Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Kennedy Space Center Day 2 and Driving Home

We woke up to a beautiful, although somewhat windy and chilly morning on Friday. The weather had actually been upgraded for the day and the chance of launch was at 70% go. We were excited it seemed today was finally the day. What else could go wrong? Well a leak in the GUCP(ground umbilical carrier plate) quickly gave us an answer to that question. While tanking(fueling of the large tank) the leak was discovered and just on a whim on our drive to the space center I checked my phone and discovered the leak. At that point they had not scrubbed it yet they were evaluating their options. We had a pit in our stomach as we pulled into the parking lot and the pit got a little bigger when I saw word that the launch was scrubbed for the day. Our last chance, we had to head home, we couldn't stay. I honestly felt like crying, I think I had tears in my eyes on several occasions throughout the morning. The boys took it great, they were just excited to be at the space center again and get to play. As Carl said sometimes ignorance really is bliss, they really didn't understand what a cool thing it is to see a launch, especially since there are not many left and how some people have tried for a lifetime to see it and never have. We were crushed. We decided to go into the space center anyway just to let the kids play and look around one last time. They had everything set up for launch. The screens were out with images of the shuttle on the pad, vendors were there selling food, signs were posted in the areas where viewing would be the best. In a way it was kind of cool to see all that stuff and know what it will look like on launch day but bittersweet as we knew we would not be there to see it. The kids had fun playing on the slides and play equipment again. We also, at Gabe's request went back to the rocket garden and looked around. Today they had this astronaut walking around taking pictures with people. Gabe almost knocked him over running up to him and grabbing his leg...whoops. Gabe also wanted to ride the shuttle launch experience again so this time Carl stayed with Ty and Callie and I took Gabe on the simulator. He loved it again and grinned from ear to ear the whole time. We took one last opportunity to try and get a picture of the kids in front of the space shuttle at the visitor complex. We then decided we better start for home it was going to be a long drive. We got situated in the car and started heading north. We did have to make one quick stop before leaving the area to snap this picture though. We had been meaning to do it while we were there the whole week but finally decided this was it. After the sign picture we were on the road again. We had packed lunches to take with us to the launch so just ate them in the car instead. The kids did great again and rode really well. We got into Georgia and decided that we wanted to stop at a pecan and peach place we had seen signs for on the way down. We stopped and had peach cobbler with butter pecan ice cream and Carl and I each got a pecan bar to save for later in our drive. We also picked up a few whole pecans to brig back with us. The orchard was so pretty and it was a good place to stop and stretch for a little while. We continued on and stopped for supper awhile after that. We stopped at a Chick-fil-a with a play place and let the kids get rid of some energy and changed them into jammies for our long night drive ahead. They went to sleep shortly after we left and we just kept driving. Carl and I switched at the Tennessee border and I drove the midnight to around 6 am portion of the trip. I had to stop once at a rest stop for some liquid energy but all it really managed to do was make me have to go to the bathroom really quickly but I found that was a good thing to keep me awake as well. We stopped for breakfast at a Hardees in Illinois and just kept going. As we were getting into Iowa I noticed Carl's eyes starting to look very sleepy so we switched drivers again and I drove from outside Iowa City to Newton where we needed gas. We switched again as I was feeling mighty tired and finally around 11:30 am we pulled into our driveway. We were home sweet home! We unloaded the car, ate lunch and then I fell into a DEEP sleep on the couch while the kids were down for nap. We had a great trip and even though it wasn't exactly what we hoped would happen I know we made lasting memories(at least for us and hopefully Gabe:) of a great family vacation.

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