Friday, August 4, 2017

Your Femme au Foyer Great American Eclipse 2017 guide!

We’ve established that the Upstate is THE place to be for the total solar eclipse on August 21st, with 2 minutes and 40 seconds of darkness as the moon blocks out the sun at 2:38pm. We will not experience another total eclipse until 2078 (although in April of 2024 South Carolinians will only have to travel as far north as Indianapolis to experience a total eclipse in the United States)! Hotels in the area have pretty much been sold out for the last couple of months, so if you’ve not already made plans you might be left behind in the… light?

However, for those of you headed to experience the eclipse anywhere between Newport, Oregon to Charleston, SC, here are the top solar eclipse necessities, courtesy of Femme au Foyer.

1. Eclipse glasses. This one is non-negotiable; the danger to your retinas is so real that Greenville County schools have pushed back the first day of school so that the eclipse doesn’t coincide with school pick-up. We ordered ours online, where they can be had for a very reasonable price. Be aware that although adjustable (can be folded smaller or larger to fit various heads), regular glasses might be too big for kids. I found this family pack that has smaller sizes for the boys… (Note, your camera and telescope also need a special filter if you’re planning on looking at or photographing the eclipse with them.)


2. When sending out your party invites or ‘wish you were here’ cards, you’ll want to pick up Total Eclipse of the Sun postmarks. Be ready to splurge an additional 25 cents for the fancy envelope, which blocks the sun from hitting the stamps; you need it because the stamps are heat sensitive. The first U.S. stamp to use thermochromic ink, placing your finger over the black disc on the stamp causes the ink to change from black to clear to reveal an underlying image of the moon (it reverts back once it cools). The photograph that appears on the stamp is from an actual total solar eclipse that was seen over Jalu, Libya in 2006, taken by astrophysicist Fred Espenak who also photographed the full moon visible underneath.

3. Soundtrack. Bonnie Tyler makes the cut with Total Eclipse of the Heart.
Blinded by the Light and Eclipse by Pink Floyd (Dark Side of the Moon) are also on the playlist. However for the 2 minutes and 40 seconds of darkness we’ll be listening to Bruce and Dancing in the Dark. Maybe afterwards we’ll put on Carly Simon’s You’re so Vain; “…you flew your Lear jet up to Nova Scotia to see a total eclipse of the sun.”

4. Refreshments. For your afternoon coffee break, pick up a bag of Total Eclipse from Leopard Forest, coffee roasters located in Travelers Rest. The dark roasted coffee blend of ½ Organically Grown Sumatra, ¼ Rainforest Alliance Certified Brazil & Colombia, and ¼ Farmer-Direct Zimbabwe is an earthy, smoky, wake-up type of coffee according to the Leopard Forest website. Order online or pick up a package at the Forest Coffeehouse, Swamp Rabbit Café & Grocery or one of the dozens of other retailers in SC, NC, TN, VA and KY that carry Leopard Forest. Guaranteed to keep you awake until 2:38pm!


Looking for something other than coffee? Heron Hill has an “Eclipse” red wine out, and FiftyFifty Brewing Company out of CA has an Imperial Eclipse Stout. Or, being as we're in The South, Casey Jones Distillery is offering a Total Eclipse Moonshine….
   
5. Snacks. Astrobake these eclipse cookies for the perfect eclipse treat, although if you’re looking for the easier route there are plenty of store-bought options: Eclipse gum, Sun chips, Moon Pies… 

There are plenty of great articles on finding an Eclipse Party in the Upstate, so if you’re still looking for the perfect place to experience totality, you might want to check out the links I’ve added below. Happy eclipsing!!!


* NASA has partnered with video platform Stream to pull off an unprecedented livestream of the eclipse using a network of 50 high-altitude weather balloons equipped with cameras. Drifting at an average altitude of 100,000 feet, these balloons will offer a view of the August eclipse unlike any other. According to Stream, this livestream event is expected to be viewed by more than 100 million people. Find it here!

* Roper Mountain Science Center’s Eclipse Extravaganza is sold out, however there are still tickets available for the Friday night Eclipse: The Sun Revealed Starry Nights program, and RMSC is selling eclipse glasses in the lobby. The Children’s Museum of the Upstate also has eclipse programming, as does Lake Conestee Nature Park. For a great roundup of the events happening in Greenville and vicinity, check out GVL Today's list of Where to go for the Total Solar Eclipse in the Upstate!

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