Lunar eclipse happenings

NASA photo of a lunar eclipse June 15, 2011. (Photo courtesy of NASA)

NASA photo of a lunar eclipse June 15, 2011. (Photo courtesy of NASA)

Look up the night of Jan 20 into morning of Jan 21. You won’t need a telescope or special glasses. It’s a “Supermoon,” “Wolfmoon,” “Bloodmoon. Ooh, it’s disappearing.

 

Eclipse Times

About midnight, CT, the full moon will have fully moved in its orbit between the earth and the sun. so it won’t be reflecting the sun’s rays. The total eclipse will last a long time – an hour.

The Adler Planetarium site lists Central Times for when it begins and happens as partial eclipse starting at 9:34 pm, and total eclipse from 10:41 to 11:43 pm, Jan. 20. Then watch as the moon emerges from behind the earth Jan.l 21.

In Universal Time the eclipse will last almost 3½ hours from the beginning of the partial phase at 3:34 UT until it ends at 6:51 UT. Totality lasts 63 minutes, from 4:41 to 5:44 UT.

 

Moon Names

So why “Supermoon?” “The moon’s orbit is not a perfect circle,” said Adler Director of Public Observing Michelle Nichols. “Sometimes it is closer to earth so it looks larger,” Nichols said. She noted that the closest it will come near the eclipse will be during the day of Jan. 21 at 1:59 p.m. She calls the appearance of the rising moon seeming to loom large, “an optical illusion.”

She suggested viewers use the thumb test. “Put an arm straight out and cover the moon with your thumb. Then, do it again later when the moon is over head. It will be the same size.”

“Bloodmoon” is a term describing the moon’s color during total eclipse. “Sometimes it looks brick red, sometimes grayish. The sunlight is reflecting at the edge of the earth. The earth has blotted out the blue of the sun so sometimes it could be reddish sometimes grayish. It also depends on how dusty the earth’s atmosphere is,” Nichols said.

“Wolfmoon” is a term for the first full moon of the year, acquired over the years similar to Harvest Moon and Hunter Moon. It also has other names such as Ice Moon according to Time and Date

which explains that people often named the full moons according to the seasons and the phenomena they associated with its time of year.

 

Where to Watch

View outside your abode. See it happening inside on a live stream at Time and Date Live which will be streaming the event on its site.

But to appreciate and enjoy the lunar eclipse with astronomers go over to the Adler for “Lunapalooza.”  The outside observing part is free. Inside events, adults $12, children $8 (members free) include seeing the new Adler show “Imagine the Moon” which charts how people considered the moon over the centuries. Lunar eclipse

 

More Sky and Eclipse Information

These sites have charts, photos and lots of good astronomy information: Time and Date, Earth and Sky, Sky and Telescope and Space.

 

 

 

Chicago hosts two good travel-related shows

Chicago Boat Show at McCormick Place (Photo courtesy of Chicago Boat Show)

Chicago Boat Show at McCormick Place (Photo courtesy of Chicago Boat Show)

Time to start thinking about leisure time, outdoor sports and the next vacation. To get ideas or just enjoy the fun parts of two, get-out-and-do-something shows, check out the The Chicago Boat, RV & Sail Show that takes over McCormick Place’s South building Jan. 9 through Jan. 13 and the Chicago Travel and Adventure Show that moves into  the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont Jan. 12-13, 2019. They both will likely have you drooling, wishing or planning.

 

Chicago Boat, RV & Sail Show™ is not just about walking around and admiring boats or having “inchitis” to move up to a larger craft. See the seminars available to learn more about what you are already doing or hope to do.

If you stop by sponsor Progressive’s  Boat Club that is working with the Annapolis School of Seamanship you may get some tips on docking techniques (docking pool) and you can experience a Virtual Reality boating session.

As to the travel aspect, Corona will be encouraging visitors to “Find their Beach) at its Beach Bar & Cantina to put you in a boating frame of mind.

Then there is a booth to test your boating skills (A429) and a Build-a-Boat at Chicago Maritime Arts Center’s section for youngsters and adults. Or let the kids (age 12 and younger) fish for free at Huck’s Pond.

