Since I grew up close by, and my father was a space junky, we went to every launch, including the first one in 1961. We watched from the top of our car parked on the side of the road, like a ton of other people. Later, there were bleachers set up where we could go and watch without having to pay or having anyone tell us where to sit. It was amazing to be there, to hear the roar, even from so far away, and though I didn’t appreciate at the time that history was being made, I did understand the excitement and happiness my father had at those times, because I shared it. I think that’s why Ray Bradbury is one of my favorite authors. He had a gift for touching that place inside me that dreamed of the stars…
|Ticket booth! Welcome...says the astronaut on top|
|Memorial with our French cousin Isabelle who just had to visit the Space Center|
|The Rocket Garden|
The Space Center now is full of fun things to see and do. My husband said the BEST part is the Shuttle Launch Experience, a simulator. He and a young French friend of ours, Gael, did it and came out exclaiming. Worth the whole visit, they said, so don’t miss it if you go to the center. Otherwise, there is the IMAX theatre, which has two films showing, lunch with an astronaut. I met one while we were there once, The Rocket Garden, the Exploration Space center, the Astronaut Encounter, Hall of Fame, Memorial, Children’s Play Dome, and History of Space Exploration. Then there is the Astronaut Training Experience. Go on! See if you have the “Right Stuff,” during a half day, hands-on training session.
|Gael after his turn in the simulator|
Talk about going from one extreme to another, if you drive north on the island from the Space Center, you’ll end up on Cape Canaveral National Seashore, a barrier island where you can picnic, swim, fish and enjoy the “wild” and natural scenery without condos and hotels to mar the view. The drive is much nicer than going back inland. If you’re lucky you might even see dolphins!
|"Miles from nowhere, guess I'll take my time..."|
|My Dad would have loved fishing here.|
|Though this is a land tortoise, sea turtles do come ashore on this seashore to leave their eggs...|
For more information:
Some images from: