The Kennedy Space Centre was today's designated highlight. First up though, was breakfast which was simple but decent. La Quinta provided hot food, and had enough other options to keep everyone happy. We called Cocoa Beach Shuttles to confirm our pick up time. It was fortunate that we did, as they had decided to change it to 845 (originally 800) without informing us! We made the new pick up time 830 with much unhappiness on their part. The transfer took longer than expected. We didn't arrive at the Kennedy Space Centre until 915, and then still had to line up to buy tickets and go through security. If you've been following my blog, you would have noticed that I'm a "first person to be there" kind of girl! So...majorly not happy Jan. To make matters worse, our driver was not particularly friendly. He kept avoiding the topic of pick up at the end of the day. We discovered that he was trying to weasel out of the pick up job as he didn't want to have to "deal with children"! Boo to him!!!
La Quinta Inn
We allocated the role of group leader to Simon. Simon said...go to the Rocket garden. Simon said...we have some time to spare for the playground. We didn't know that we would later visit this same playground at least another 3 times throughout the day. Simon said...it's time to go on the bus tour. It was so easy! The bus tour was included in the price of admission. We were first taken to the LC 39 Observations Gantry. LC stands for Launch Complex, and the observation station gives you a view of the 2 shuttle launch pads...A and B! En route, we also saw the massive Vehicle Assembly Building where the shuttles are prepared for the next launch.
Emma, the new girl on the block. You can tell they have Asian heritage by their wonderful ability to squat. Oh and Lara's shoes...$6!!!
The Apollo/Saturn V Center was the second stop. A tribute to the Apollo moon missions was housed in a huge facility featuring a real Saturn V rocket. The boys were in heaven as was I. Touching a "moon rock" was a highlight. I could have stayed there for hours, although, I think I've said that for every museum I've visited so far! A bonus of the bus tours was the sight of the local fauna in abundance. We saw birds, alligators and a HUGE eagle's nest the size of a King size bed. Back at the main complex, we had a relaxing lunch while we waited to watch Imax Space Station 3D. And then we prepared ourselves for the Shuttle Launch Experience, a ride simulate the sights, sounds and sensations of a real Space Shuttle launch. During the ride, I could feel the fat pads of my cheeks vibrating! And I'm not that fat...
As we had resident Trekkies, we thought we'd go to Star Trek Live. It was a 30-minute interactive show that features live actors, special effects, a Star Trek-themed story, modern-day science and audience participation. We were Starfleet's best and brightest cadets, assembled for our first day at the Academy. As we were introduced to the Academy, the Earth itself comes under attack from a renegade Romulan, who was demanding “the core”. The core turned out to be one of the cadets, who would become a pioneering leader in the future and change the world. We then helped destroy the Romulan ship and saved the world! It turned out that the show could have also been called the Bahari Group show! All three chosen to participate were from our group! We had Simon the weight lifter, Andrew the sharp shooter and... Elliot the core! He was so chuffed to be the star of the show. We picked up our free photo and indulged in some ice-cream for afternoon tea. We were decided to give “Meet an Astronaut” a miss and watch Imax Hubble 3d instead. It was simple but amazingly breath taking, a nice way to end our day at the Kennedy Space Center.
We were relieved to find that our disgruntled driver arrived after all, and arrived on time. He dropped us all off at Fish Lips, where again, we just ate way too much! The food was good and it was exciting to watch other cruise ships set sail, knowing that it would be our turn tomorrow! We shuttled of 6 into the first taxi and then squeezed 12 into a taxi van! It was time to get ready for the next leg of our journey, the Panama Canal cruise! YIPPEE!