Cocoa Beach & Shuttle Launch
Trip Start Nov 08, 2008
13Trip End Nov 24, 2008
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The drive to Cocoa Beach was relatively uneventful - we did take one wrong turn right at the beginning, but got back on track right away so off we went to Cocoa Beach. Had to travel through 3 tolls along the way, but the highway was great.
Getting to the hotel was quite easy. The room was great with a little kitchenette and king size bed, so loads of room! Got sorted out, then went for a walk down to the beach which was about 2 min's from the hotel - excellent. Sherry dipped her legs in the Atlantic for the first time ever - fun!! Let me tell you, it was cold. Saw surfers and folks on knee boards enjoying the wave action. It is hot, hot and very humid.
Walked over to the pier and decided to enjoy the sunset with a beverage (or two). We were both hungry so went back to the room, changed and started to walk up North Atlantic Avenue to see what was out there. Lots of places but we settled on a spot close to the hotel - a steak house. Food and service was awesome.
We both knew that the next bunch of days are going to be filled with socializing and activities galore, so decided to have a quiet night and watch an in-room movie around 10pm. It was just perfect and what the doctor ordered.
November 14, 2008
Well after an early night's sleep we got up early so we could fully enjoy the day. Got a text from Bernie around 09:00 indicating they'd be in around 5:00ish. Decided to check e-mail and thought maybe I should check work e-mail (kinda one of those "feelings"). Well good thing cause Jamie & Dana sent a message indicating they didn't have a room for this night (everything was booked due to shuttle launch) so asked to bunk in with us. Of course they could, we had room. They were going to arrive a t 11:30pm in Orlando, then about 01:00 to Cocoa Beach.
We hung out at the beach and walked a fair distance down towards the shuttle launch area. Decided to catch some rays on the walk back and had a snooze on the beach taking in the sounds of the waves and folks having fun!
Hit the pier at around 4:00 thinking it would get pretty busy with the impending shuttle launch at 7:55pm EST, so decided to go and grab a table with a view. Pitchers of beer were only $6.00, so took full advantage of that!! Now, one must keep in mind this is American draft beer, so it's not as potent as Canadian beer. Sherry then noticed a couple people walking into the bar and said to me "hey, we know those guys, they're from YK". Lo and behold it was the Gagnons and Mr. Gould. Yep, 7 YK'ers there to watch the launch as well. They are here for the wedding as well, so we're not overly surprised to see folks, but it's still a bit surreal being this far away.
We noticed this couple looking over our way now and then and the fella finally said, hey, you have some nice tat's. Well, that was all it took, suddenly we were chatting away like we knew each other for years. These two (Paul and Cathy) were just awesome. He actually does a bit of consulting work for the Kennedy Space center so was a wealth of info. We got along marvously and 5 hours went by in no time.
10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1-launch - wow!!! We are so grately we were able to be here to witness this event. Once in a lifetime that's for sure. Were expecting the ground to shake (as we were told) but that didn't happen. We saw the sky light up, then voila a fireball in the sky. The sound wasn't very loud (wind direction) but it was awe inspiring. So glad to have experienced that in our lifetime.
So we thought 9:30, best eat - so hit up the steakhouse again and enjoyed every mouthful. Decided we best get in a couple hours sleep in preparation for Jamie and Dana's impending arrival. Knew they'd be pumped to visit and we actually prepared by buying some fruit and veggies, plus dip, a bit of cheese and beer! Got the call that they were passing the Radisson hotel so gave 'em directions and they were here in 5 min's. It was great to see them both - we were all so excited. Visited until 04:00. Ahhhh...buds!