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Once Upon a Blue Moon

The day of January 30th ended for me at 9pm with the end of a weekly meeting, and while it wasn’t cold, I was quick to make my way back to my dorm, finish up any homework, jump in the shower, brush my teeth, and be in bed under the covers phone off, and counting sheep by 10pm. This was the earliest I had gone to bed the entire month of January. Why? Because seven of my friends and I were heading out at 3am to Griffith Park to watch the Super Blue Blood Moon. Despite my best efforts and falling asleep rather quickly, I woke up at 11 and did not go back to sleep until the whole adventure was over the next day at 9am. It seems that my roommate, Karli, and I, as well as more than half our friends, were just too excited to sleep.

For the first time in forever, we left campus at the predetermined time of 3 am and while Malibu was silent the liveliest music was blasting through the car’s speakers as we drove through the canyon and down the 101 all by ourselves except for the big rigs and occasional Ubers we saw. I don’t know how any of us were so energetic; singing along to the music accompanied with restricted dance moves and selfies As time went on and we grew closer to our destination we all tried to look for the moon at 70 mph through tiny windows.

The first half of our group made it to Griffith about half an hour before us, and warned us that there was a line bigger than any of us had expected. At the sight of cars already turning back and having to find parking all the way at the bottom, my half of the group decided to suck it up and park at the bottom before we waited who knows how long and end up without a spot. Then came the dreaded climb, but to our surprise the hike up to the observatory was nothing; no panting, no achy thighs, no burning throats. It would seem that Pepperdine, or ‘Stepperdine’, had prepared us more than we realized. In fact the hike would have probably gone faster if I wasn’t constantly stopped by the stunning view of all of LA.

This was the first time I had seen the Griffith Observatory, if it was mesmerizing at 4am, I can’t imagine how spectacular it is during the day. There were people everywhere and for a moment I was worried that my friends and I wouldn’t find a spot big enough for all of us to sit together, but I was pleasantly surprised and we were able to spread out our blankets and huddle up all together some sitting, some laying on each other as we looked up with excitement into the sky and watched the moon begin to disappear bit-by-bit.

Now I’m no astronomer, so when more than half the moon was covered in a shadow and I didn’t see a shade of red at all, I was a little concerned that something had gone wrong and it would only be a Super Blue Moon. It was only minutes later, however, that the bright white moon began to darken and shine red blowing my mind. The color only grew stronger and when totality was reached there wasn’t a speck of white left and applause filled the air. We stayed until after the maximum eclipse to trek back down to our car and we all agreed to help ourselves to some early morning breakfast.

If you want to stay awake then you need company and karaoke and that’s what we did driving down a basically deserted Sunset Blvd until we made it to Ihop. This time my half of the group was the first to arrive and by the time the rest of the crew arrived I was clutching a massive cup of whipped cream topped hot chocolate. There was far more conversation than I expected of 8 sleep deprived, hungry college students, but we were content with each other’s company and that’s all you can really hope for I guess; to have people in your life that you know will be down for adventures at any hour.

After sleepily eating our array of breakfast items and bolting through the suddenly cold air outside back to our cars the journey home was punctuated with the usual LA morning traffic, singing, and sleeping until we finally arrived back the sunlit campus and dove into bed.

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