Paddle board enthusiasts or wannabees can see demos and get how-to instruction while sailboat racing aficionados and hopefuls can try remote control sailboat racing or take a free sailing lesson with a simulator.

For those visitors who envision traveling now that they are retired or want to  travel with their possessions, there is the RV Info Center with models and experts to fit all needs.

DETAILS: McCormick Place South, 2301 S Lake Shore Drive Chicago IL 60616., Jan. 9-13, 2019. Admission is free to age 12 and younger and $15 age 13 and older but save $2 by purchasing tickets online in advance through Jan,. 8. Senior Day is Jan. 9 to pay $10 for ages 62 and older. For hours, other information and tickets visit Chicago Boat Show.

Find out about the places you have only dreamed of visiting. Photo courtesy of Travel and Adventure Show)

Find out about the places you have only dreamed of visiting. Photo courtesy of Travel and Adventure Show)

 

The Chicago Travel and Adventure Show is a chance to hear about vacation destinations from Africa, Asia and Australia to closer to home adventures in North, Central and South America.

Visit and chat with exhibitors, hear travel experts and sit in on travel seminars. Some of the fun things to do are take SCUBA lessons in a dive pool and take a camel ride, really!

There will also be a trip door prize and giveaways from many booths.

DETAILS: Chicago Travel and Adventure Show is at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center’s Hall F, 5555 N. River rd., Rosemont, IL 6001 Jan. 12-13, 2019.. Tickets are $15 for one day, $22 two days  to ages 17 and older and free to children age 16 and younger. Tickets are available at a discount on line for a limited time. For hours and tickets visit Travel and Adventure Show.

 

 

 

 

Take a Palm Springs escape back in time

Frank Sinatra House, Palm Springs (Jake Holt photo)

Frank Sinatra House, Palm Springs (Jake Holt photo)

 

It’s not too late to get tickets for An Afternoon of Jazz at the Modernist Loretta Young Estate  or a architectural Bus Tour of Palm Springs neighborhoods where such stars as Dinah Shore and Frank Sinatra and his Rat Pack took refuge from Hollywood or hob nob with VIPs at Palm Springs Modern Committee Annual Gala Benefit  at the Lawrence Welk Estate or see designer Christopher Kennedy’s renovation of the  Modernism Week Featured Home: La Vie en Rose  a 1958 home in posh Vista Las Palmas that backs up to the San Jacinto mountains.

You get the gist of this escape. It’s a trip back to mid last century architecture and homes of famous people who wanted to be within a director’s calling distance of LA studios or not too far from Las Vegas stages.

A mere 119 miles southeast of Los Angeles and about 230 miles from Las Vegas, Palm Springs, CA sits on the always sunny (more than 350 days) western edge of Coachella Valley in the Colorado Desert. The events just mentions are a few of the dozens of tours and activities taking place in and around Palm Springs during the town’s annual Modernism Week, Feb. 14-24, 2019.

The bonus is two, really good shows in the Palm Springs Convention Center. Feb. 15-18, 2019. One is the high-end, Art Palm Springs. The other is a dealers’ Modernism exhibit. Feb. 15-18.

The week, actually 10 days, celebrates the area’s reputation for having more mid-last century homes than anywhere else in the world. Here, old homes are not torn down but are instead, preserved for people who appreciate mid-1900s designs. Indeed, the National Trust for Historic Preservation put the area on its America’s Dozen Distinctive Destinations architecture list in 2006.

Modernism Week happens twice a year, October and February. The fall event is small but the February one runs out of tickets to some of the popular tours and lectures. Check Tickets to see what is left and snap them up before you go.

 

Bus tour of Palm Springs (David A. Lee photo)

Bus tour of Palm Springs (David A. Lee photo)

 

Do a bus tour

Definitely get tickets for the Premier Double Decker Architectural Bus Tour. Taking  about 2.5 hours, the bus drives around Mid-Century Modern neighborhoods, and past Desert Spanish estates.

Knowledgeable guides tell stories about the stars and are likely to explain that the Palm Springs area was chosen because of what was then the studios’ “two-hour rule.” Actors had to be available within a couple of hour’s driving time for film and photo shoot calls..

It’s where tour guides have been known to say, “There is Frank Sinatra’s home, Twin Palms. When he was ready to party he hoisted a Jack Daniels flag between the palms.”

