Solar and Lunar Eclipses are some of the most fantastic events to observe in the sky. Total solar eclipses because of the geometry involved require traveling great distances to place yourself in the path of totality. Partial solar eclipses are more common, but as Jay Pasachoff, once wrote:
"Some people see a partial eclipse and wonder why others talk so much about a total eclipse. Seeing a partial eclipse and saying that you have seen an eclipse is like standing outside an opera house and saying you have seen the opera; in both cases you have missed the main event. You are missing the main event."
Here is a link to my account of the total eclipse from Curacao in February 1998, it should give a sense of what to expect: Wilson eclipse account. Go here for the most definitve information on eclipses: http://sunearth.gsfc.nasa.gov/eclipse/eclipse.html. Also information is here on the first Transit of Venus since 1882, across the Sun on June 8, 2004, with locations in the United States the ending phases of the transit will be visible at sunrise.
Making audio tapes of people's reactions during total eclipses is something I have done since my first total eclipse experience (July 1991) while in Baja California to see the last great eclipse of the 20th century, where the sun was covered for over 6 minutes. The next eclipse in saros 136 (which produced several eclipses of 7 minutes duration during the 20th Century) series of great eclipses will happen 18 years later, 2009 Jul 22 crossing India, Nepal, China, central Pacific and totality will last 6 minutes and 40 seconds at greatest eclipse.
Total solar eclipses are not common. The next total crossing the United States will occur August 21, 2017. So don't miss it! Or better yet travel to see one. Here is a tour company I recommend. I have traveled with this tour company to see the Peruvian eclipse, the Curacao eclipse, and they are priced very competively. They tend to keep costs low, yet give good service, and are extremely experienced in leading tours to astronomical events.
Partial Solar Eclipse near sunset from Addicks Dam near my home in Houston (Nikon Coolpix 995 and Orion Short tube refractor):
The Moon eclipse on May 15th 2003:
Same Camera and telescope.