The solar eclipse fell on the same week as Michael’s available vacation time off of work, and Myrtle Beach was only about an hour away from the totality zone, so of course, we had to go on a family vacation! I’d been throwing around the idea of a family beach trip all summer long, so I was excited that Michael was enthusiastic enough about the eclipse for us to make the drive down there. He ordered our eclipse glasses over a month in advance, and we were ready for the big day. Everyone was pretty pumped!
On the morning of the eclipse, we drove from our beach house to Georgetown, SC, which took about an hour and fifteen minutes due to heavy traffic. The weather was not looking good. There were clouds, intermittent thunderstorms, and pouring rain, but we headed down anyway, hoping it would clear up in time for us to see this natural phenomenon.
We actually went to an LDS church, since we figured the members there might have some kind of event going on and the building might be open. We were right, and it was nice to have access to air conditioning, bathrooms, and somewhere to nurse the baby while we waited for totality. We had packed our lunches, and had a little picnic in the Primary room.The clouds kept moving, and at times, the sun wasn’t visible at all. The rain had stopped, at least, but we were hoping it would be clear at the most important moment!
I have to be honest, I was a little nervous about the whole thing, because I had seen too many “warning posts” online that insinuated that eye injury was inevitable, and how people shouldn’t let their kids watch it at all. We were careful, and talked to the girls about how we never ever stare at the sun on any day. We explained that if they wanted to look at the eclipse, they had to wear their glasses. They actually did really well (and Nella had no idea what was going on, never looked up, and I kept her facing away from the sun, so she was fine).Just minutes before we reached totality, temperatures dropped noticeably. Can you see how odd the lighting is in this photo? It was the weirdest natural light I’ve ever seen, and as a photographer, I’m glad I don’t ever have to deal with these odd shadows when doing a session for someone! We watched through our glasses as the moon moved over the sun, and then, through the lenses, it was completely black. This was the only time it was okay to take them off, and when I did so, I was surprised not to see complete darkness where the sun once was, but a glowing, beautiful orb. It reminded me of a diamond, and there are no pictures online that even come close to portraying how amazing an eclipse actually is. I think I’ll never forget that moment of beauty. We had a full minute and 21 seconds of totality, and it went by so quickly that I’m glad I didn’t waste any of it by attempting to take pictures. I soaked it in with my family, which was what Michael and I both wanted.Michael used this app to time the entire thing, which ended up being great for counting down to it, and for knowing when to put our glasses back on as totality neared its end.
Kaelyn was completely obsessed with the entire experience. We actually rubberbanded her glasses together to keep them on her head, which turned out to be a great idea. She stared and stared in wonder, and I’m glad we were able to give all the girls the chance to see this. Kaya was nervous it was going to get very dark outside, so she was a little hesitant, but it was actually never as dark as we all expected it to be.
We ended the day with some Krispy Kreme “eclipse” donuts!Michael had the best time of all, and he’s so excited about eclipses now that he’s already looking forward to the one in 2024!