Wednesday was spent at the Kennedy Space Center Visitors Center. J & I had been several years before and weren't allowed to go to the Gantry part of the center because there was a shuttle launch scheduled. This time, we were able to go and it was really cool.
They were also redoing the Rocket Garden in the late 90's. It's been redone and I have to say, I always thought the rockets were mock ups at smaller scales. It was cool to find that they were the real things - and shocking because they were so small. I mean, the rocket Alan Shepard rode is down right puny!
We also went to the Mad Science Mission to Mars show. M was able to participate as well as her dad. It was cute.
While we were checking out at the gift shop, I noticed some folks behind me with "DAWN VIP" badges on. I, not being the shy one, asked if they had anything to do with the upcoming launch. Yes, they were payload specialists for the Delta II rocket.
You see, the next day was a launch of an un-manned rocket. Specifically, the Dawn mission will send up probes for two asteroids located in the Asteroid Belt. They won't get there for 8 years.
After we went to KSC, we headed back to the hotel and spent some time on the beach again. This time, we ate dinner at the Sand Bar as it was free chicken wings with the purchase of a pitcher of beer. M had a grill cheese and there some great live music. M loved it so much, she had to tell the musician that she really liked his music. I gave her a dollar so she could tip him. He was really tickled and came up to us to tell us what a great kid we had.
The next day, we woke up early and headed out for the beach again. We got there and it took some time for the launch to go. We thought that it may had been scrubbed, but it wasn't. . .
(sorry it's sideways - still don't know how to operate my camera phone well)
We headed back to the hotel, checked out, and got to Orlando early - so we tried getting on an earlier flight - successfully! M was ready to be home, and so were her parents.