Monday, August 3, 2009

The Sixth Time is the Charm

One of the exciting things about being in Florida during this time was that we would get to see a space shuttle launch. We were actually staying in Titusville which is basically home to Kennedy Space Center and the launch sites.

Before we came, the launch had been scrubbed two or three times already, mainly due to weather conditions. Gavin and I arrived the day before the fourth attempt, excited that we were going to see the launch the next day at a house of one of D.'s Florida co-workers. Before we headed over there, we ate at a seafood restaurant which had these shrimp I had never heard of - rock shrimp. They are supposed to be a sweeter variety of shrimp.

To be honest, I didn't think they had much flavor and were more work because I had to peel the back shell off. But, at least we had a pirate obligingly take a picture with us.

We arrived at the waterfront house with a rocket shirt-wearing Gavin.

At this point it didn't look very promising that the launch would take place this day either because of the dark clouds over the sky. Apparently, there can't be any bad weather within 20 miles of the launch site.

About twenty minutes before final countdown, the launched was indeed scrubbed, but we had a good time talking with our very nice hosts and we saw manatees and dolphins swimming by their pier.

The next launch was scheduled for the day of our anniversary. I picked D. up from work and we headed out to the Lobster Shanty. Despite its name, it's a really nice restaurant by beach standards. However, we were in a little bit of a predicament because by the time we were seated, we did not have enough time really enjoy a three course meal with an impending launch. Needless to say, we apologized to our waiter, packed up our belongings and went on a hunt for some place to get in and out of in fifteen minutes. What did we behold, Wendy's! Neither of us were really excited about it. Gavin could care less, but we were able to eat and get out of there in time to hear that the launch had been scrubbed again.

To make up for some disappointment (although being together on our anniversary was what mattered most) we had fabulous desserts at the Caffe Chocolat.

This is a nice photo of D. and Gavin.

If you're still with me, we decided to view the launch two days later on a pier across the water from the launch site. I can say that it was definitely worth the wait. I'm just amazed at the bravery of the men and women who put their lives at stake for the name of science.

I like this photo D. took of Gavin and I while waiting for the shuttle to launch.

Oh, and we did end up going back to the Lobster Shanty several days later. It was as good as we thought. Plus we were rewarded with several dolphin sitings! I thought their fins sticking out looked just like a shark's fin. You may have to click on the picture to get a better view.

And the day we were flying out of Florida, Gavin and I were able to witness the shuttle landing from across the water. It was nearly as neat as seeing it take off. Prior to viewing it, we heard to very loud noises as the shuttle crossed the sound barrier. D. even said it shook the windows of his office building. Unfortunately, I don't have pictures, but I do have the memories.

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