Mid-century architecture is so valued that the much photographed  gas station at the foot of the area’s Tram, is on the tour as a re-purposed Visitors Center.

Presidents Dwight Eisenhower and Barack Obama have gotten away from cameras here but it is also a resort and golf area for folks who like its year-round summery weather.

 

Go to the Convention Center shows

At the Modernism Show, wander around the booths of dealers who specialize in 20th century design movements to see furniture and accessories similar to what your parents or grandparents cherished that are now back in style.

At the Art Palm Springs show check out the post war and contemporary art works.

 

Shop, Visit Galleries, Relax

There is so much to do during Modernism Week, that you should schedule in down-time. Stay awhile to explore the area, shop the boutiques and art galleries. One of the best galleries is Heather James in neighboring Palm Desert. Oh, and get in some golf and spa time. The Greater Palm SpringsVisitors Bureau has lots of ideas.

 

 

 

Travel tips during the holiday season

 

First, the hard to believe news.

You don’t need half the stuff in your closet and drawers. Emulate travel writers.

On a recent trip to South Padre Island, none of the four of us travel writers had more than a roller board carry-on plus handbag.

The spinner (four turning wheels at the base) is best for easy walking and the handbag strap fits easily over the suitcase’s pop-up handle so you are basically hands free.

Ladies, you probably, strongly disagree but you don’t need to travel with six pairs of shoes. Pare down to a pair of walking/running shoes, a casual pair of sandals and a dressy pair of shoes/sandals.

The carry-ons out nowadays are roomier than you think and they look. There is room for a hanging bag which means you will already have the tops/dresses you like on hangers, ready to hang in the closet when you get there. If you carefully fit at least two tops inside each other they don’t wrinkle as much and you can fit six tops that way into the hanging bag.

Fit makeup (or shaving kit) and underwear on the bottom of the case between the wheel bars, shoes on either side with and then fold the hanging bag with its hangers on top. Really, try again. It does fit.

If not TSA approved, put liquids in the outside zipper compartment for easy access going through airports.  You should be TSA approved. If not, apply. You won’t have to take out liquids from your suitcase.

Don’t forget sunscreen. No matter where you’re going you will be outside sometime. Also, pack or wear a hat. Skin cancer is real.

spinner carry-on, hanging bag and cell-phone wallet on a strap. (J Jacobs photo)

spinner carry-on, hanging bag and cell-phone wallet on a strap. (J Jacobs photo)

Now, for the easy stuff you think you know but often forget. You likely have a smart phone with everyone’s info on it but have you left your itinerary with contact information with friends, neighbors and family back home?

I know people whose basements have flooded when the electricity went off and the sump pump stopped working and people who have had a tree topple on the roof from wind or heavy, icy snow.

Now the handbag/ briefcase know-how.

Make a copy of your driver’s license and or passport. Also make copies of your credit card info and phone numbers to call. Keep it in a zippered compartment attached to your handbag/briefcase, not in a separate wallet that could easily be slipped out.

Wallets are taken out of pockets and purses more often than you may think. The time spent doing this is well worth the time. Even if you don’t need any of that this time you might need it back home because holiday shopping season is also pick-pocket/purse season.

Two examples: In Prague, the American Embassy has a stolen-wallet desk and there are warning signs on public transportation. In Chicago, a friend just had her wallet stolen downtown.

It doesn’t hurt to be old-fashioned and wear a money pouch/belt. It used to be common for travels outside the US but it is still a way to safeguard foreign and US currency.

Or be new-fashioned. Look for a Bandolier or Goldno cell-phone wallet on a strap. I wear one whenever I go downtown Chicago. My buss and train pass fit as do a credit  and and couple of dollars.

And guys, you may think your back pockets are so tight a thief can’t access your wallet. Wrong. They are adept at bumping people in crowds and often work with an accomplice.

Because you’re smart and do only carry-ons you shouldn’t have to worry about what happens if your luggage is lost. But if you do check luggage through, put an extra pair of underwear/shirt and small make-up, sewing/ shaving kit into your handbag-briefcase.

 

If you have a tip to share, please put it in comments. Travel tips are welcome.

Have fun and travel wisely.

Jodie

 

 

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