Traveling for Totality

Last week, we took a road trip to see totality. Totally. šŸ˜€

We could have stayed home and seen about 75% coverage of the sun, but since both Hubby and I turned 40 this year and we’ve never seen a total eclipse with our own eyes, we decided to drive. And this was going to be a location “easy” to get to (compared to get to some random island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean…)

And hubby really wanted to see the sun blotted out, at least for a time.

And it was worth it.

We drove up to Nebraska, and on that Monday, we drove west along with a great number of others seeking clear skies to see the eclipse.

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I-80 West

Yes, it was a “veritable river of plastic, steel and glass” said Hubby. And he was right.

We finally found our spot on intersecting dirt roads in the middle of corn fields.

 

It smelled *awful*. Stinky fertilizer. Of course, I think I was the only one that noticed.

It was awe inspiring. I wish I could have gotten a good picture of the eclipse, but I learned that getting a good photograph of the sun was really hard. But the 360′ sunset was quite photogenic. It was dark; you could feel the temp drop. It was eerie.

Our boys are getting good at road trips. Neither are ideal long distance car travelers yet, but at each road trip, they do better than the last one. I thought this blog post was great at expressing our ideas. From a greatly loved camping book, we learned the idea of 3 types of fun. Type 1 fun is stuff that is fun to do and fun to talk about it. Type 2 fun is no fun at the time but fun to talk about later. Type 3 fun is no fun at the time and not fun to talk about it later. We have found that when something is hard, labeling it as “Type 2 fun” is helpful. We can even begin to enjoy the experience at the moment.

And really, even if you have toddlers, it can still work. Maybe the toddler screams for hours or the baby doesn’t sleep. It can still be a good trip, because the toddler/baby isn’t going to remember and think of the stories! “Do you remember that trip where so-and-so refused to sleep at night? Oh, that was rough.”

Plus, the more you travel with the kids, the better everyone gets at it. Kids learn to travel well (or camp well, or hotel well) and parents learn what these specific kids need to do well. So, start young and do it often. It’s worth the work. At least, I think so!

Did you enjoy the solar eclipse? Did you travel? Do you think you’ll travel for the 2024 eclipse? We won’t…. because we are all ready in the path of totality!

Embarrassing moments at Carlsbad Caverns

The Caverns are amazingly beautiful. Even for one like me who really doesn’t like closed spaces. It was a ton of fun and so wonderful to experience the 90% humidity after the dryness of the Guadalupe Mountains.

We had a few embarrassing moments in the caverns, though.

First, while going through The Big Room (which is quite big, for sure), there is one stalagmite that looks :::ahem::: like a boob. Of course, both Hubby and I giggle a bit and attempt to keep walking. Yes, we likely pointed as we giggled. And then it happened. The lady (and her family, I’m guessing husband and daughter) who was just ahead of us turned to us and said something to the effect of, “What’s amazing is that after millions of years, its still firm. No sag at all!” I watched her (supposed) daughter melt inĀ embarrassmentĀ and she attempted to usher nipple lady on. But oh, no, nipple lady continued talking about what this particular stalagmite looked like and how firm it still was. This went on for much longer than either Hubby or I was comfortable with. Actually, the very first comment out of her mouth left us uncomfortable. I’m so glad Little Man isn’t quite old enough to understand any of it.

A bit later, as Little Man reached his limit (nap time!) he began to yell ‘gobble, gobble, gobble!” We have no idea where this work came from, and I don’t think its actually in reference to what a turkey says. And he continued, and when he realized it echoed, he kept going. It felt like he continued with ‘gobble, gobble, gobble’ for 10 or 15 minutes. It was likely more like 5 minutes. Hubby spoke in my ear, “type 2 fun”. Not long after, he feel asleep. I had him wrapped on my back and it was the greatest thing ever to have hi fall asleep on my back.

walking down into the caverns

walking down into the caverns

I guess I should explain ‘type 2 fun’. We found a book “The Ultimate Hiker’s Gear Guide” (a gear guide for the ultimate hiker, that is), and the author explains his system for classifying fun. Type 1 fun is fun at the time and fun to talk about later. Type 2 fun isn’t so fun at the time, but is a ton of fun to talk about later. Type 3 fun isn’t fun at the moment, nor is it fun to talk about later.

Have you had any type 2 fun lately? And any embarrassing moments?