall was pissed. They were pretty much photobombing all of our pics with their shenanigans. It was still a lot of fun and totally worth seeing. We had a picnic out there, too. When we got back to the cabin, I made sliders for dinner. That has become the new favorite for the family. Everyone is obsessed with them. Oh, I also made sausage egg and cheese biscuits for breakfast. After dinner, we let the kids unwind inside and we had a glass of wine on the back porch and watched the milky way. I saw 4 shooting stars in a matter of ten minutes. It was beautiful. Kevin got there that night, I read until I crashed.

Monday morning, Kevin made breakfast and we all got dressed and set out to find a spot to see the eclipse. It was AMAZING seeing all of the people outside. News crews everywhere, people sitting on the side of the road, in parking lots, wherever they could. Everyone was out in their yards, it was just something so special. That’s the kind of world I wish we lived in…… where you don’t have to wait for an eclipse to get out and mingle with each other. We found a spot on the side of the road, overlooking a valley. There was only one car when we got there but within about 30 minutes, the whole side of the road was lined with cars and people were climbing the hill to get a good view. Everyone was even talking to one another, can you imagine that? So, the eclipse began but by the time it was halfway finished, the clouds rolled in. I told Kevin I wasn’t chancing it and that I was about to haul ass and find another spot. I didn’t come 7 hours to not see the fucking eclipse. I let him know that I am okay with him doing what he needs to do to make sure he got good pictures. We weren’t there with Kevin, he was doing his photography thing the entire trip and we knew that and were totally okay with that. I just wanted the kids to see it. So I told him to do him and imma do me and damn I just wish he would have followed us because he fucking missed it. I was doing like 70 mph going north as far as I could go, then west until I had no choice but to pull over. I pulled over in the parking lot of a church and we still had enough time to get out and get comfy. Would you freaking believe that there was a clearing in the clouds JUST BIG ENOUGH for us to see the ENTIRE eclipse?!?!?! God is so, so good. We saw the whole thing. This church was down a back road up in the hills, surrounded by trees, just a clearing in the church’s lot. The grass was even freshly mowed so we could lay down lol I mean it couldn’t have been more perfect. There was a young couple sitting together in the cemetery behind the church but besides that we had it all to ourselves. We put our glasses on and waited until the last possible minute, where you could barely see a sliver left. We took off our glasses and the sky was pitch black. Looked like it was 3:00 in the morning. It was seriously the trippiest thing I have ever seen in my LIFE. I was in AWE. The crickets started chirping, you could hear howling in the distance….. it even smelled like night time, if that’s even possible. It got cool outside, whereas, before, we were sweating to death. I just don’t even have the right words to explain how amazing that was. Everyone always says if you have a chance to see a total eclipse, take it. Now, I understand why. It’s up there with my trip to Europe lol….. Idk…. it may even top the trip to Europe. To think that you can see shit like this on planet earth…. it’s just surreal. It looked like a ring in the sky….. it really, honestly looks like the pictures lol. You could even see the stars out. I just have no words. Then, there was a flash of light and you could see the diamond ring effect, so we put on our glasses…. and it looked like a super fast sunrise. Birds began chirping again….. it was so confusing, even to me. It felt like day and night happened within a matter of a couple of minutes. The kids were speechless. I wish I could bottle that moment and save it forever. The look on their faces was just priceless. I am definitely driving out of state again to see another eclipse. I get it now. When we were done there, we went to Dry Falls and walked behind a waterfall. The kids went crazy playing in the mist, they had so much fun. We left there and found ourselves involved in a mass exodus back to Clayton. It seriously took two hours to make it four miles. While we were gridlocked, we witnessed assholes doing asshole things. Please don’t do asshole things. People were driving through the center turn lane trying to beat the traffic. That was asshole thing number one. They were also speeding. That’s asshole thing number two. A truck went to pull into the center lane to make a u-turn, and asshole one plowed into her, t-boning her vehicle. Then, asshole two plowed into asshole one. This all happened about 7 cars in front of us. We saw the whole thing, since traffic was at a standstill….. Fire and rescue came and that held everyone up who was traveling in the opposite direction. All because these assholes thought their time was more important than everyone else’s time. That’s what assholes do. We were so hungry we made the mistake of pulling into Dairy Queen to EAT. Not just blizzards…… their food 😦 I mean, you do desperate shit when you’re hangry. Our plan was to find a nice country restaurant to eat at but that just was not happening. This food was so fucking nasty and I ate every bit of it. Then, it was a race through the mountains so Shannon wouldn’t shit her pants ohhhh myyyy Goooossssssssshhhhhh. I was crying. I couldn’t breathe. It was that funny. To make it even worse for her, she has a phobia of driving through the mountains. She won’t drive. But it’s not enough that she won’t drive…… she doesn’t want me to drive either lol. She seriously has panic attacks around sharp turns, which is basically the entire freaking car ride on a mountain. I’m good driving through the mountains, I think it’s fun. But she had to shit like REALLY bad and she literally almost didn’t make it hahahaha. She’ll kill me if she reads this but I doubt she would make it this far lol. By the time we got back, we were exhausted so we went to sleep. Packed up the next morning, left, stopped and ate breakfast, then headed back to Jax. This was a memorable weekend. I needed it so, so badly. I feel like my spirit has been renewed and i’m ready to face life again. God is amazing and i’m so thankful we had the chance to see another one of his wonders. Check that off the bucket list 🙂

I just typed all of that to record it. In no way does this adequately describe how incredible all of this was.

(I wrote all of this yesterday but was too tired to post it lol)

I guess I will add this in here. Last week, I chased a sunset. It was gorgeous. I pulled off the side of the road to take a picture and another lady, at the same time I pulled off, did the same. We laughed about how we were thinking the same thing and that we wished we had a better vantage point. It was so random lol. I didn’t edit this pic at all. I know it’s crap quality but goodness, look at those colors!!

IMG_8863

Also. Week before last, I was driving back from my mom’s house and pulled up to a red light, blasting my music, as usual….. well, no, usually I turn it down because that’s just embarrassing but when i’m out in the country, I really don’t care lol. This guy pulled up and hollered through Judea’s window, “Oh man, could you please tell me what song that is and who sings it? I haven’t heard it in years! Been looking for it!” and it was, of all things, El Paso, by Marty Robbins lol. Raaaaaannndddddoooommmmmm……

 

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