Total Eclipse and Dunkin Doughnuts: Vacation Fun

Yes, last night I let my ten-year-old son stay up past ten to watch the total lunar eclipse together. And okay. We consumed vast quantities of hot chocolate and doughnuts from Dunkin Doughnuts. So there.

My husband has been ill with a bad cold the last few days, even had to stay home from work the other day, so he sat this one out. (I think he was secretly glad that he had such a primo excuse to bow out…!) It’s vacation for my son, so his 8:30 p.m. bedtime didn’t exactly HAVE to be adhered to last night, especially when the whole moon was going to disappear behind the shadow of the earth. How cool is that?!

The thing is that there are a lot of trees around our house, and I just didn’t think we’d get a clear view of the luminous hunk of rock in the night sky. So we bundled up and headed down to our favorite park on the Merrimack river. As we pulled up, we realized that we did have a clear view of the moon, but there were a lot more lights around the park than we remembered. If only we had found a great, dark spot away from it all — but we live in a city. Sigh. So I drove us out of the parking lot and over towards the boathouse. It’s paved. I wasn’t really breaking any laws! And the lights didn’t shine so brightly there.

I parked the car and we saw the start of the eclipse. Then I began to wonder if my son’s enthusiam would last all 78 minutes until the moon was fully covered. Then it hit me. Dunks! Yes, right across the street there was a glowing Dunkin Dougnuts shop. We skuttled inside to get out of the cold. And brrr it was frigid outside. We were surprised to see the place overrun by teenagers. I guess the lady that works there was surprised, too. She said to me, “Do you think all these kids are here because of the eclipse?”

I don’t know about them, but I know we wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for the grand occasion. I’m NOT even going to look up how many Weight Watchers points hot chocolate and a doughnut are, and I do not plan to duplicate the high-caloric outing anytime soon!!

Anyway, we high-tailed it back to our spot across the street. Pretty soon another car pulled up sort of near us. The guy got out and started taking pictures of the moon. Then he drove away. But then he came back a few minutes later. That’s weird, we said. Then we saw him drinking out a Dunks cup!

The thing about the eclipse that was so surprising to my son and me was the orange glow. “How come the moon can still be seen even though the earth’s shadow is supposed to be hiding it?” asked my son.

Dunno, I replied.

Then we spent about a half hour talking about light and reflection and space and the coolness of the whole thing. We guessed, correctly, that the glow of the moon was due to a reflection of light from earth somehow (turns out it was from our atmosphere). Finally, with just a few minutes to go, I dragged my kid outside of the car and hugged him tight as we watched the last sliver of light disappear. The orange ball hung in the air, strange yet familiar.

As I turned to get back in the car, I saw a crowd of teenagers in the parking lot of Dunkin Doughnuts gawking at the sky. Yup. Mystery solved.


5 Responses

  1. That sounds like a great time. I can’t wait for these days, though I am starting to have these moments with my little girl (and her Mom) already.

    We didn’t check out the eclipse, though I wish we did. We were busy watching Doctor Who (my wife and I, my daughter was asleep). Maybe in 2010.

    🙂 for the Dunkin Donuts. We finally had Dunks return to our town after a 8 year hiatus. And, they are located right beside the comic shop!

  2. OOO, Doctor Who sounds fun, though!

    Dunks is great but not great for my new figure 🙂

  3. It’s good to allow for things from time to time.

    I am currently eating a croissant, for example ; )

  4. Your evening sounds great. I tried to see it where we are in Calif., but the cloud cover was to thick. I was going to drag my kids out to if we could’ve seen it.

  5. Ironic that you couldn’t see it in sunny Calif and we could in freezing cold New England! Sorry ya missed it this time!

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