Seizing the Solar Eclipse: A Joyful Adventure in Austin with Felicia

Watching the Eclipse April 8, 2024
Watching the Eclipse April 8, 2024 in Austin

Solar Eclipse: An Epic Carpe Diem Experience

Were you one of those people who had been waiting for April 8th, 2024 since 2017? I missed “totality” at the last eclipse and was told by all my friends who’d experienced it that it was “Totality Cool!”

Now, mostly-retired, and the owner of Carpe Diem Day, I was not about to miss the great Solar Eclipse of 2024! I, along with millions, was eager to experience the full totality experience!

Even better than the solar eclipse, was that I was hosted by the most hospitable friend ever, Felicia! Felicia lives in Leander, TX, a suburb of Austin. While other viewers were spending beaucoup bucks on overpriced lodging, I was getting a priceless 5-star spa experience with a generous, fun, welcoming girlfriend!

Felicia serving empanadas to friends and family on National Empanada Day

The celebration started with a delicious lunch for friends and family. Without even knowing that April 8th is National Empanada Day, Felicia served her homemade empanadas! She’s an amazing cook and, obviously, has some kind of super-human powers. She’s like the Greek Goddess Hestia, Goddess of Hearth and Home. (Very appropriate since we’re in H-Weeks. More to come in upcoming H-Weeks blog post!)

Despite cloudy forecast, we see the eclipse throughout the afternoon!
High tech and low tech viewing options!

The forecast had been 80-100% cloud coverage for Austin during the time of the eclipse, so I’d been prepared for a less-than-ideal viewing. As is often the case with these celestial events (or outdoor weddings), clouds or rain can be a major disappointment. As Alanis Morissette would say, “Isn’t it ironic?”

The flip side of that is, “Isn’t it amazing?” when the bad thing you expect, doesn’t happen? Still ironic, I guess, but in a positive way! I already knew that whatever the visibility would be, it would be a fun and memorable experience, but extra-special that the clouds parted throughout the day and during the couple of minutes of totality to give us all that “Wow!!” experience!

Walking & Wildflowers

Felicia and I amongst the bluebonnets

As a long-time student of Happiness, I know that two things that bump up my mood are walking and wildflowers! Add to that gorgeous weather and a good friend, and it’s the recipe for a perfect day!

The bluebonnets were out in full force – such a gorgeous indigo color. We saw them on our hikes in Leander and at Brushy Creek Lake Park.

But the real “Wow” factor with the Wildflowers was another serendipitous experience. When the LBJ Museum happened to be closed for construction, we stumbled upon the most beautiful wildflower drive ever: Willow City Loop!

I really wasn’t able to capture the extent of the beauty with my camera. All I can say is that we were absolutely hitting this beautiful haven at its peak!

Downtown Austin

Outside Austin’s Capital Building

Another one of my goals had been to visit every state capital. Even though this has been a rather dormant goal, my daughter-in-law had told me that I’d love Austin, so I was excited to have the opportunity to explore downtown with Felicia!

There a beautiful riverwalk with scenic bridges, parks, and skyscrapers in the background.

Austin River Walk

I absolutely LOVED the Austin library which seemed more like a museum than a library! There as an Art Gallery and Innovation Lab and even a Gift Shop!

Many “stories” in the Austin Library

There were many stories (I’m talking about floors!) with stairs throughout the building leading up, eventually, to a rooftop garden. Each floor was filled with artsy architecture and colorful designs. I could’ve easily spent the whole day exploring that magnificent library! I felt like a kid in a candy store!

Loved sampling the colorful unusual chairs!

“Keep Austin Weird” is Austin’s unofficial motto which is meant to be a call to support local businesses and indie efforts. The city does have a very unique and artsy charm to it that’s right up my alley.

Felicia’s Hospitality

I met Felicia first, along with Eva and Georgette, through my good friend, Becky. We went on a Bird-Watching microadventure together in 2022.

Felicia has always been one to make me feel so welcome with her genuine warm smiles and openness. She’s such a joy to be around, easily laughing and sharing her stories and wisdom.

Felicia (Goddess of Hearth and Home) has so many decorative touches in her home that I was going around taking pictures of everything from the soap to the vases, to the big, comfortable bed to the outdoor bathtub filled with flowers. Her home could be in any House Beautiful magazine.

But beyond the beauty of her home, Felicia has a gift in how she makes others feel. Her generosity and welcoming smile generate an immediate trust… someone you’d be ready to share your deepest secrets with.

A True Carpe Diem Experience!

Austin State Capital Building

In the end, my journey to witness the solar eclipse and explore Austin with Felicia was nothing short of magical. From the awe-inspiring sight of totality to the charming streets of downtown Austin, every moment was filled with a sense of joy and adventure.

I am deeply grateful to Felicia for her warmth, generosity, and friendship, which made this experience truly unforgettable. As I reflect on this visit, I’m reminded once again of the importance of seizing the day and celebrating the connections we make along the way. Here’s to embracing life’s moments, both big and small, with open arms and grateful hearts. Carpe diem!

Come join the discussion!

Share your own Solar Eclipse experiences or favorite “Carpe Diem” moments in the comments below or on the Carpe Diem Connections Facebook Page!

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3 thoughts on “Seizing the Solar Eclipse: A Joyful Adventure in Austin with Felicia”

  1. So nice to get to re-experience our time together as you touched on all the activities we enjoyed 😊❤️ . Thank you for your kind words. It is easy to host someone who practices happiness and shows delight. I had a great time!

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