May 17, 2010

All Good Things...

... come to an end. And so is the shuttle program at NASA.

Reagan and I saw a shuttle launch several years ago when we were in Florida for our wedding anniversary. We've always wanted to see another. Not long ago, Reagan found out that NASA is retiring the shuttle program, so he thought we'd try to catch one of the last launches. Problem is, the only people we know in Florida that we can stay with are these guys.

We begged and pleaded with them to let us sleep in their guest room so that we could be near Kennedy Space Center for the launch we hoped to see. Of course, once they heard we were going to do something so fun, they HAD to tag along. So, Friday morning we loaded up a cooler full of Diet Coke and turkey sandwiches and drove over to nearby Titusville. It's about as close to Kennedy as you can get without being onsite.

Turns out, we weren't the only one who thought it would be a great idea to see one of the last launches on this day. The town was full.

Nicki watched the news Thursday night and traffic was predicted to be so bad, we were counting on a 3-4 hour drive back to their house after the launch. The drive normally takes about 45 minutes.

We walked around trying to find a good spot to set up our umbrellas. There were no good spots left. All the people who had camped out the night before and arrived earlier in the day had all the good spots. So we set up our spot in a parking lot behind these folks.

Here we are with out "beach" umbrella securely attached to our stroller.

There's some crazy guy in the background who always tries to hop into our photos. I'm also wearing my 40th anniversary NAPA hat. Nicki kept saying I thought it said NASA.

It was very hot. Good thing we brought a little gatorade along with that cooler of Diet Coke. Somebody was happy to get some hydration.

Sara Madalin was very excited about seeing her first shuttle launch. Actually, she was excited to get out of that stroller.

And it was all worth it to see the look on her face when she saw the shuttle rising in the sky.

Then, in less than 3 minutes after lift off, there was a mass exodus. Hate that this will be the last time we'll get to witness a launch.

After all the excitement of the morning, we came home for a dip in the pool. SM kick, kick, kicked. It was a great end to an exciting day.

Here's a little video Reagan took during the launch. It's not quite the same as being there, but you'll get the idea of the excitement in the air as space shuttle Atlantis launched for the last time.


Casey said...

Wow, what an amazing day! I can't believe they are retiring the shuttle. How fun you got to see it!

K Storm said...

That's cool!

Katie (and Tony) said...

We were at the space center and you saw more than I did! I am so glad a fun time was had by all despite the heat...on asphalt, no less. How long did it end up taking you to get back to the house?

Laura said...

Great post! So apparently, I've been living under a rock and had no idea that there would be no more shuttle launches. And living under that rock would lead to this question: So how the heck are we gonna get in space now?