Welcome back to the Italian Guest for another post! Can’t wait to share with you some of the highlights of the last two weeks! My girlfriend @ninamclernon and I headed to Carbondale, a small college town in Southern Illinois that would experience totality, the moment when the moon gobbled up the sun, for longer than nearly any other place in the country. This was totality, an event that had not happened in the continental United States since 1979 and had not traversed such a broad swath of the country in nearly a century.
Saturday was a special day: in the morning we found a little kitten at my girlfriend’s mum’s house. She was so little and skinny.
We gave her food and water and decided to keep her. Giving her a name was the second step; we had few ideas but nothing sounded right till the moment I looked at her paws: four cute white little paws and neck. That’s where I had the idea: Bianca ( in Italian means white) and Eclisse, the middle name, because we found her during the Eclipse. What do you think? Do you like her name?
We stopped at lunch at Fat Patties. They have a great selection of burgers with local meat and beers.
I had a cheeseburger with bison meat; first time trying this meat! It has an extra flavour and it’s really tasty.
In the afternoon we checked out a village called Makanda.
Present day Makanda has become an affordable place for artists from Southern Illinois University and the surrounding areas to create and display their work downtown on the boardwalk. Makanda is a small, thriving community and home to the Vulture Fest held the third weekend in October. The Vulture Fest features food, live music, and art. Credits: http://www.villageofmakanda.com/
It looks like a hippie town where everybody knows each other for how tiny it is. We spent some time here eating some ice cream and listening to a little concert in a unusual garden where local artisans expose their works.
On Sunday we met up with our friend @fizkhalifah for brunch at Harbaugh’s Cafe, considered a Carbondale’s landmark. Nestled at the gateway to the Strip and just a stone’s throw from the Southern Illinois University campus, it is the place where city and students come to eat something good and local.
We had to wait 30 minutes more or less before being served. The Eclipse Day was getting closer ( it was on Monday) and more and more people were coming to town to watch the event. The atmosphere inside the restaurant is so colorful and inviting. I had a big pancake with blueberries and bacon as a side. They’re always one of my favourite things on the menu to order at brunch, so good! You get a lot of food for the price and the service is really good. Loved Harbaugh’s Cafe! Can’t wait to go back next time I’m in Carbondale.
Later on during the afternoon we went to the science expo.
Even NASA came to town to see the sun blotted out! Definitely a hotbed of activity for scientists from NASA and other places. The total solar eclipse offered a marvelous opportunity for astronomers and other scientists to study the Earth’s intimate relationship with the sun.
The once-in-a-lifetime event took place on Monday, Aug. 21.
We came prepared with glasses, safety first!
And then it began: eyes kept on the sky, glasses on and waiting for it…
Darkness briefly reigned the sky and the summer air caught a quick chill; some stars even appeared in the near-night sky. It was beautiful, yet comfortingly familiar feeling. From hearing the gasps and cheers, I think many others were similarly struck by this lifetime event. As the sky began to darken and turn a luminescent shade of gray a flock of confused sparrows began to call out. We saw it for 2 minutes more or less but it was amazing!!
And, of course, eclipse theme sweets couldn’t miss!
Strangely enough, the path of totality for the next solar eclipse across America, in April 2024, also will pass through Carbondale!!
Hope you liked the post and see you to the next one!