I realised that I keep forgetting to post the photo evidence of my travel. I still keep sorting through thousands (literally) of photos and haven't shown it all to my own family so for now you get the part that matters the most. The rare part. The total eclipse of the sun.
I travelled all the way to the other side of the country and all the way up California to see this:( The eclipse sequence under the cut )
The photos of the total eclipse are so smudgy because just as it happened the sky got covered by clouds and the cold wind from the ocean started to blow. It got so windy we had to catch bottles and filters I had for eclipse watching. I expected something like this, as I remember the semi-dark, sunset-like conditions with wind from my last eclipse when we went to Austria in 1999. The wind wasn't as chill but it was in a mountain valley in Alps in the middle of the day in the middle of the summer. This time it was springtime on Pacific coast (that has cold winds even on normal days as I experienced through the week) so I had a long sleeve shirt over my t-shirt on and hoodie and a rain jacket in my backpack. I spent most of the day and first hour of the eclipse overheating. When totality came it got so cold that I put all the extra clothes on.
This is how it looked like - I almost lost hope I'll get to see the best part:
I managed to see (and take photos) of some of the totality as dense clouds didn't last the whole thing. It never cleared completely but enough for me to take those photos above. It was an annular eclipse so the moon seemed a little smaller then the sun and never covered it completely leaving the 'ring of fire' around the moon. There were moments that clouds were filter enough and you could see this with your bare eyes.
After the maximum when the moon started to move away the skies cleared a little again but soon the dense fog started coming from the ocean and eventually covered everything (that's why the receding photos are so few). By the time I got back to town fog started condensing to drizzle. Nothing like sudden weather change.