Where Did You View the Great Solar Eclipse?

Eclipse Traffic in Habersham County, GA

Where did you view the great solar eclipse?

Those of us who had the freedom to blow off work or school for the day traveled all around the Great State of Georgia to view the solar eclipse.

If seeing 98% or 99% wasn’t good enough, you had to head north to see the memorable total eclipse of the sun … through a memorable traffic jam.

Fearing horrendous backups on local and statewide roads, I hopped on my motorcycle to face the gridlock, even though I wasn’t going far.

Aimee and Nick Hoecker of Downtown Drafts Fame ~ Photo by Robert Sutherland

Easily rode into Gainesville, parked my bike in a sliver of a parking place and spent the next several wondrous hours with happy strangers on the Square.

My first stop was Downtown Drafts.  Owners Nick and Aimee Hoecker brought craft beer and crafty fun to town with their popular establishment.  After a hearty, delicious, ice-cold root beer, I went to stare at the sun as it was being mooned over America.

The crowd wasn’t too dense and it wasn’t too sparse.  Not being a person who likes crowds, it was perfect.

As everyone should, I did a lap around the Square and visited my favorite shop: Rahab’s Rope, where I could easily and happily spend hundreds of dollars on meaningful and beautiful handcrafted gifts.  Spending your hard-earned cash there is an investment in the fight against the trafficking of women, while you share a gift with someone you cherish.  There is no better place anywhere to purchase items for your home or to grace a friend.

Shades of the Great Solar Eclipse ~ Photograph by Robert Sutherland

While everyone had their eyes on the skies, I took pictures of the exquisite and incredibly rare reflections of the eclipse on the sidewalks.  Beauty is so easily overlooked.

Hundreds of motorists chose to park on packed roadsides, but the Gainesville Square was the perfect place to experience the eclipse … and to have a dandy meal at a sidewalk table at Avocados Restaurant.

No, I am not a fan of avocado dip or whatever.  Burgers, please!  No, I don’t like spinach dip or guacamole either.  I didn’t climb the food chain to eat green goop.  Cheetos?  Sure.  Good thing Avocados has Guy Food on the menu too.

Yes, Avocados should ditch the name, but not change anything else.  At all.

Avocados is a favorite among artists, musicians and locals in the neighborhood.  It’s the perfect place to relax [for] food, a glass of wine, or just a delicious homemade dessert. Our sidewalk tables are perfect for people-watching and enjoying the beautiful Gainesville Square.

Shades of the Great Solar Eclipse ~ Photograph by Robert Sutherland

The fish and chips served by Avocados, with a Diet Coke in a glass so big you need two hands?  Heck, yeah.  It was delicious!

Sadly, not all the tables were taken on the perfect day to dine on Gainesville’s Historic Square.  Shaded by a couple of skimpy city trees, the eclipse was only steps away.  Armed with the correct eclipse glasses, I supped and squinted to my heart’s content.  Shoulder to shoulder with others of every hue, age and size.

At the adjacent table were several beautiful women who were not offended when I asked them not to eat my french fries as I made trips to the street to view the heavenly miracle.  We laughed.  Imagine that?  People getting along?  Heck, yeah.

Please Note:  I paid for my meal and left a tip that made my pleasant server smile.  No one at Avocados asked me to write this story, nor did they have advance notice before I posted it.

The next “once in a lifetime” solar eclipse is only seven years away.  Should I be fortunate to still be riding my motorcycle and living where I love life the most, I hope to see you on the Square, with a chilled root beer in hand and cool companions nearby.

Remind me to buy you lunch at Avocados when we view the Great Solar Eclipse of 2014.

God bless America.

About Author

Robert J. Sutherland is a travel writer enjoying life in Gainesville, GA.
Robert has two adult daughters, seven practically perfect grandchildren and a zippy Kawasaki. Contact Robert at [email protected].

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