23 February, 2008

Huston we have liftoff!!!!

So early on in our trip while we were hanging out and watching TV, boy toy picked up on the fact that there was going to be a shuttle launch during our stay. OH MY GOD. I was trying not to make a big deal out of it, but boy toy seemed to get it into his head that our vacation would not be complete if we missed this. One of our books had a number that you can call to get up to date info on the launch and we called to find out what time the launch was. Lucky for us it was an afternoon launch so we planed a day of it.

On Thursday one of the news stations had a running ticker on what was going on. We were concerned with the weather and before we left the news was reporting a 70% chance that the launch would be postponed. We decided what the hell, there was a wildlife park over by the space center we could always do that if the mission was scrubbed. Did I mention that we brought my TomTom? God I love that thing!!! We ended up at the Astronaut Memorial Plaza in Titusville. There were hundreds of people there. It was right on the water across from Cape Canaveral. Boy toy held down the fort while Spotty and I went to play. I had stuffed a bunch of cars into our backpack and we were looking for a place to drive them. One little girl came over and wanted to play so we gave her a car. You would have thought I was giving away Crack. We suddenly were surrounded by kids all wanting cars and to play. I was a hero to several moms.

And then…it started, they pipe in what’s going on at the control tower and they said “we are a GO” the crowd cheered. You could literally feel the excitement, and when the count down began it was so quiet and then, you heard it. DAMN it is loud and beautiful and awe inspiring. Seeing it on TV just isn’t the same. It is magical. I hope to god I get to see it again. When it was over we spent some time roaming around the park. I spent money to have an envelope postmarked with Cape Canaveral and the date and a Yoda stamp. I am a dork what can I say.

It was mid-afternoon, so we decided to go to the wildlife preserve. They have a driving tour that lets you see what Florida used to look like. Every couple of hundred feet you would see a car or cars pulled over with people taking photographs. We saw tons of birds. They also had areas where you could get out and walk to observatory stations that were equipped with binoculars. Spotty just loved the chance to run around. We spent a good 2 hours meandering about. It was getting dark when we left and Boy toy spotted an enormous alligator, it had to have been about 8 feet not including the tail, and it was about 10 feet from the car, just sat there looking at us. Pretty damn cool if I do say so.