Happy New Year!!
Day 11 (New Years Day) - The three of us got up "fairly" early in the morning and went to breakfast at the resort. We used up the last of our meal plan options and had a good start to our leisurely trek back home. First Stop: Kennedy Space Center.
We arrived at Kennedy's Visitor's Center around 11:30AM, paid for our tickets (ouch), went through security (holy cow) and entered NASA Heaven (at least that is what I call it :) ) I got pins and needles just driving out to it! We purchased "NASA Up Close" tickets that included a tour of the launch pads (extreme close up), landing sites and more. It also included a two day entry and passes to the astronaut museum located down the road (still on property).
Since our two hour tour didn't leave until 1:10, we browsed the Rocket Garden and took in a Mad Science Show about going to Mars. DD was chosen from the crowd to help out and be a part of the show. She had to wear a NASA Flight Suit and ride a small simulator (I'll call it the "rocket chair" for lack of a better description). She had a lot of fun and was very proud to wear the uniform! The show itself was very fast paced, fun for all, and yes, even educational!
The tour was great. I've seen the sites in movies and pictures but nothing can compare to seeing them in person. It's hard to believe people actually were sent into space from there and some died trying. ....Again goose bumps!! I suppose I am a geek at heart -- I love this stuff! Can't wait to see what the program brings us in the future!
As there was just too much to see and do in one day, we decided to get a room at a near by hotel and visit again. On Day 12 we arrived around 10:30AM and went directly to the IMAX Theatre where we saw a movie narrated by Tom Hanks called Magnificent Desolation (A movie about the Apollo Missions and Walking on the Moon) It was fabulous and in 3D.
After the show we hopped back in the car and traveled a few miles to the Astronaut Museum. It is an interactive Museum that has simulation rides and games for people of all ages to experience. DD and DH tried the G Force Simulator that "spun" you so that you can experience what 4 Gs feels like... Not for me :). We all went in the Mars Rover Simulator that simulated what it might be like to ride a vehicle on the surface of the planet Mars - very cool. DD strapped herself into the Moon Walk Simulator - a contraption that is supposed to let you feel like you are 1/6th your weight and walking on the moon. There were other interactive games and such there too but DH and I also really liked the tributes to the astronauts and seeing some actual pieces of the missions to space. In particular, there was an actual Apollo Command Module there - one that went through re-entry. You could see the burn marks created from the heat of re-entry. You could even see where the glass bubbled on the Hatch windows - Unbelievable! It is hard to imagine anyone surviving in there. All in all, a great place to visit. I won't watch another space mission in the same way again, for sure!
We headed back out on the highway around 2:30/3PM and headed North. We did make a couple of quick stops but nothing too major - just dinner and a little shopping :) We are now in Charleston, SC and are looking forward to a day of exploring the area!
...And the adventure continues...