Day 1: May 8, 2009
It is 3:17 a.m. and I am wide awake!!
Today I travel to Kennedy Space Center in Florida for the shuttle launch on Monday, May 11th. I feel like a kid at Christmas – I really am finally going!
Did I mention, this is my first time to view a shuttle launch? For me, a North Alabama native this is a something I can mark off the proverbial bucket list! As long as I remember, I have followed NASA and its space flight programs. I vividly remember the moon landing in 1969 and Neil Armstrong’s first step.
Also, I recall the following year, the difficulties experienced by Apollo13 and the Herculean effort to return the astronauts back to Earth safely. I just could not understand why the Apollo program ended, but recall when the shuttle was delivered to Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama for testing. My friends and I thought the shuttle was really cool – we even discussed skipping school to have a look at this engineering marvel.
Several years later my husband and I moved to Huntsville. My appreciation for space flight has increased, as I met people that worked in the space program. Perhaps this bit of background will enable you all to understand my enthusiasm.
Joining me to watch this launch is my 19-year-old son, Reed. Reed has just completed his first year of college and is looking for a break from studies before traveling to Ecuador for the summer. He will be sharing his experience as well, but first I have to get to the airport!
The adage if you are going to hell – you have to go through Atlanta in order to get there is true for my travel today too. Reed will be meeting me in Atlanta and we will continue on to Orlando.
I am anxious for Reed and me to meet at the airport. I hope after 9 months of college living he is able to complete all the airport security hoops!
Boarding for Flight to Orlando
Reed and I have been texting – he has made it through security. He wants to know why I am not in line to board the flight!
Trip has been good – so far – Reed tells me he is not feeling too good. We stood in line for a rental car for 1 ½ hours – longer than our flight from Atlanta. Could not help but think about the You Tube video I saw last week – long line at the rental counter and one employee working. We considered hauling out the flip camera and updating the video!
Finally, it is my turn at the counter, I am told my car will be ready in 2 minutes – ended up being 20. We walk over to the rental garage and the car I have been assigned is not there. Another trip to the counter and finally we have transportation!! Wahoo! We are on our way again.
Drive over from Orlando was good – the car seems to be in working order – but those tires need to be aligned!! Reed slept most of the way over. Hope it is just exhaustion from final exams and moving.
Our hotel is nice and service is superb. The front desk tells me there will be a full moon tonight and it is nesting season for sea turtles – cool stuff. However, think we will drive by Kennedy Space Center and look at the Shuttles on the launch pad.
Stay tuned for photos and video as we share our launch experience.