Kevin and I traveled to Nashville, TN to see the total solar eclipse. We found a nice spot in Centennial Park with a great view of the Parthenon and spent a nice day staring at the sky.
Our adventure started a few days before the eclipse with our hotel calling and telling us it was overbooked and we’d lost the room we booked months in advance. They tried to move us to a new hotel with a room nearly 3x what we’d originally booked for, but Kevin got on the phone and straightened them out. We were able to get a hotel for the same price in the same area of Smyrna where we’d originally booked, so in the end it wasn’t a big hassle.
Kevin and I had been in Evansville, IN for the weekend for a wedding, so we drove to Nashville on Sunday afternoon. There wasn’t any eclipse traffic for us, luckily. We did a last-minute Wal-Mart run Sunday night for sunscreen, picnic blankets, snacks, and a Sun Shelter that was a last-minute buy and was totally worth it.
On Monday morning, we were ready to leave the hotel by 10:30. That put us at Centennial Park at just the right time, not so early that we’d have to sit around in the sun too long and not so late that we couldn’t find a parking spot (though admittedly it was a make-shift parking spot in the grass, sorry parks department!).
We then ended up walking a lap around nearly the entire park. We went from our parking spot to a drug store on the opposite corner of the park because we’d forgotten bug spray. Then we walked to another corner of the park for Subway for our picnic lunch. Then we went back to our car to gather our stuff and walk, yet again, around the Parthenon to set up camp. It was a well-earned day of just sitting around staring at the sky.
The sun shelter was a little difficult to set up, but after a while we got the hang of it and got ourselves settled. Since we brought our own shade, we were free to set up in the middle of the field instead of trying to crowd around the trees like everyone else. We were just in time for the eclipse to start. Now all that was left to do was to wait, and intermittently stick our heads out from the shade and take a glance at the eclipse.
A few minutes before the total eclipse, the crowd around us started cheering and chanting “Moon! Moon! Moon!” The crickets started their evening song, the air got cooler, and somewhere behind us tribal drums played. When the final bit of orange disappeared, we whipped off our glasses for two minutes of watching the moon surrounded by the corona of light. Around us was twilight darkness, the Parthenon lit up and what looked like a sunset behind it.
Two minutes came too soon, and the world lit back up like a sunrise. It didn’t take long for people to pack up and leave. They’d seen this part of the eclipse, after all. But Kevin and I stayed for half an hour or so longer, looking back up from time to time to watch the moon pass the sun and listening to people play the bag pipes.
Getting out of Nashville wasn’t too difficult for us because all the traffic was going south while we were going east. By the time we stopped for gas outside of Smyrna and Kevin checked on the moon’s progress, the eclipse had passed and the sun was fully shining.
And now Kevin says he has hidden my eclipse glasses somewhere in my car. Let’s hope I find them by the time I need them again!
Where did you watch the solar eclipse? Let me know in the comments!
This post contains affiliate links.