I want to blog about the cruise went on in August so that I can remember everything we did. I love how I blogged so much when Steve and Kat were younger. It helps jog my memory!
David and I took a 7 night cruise on Oasis of the Seas in August. The ship left out of Port Canaveral on Sunday, August 20. We flew to Orlando on Saturday morning and rented a car. As soon as we got the rental car, we headed straight over to Kennedy Space Center. It had been 20 years since I had been there. (Note: I can't believe I'm old enough to say that something has been 20 years ago and it's something I remember well.)
Most of Kennedy Space Center is the same as I remembered, except they have added the Space Shuttle Atlantis exhibit. It is really awesome. I saw Discovery at the Smithsonian, but it's just sitting on it's landing gear. The way that NASA has Atlantis displayed is really cool. You can get really close to it and the cargo bay doors are open, so you can see inside. They also have the Canada arm extended. It really allows you to get a good idea of the size of the shuttle. There is a bottom floor as well where you can look up at the bottom of the shuttle. I was really impressed with the exhibit.
We also took the bus tour around the space center. I didn't realize that so much activity was going on to prepare for the SLS - space launch system. NASA is renovating the Vehicle Assembly Building and the crawlers to accommodate the new system. There is also a large private presence at the center with SpaceX, Boeing, and Blue Origin leasing facilities.
On the bus tour, we stopped at the Saturn V center. I remember this center being the highlight of the trip when we went in 1997. It had just opened and I was in peak Apollo interest mode. I enjoyed it this time as well, but we were running out of time and were not able to watch any of the films. It is still amazing how big the Saturn V rocket is.
One thing we noticed was how many international visitors were at KSC. It made us think about how the space program and the accessibility of seeing the facilities is pretty unique to the US.
After Kennedy Space Center, we checked into our hotel. I was able to use points from work travel to get the room for free. We stayed at the Residence Inn and the Hertz rental car return is right in the parking lot. It turned out to be really convenient for returning the car and getting to the port, but I'll save that for the next post.