Monday, April 12, 2010

South Florida

I'm on my way back to Vancouver tomorrow but I've had a great few days in southern Florida.

Key West was a blast....spent most of the day walking around the quaint little historical area but I managed to spend a few hours on a sailboat in the afternoon and then again for the sunset.

I had a day to visit the Everglades and see wild animals as well as soak up the humid heat. I did one of those airboat rides but really had a better time walking along the boardwalks reading the little informative signs about the glades.

I also returned for another day at Kennedy and took the tour. Saw a cool re-creation of the Apollo landings as well as the booster rockets being prepared for the next shuttle launch in May. I also met a real astronaut and talked with him about the feeling of environmentalism created by his experiences in space.

So, my trip is finished but here are a few observations;

- New Jersey has the worst roads and the worst drivers..seriously, flying over huge potholes with reckless abandon is a state sport
- What I thought meant 'don't walk' actually means 'do any damn thing you want in the road' in New York
- South Carolina is the friendliest state and has the best pralines which I may have to figure out how to mainline to get my fix
- Washington has the best metro system as well as being the most contrary with messages of equality and fairness engraved everywhere in stone but completely ignored by current politicians
- Americans are obsessed with both psychics and Jesus...very weird with the zodiacs in neon right along side with the crosses!
- MacDonalds are the real overlords of America and Dick Cheney was just a convenient patsy

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


I spent quite a bit of time investigating all the attractions in Orlando like Universal studios, Epcot Centre, Seaworld, Holy Land (no shit) and Disneyland but so far I've only made it as far as my hotel's palm tree lined swimming pool. It's bloody fantastic here!

Monday, April 5, 2010

The Launch!

I made a good choice going with a tour company because the whole experience from pick up at my hotel to drop off was smooth and worry-free.

We had three hours to explore Kennedy Space Center before the launch and I was really impressed. New exhibits for future projects like this lunar module were done to full scale with the creative process all laid out. The spacesuits are attached to the outside so that the astronauts just slip into them.

Each building had a different theme with cool interactive displays. This was the 'future explorers' but they also had NASA history with a mock up of the real ground control and real artifacts of past missions.

The Rocket Garden beat the hell out of any normal garden.

We could also tour a full sized shuttle. There was a cool simulated launch that really made you feel like you were getting the 'G-force' and I'm not sure how, but I felt weightless when we hit orbit. Best diet ever!

So about about two hours before the launch, millions of us trooped out to the causeway, which is six miles from the shuttle, in long lines of buses

As a special treat, the space station flew overhead minutes before the launch and the crowds burst out into cheers as it traveled inches from the moon in the sky.

Then the count down. First, we could see the smoke and then the entire sky lit up as if it were on fire. The roar and rumble hit next and everyone started shouting and thousands of cameras started clicking.

This is the NASA photo of the twilight launch as my photos sucked.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Savannah again

So I'm eating a Georgia peach after strolling through Savannah for the day. It's a beautiful city with a really laid-back feel.

There was an arts festival going on in town so I got the chance to see a different face to the city.

I ate down at the river which was also having another festival....when isn't this city having a hit 89 degrees so, while most of us chose to drink beer, some others choose a more direct method.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Well, August and I are leaving DC tomorrow but we did and saw as much as humanly possible. I'm pretty sure we wore out the bottoms of our feet and overloaded our brains but it's been good.

The Space and Air Museum...this is the actual Apollo 11 capsule that I'm looking up at...the seats were tiny and it must have been bloody uncomfortable coming down.

This was my favorite painting at the national portrait gallery. The woman who introduced Girl Scouts to America.

We walked the whole mall as the sun set and got to the Lincoln memorial as dark came on. A very impressive statue but the two speaches engraved on the insides were more impressive to me.

Arlington was kind of a detached experience until our tour stopped in dead silence as a marine funeral went by with the horse drawn casem. Up to 27 military funerals per day.

The cherry blossom festival is in full swing this week and we've been lucky enough to enjoy it all over town.

This is the National Cathedral which was impressive and the choir was practicing for Easter Sunday so we got the full impact of the atmostphere. Wish we had more time to walk around the grounds.

The American History museum was pretty incredible with Judy Garland's ruby slippers, Julia Child's full kitchen and this, Stanley, the very first fully automated driving car. It can 'see' it's surroundings and drive in accordance. Very cool!

This Alexandria which is full of great restaurants and we ate here a few times.

George Washington's house at Mount Vernon and this is the view from his porch. Totally interesting place and it was very educational regarding the times as well as his life.