Saturday, August 22, 2015

Vacation Day #4

Monday morning was our final official full day in Orlando and we didn't really have any plans. 

Josh and I had talked about going to Lego Land, but then after realizing how much the kids dislike amusement park rides, we scratched that idea. We were sunburned from the day before so going to the beach was not an option. Josh wanted to go to Kennedy Space Center and I thought that was a great idea. This was something educational, but still fun and would take up a big chunk of our day. 

First stop...Shoney's for breakfast. As a child, we always went to Shoney's for breakfast when we were on vacation. Unfortunately, only certain states have them anymore. Fortunately, Florida has them! 

After breakfast, we headed out for the hour drive to Cape Canaveral and the Kennedy Space Center. The only down side to this was that I was not prepared for KSC. I was not aware that a good portion of this was an outdoor thing, so I didn't pack sunscreen, snacks, water, and I had mentally prepared for air conditioning so I had fixed my hair and had a full face of makeup on. All that went out the window!

This was such an interesting trip. It's amazing how human beings were smart enough to create something that can put us into outer space. 

We went into the first exploration building and saw the beginnings of space program.

Outside we saw all of the rockets...

There was a building full of Florida history...

and then we went to hear an actual astronaut's presentation. A female astronaut! I loved hearing her perspective. It was so empowering to hear her point of view and see how she overcame gender inequalities. How cool is that!?

Then we got in line to take the 2 hour bus tour that took us to see the launch pads, crawlers, construction buildings etc. 

We were part of a recreation of the Apollo 8 launch in 1968. Our seats vibrated, the windows shook, a fog filled the was super cool. 

Then we went into a museum of sorts that had so many of the actual artifacts from the space program. It was fascinating to see all these pieces of history. 

We rode the bus back to the main campus to see the Space Shuttle Atlantis exhibit. Holy crud! Amazing. We loved it!

By the end of this, we were exhausted. We hadn't had anything to drink since breakfast and I was getting pretty cranky, so we stopped at the gift shop and got some waters. Thank the Lord. And, as usual, 10 minutes into the drive back to Orlando it started pouring. 

Once back at the hotel, we were done. We were ready to pack up and get back home. Our flight left the next day at 6:25am, so we had to get up at 3am. We were out the door and in the car by 3:18, dropped off the rental car, and checked in. 

I must say, I was very disappointed in the process back. We flew United, which was good going there, but a mess coming back. At 4am, we were at the kiosks with all the other passengers checking in to get our boarding passes and drop off luggage. Not one employee was there to take our bags. Seriously, if you are going to have flights leaving early in the morning, you need to have employees there that early. We waited and waited and I finally grabbed some other airline's employee and she checked my bag. 

Then we got in the security line. Only 1 of 8 lanes were open. We waited for almost an hour in that line!!! An HOUR! Then we got to the terminal and nothing was open for breakfast. Nothing. After waiting for one food place to open, I was able to get a blueberry muffin and a water. Once we boarded the plane, it was so old. It has no power outlets to charge anything, no screens for movies, music, games, nothing. The seat belt just barely buckled over me and it was close to not buckling over Jansen. 

We did fly over a rainbow...

But we made it. We were back in Houston at 7:30am, grabbed my bag fairly quickly, found our car in the garage and hit the road home. Barring some traffic on 59 by Minute Maid Park, we had an uneventful drive home. 

It was a bit of a hectic trip, but looking back on it, it was fun. We learned a lot about our kids. We learned that we are really cruise people. Vacation starts immediately on a cruise. Our kids are not amusement park kids. They actually do better in more "adult" environments. They acted the best at The Palm restaurant and have little old they were not into riding rides. They loved the Kennedy Space Center. Yeah, from now on out, we will cruise. 

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