Welcome to our Blog!

I realize not everyone has experience with blogs so it might help to mention how they work for those of you that don't read them often. When you first get to our site the first post you see will be the most recent. If you have missed any posts or my wonderful storytelling of the crazy events leading up to all this, or if you are bored out of your mind and need something to help put you to sleep; you can go to the right side where it says 'Blog Archive' and click on the date you missed. Older posts are at the top. Also you can click on pictures to enlarge them and then hit the X in the right corner to get back to the blog. Now, on to the more important stuff: Ethan!!

Spaceflights & Frostbite

The previous shuttle launch from the entrance of our neighborhood

Just a few of the people there the first night

Like I said me+ camera+ dark= blurry
If you double click the pict you can see it better.
The bright light on the far left with the lights hitting the clouds is the launch pad. If you squint you can see little white spots in the water, a group of herons got the best spot.

To see my video of the launch click here
(To return to the blog hit your back arrow button)

Warning: May cause motion sickness!
Give me a break, I was tired and freezing!

Central Florida has a lot to do but still doesn't compare to New York City. However, Central Florida has one show Broadway will never get. The shuttle launch! Sadly, the shuttle only has a few more launches left and the last night launch was scheduled for Saturday at 4:39 in the morning. You can actually see the shuttle from the entrance to our neighborhood but I really wanted to see and hear it up close. I researched the best place to see it and found that Titusville had the best views and Port Canaveral was the best place to hear it. I really wanted to be able to see the launch pad and I knew I would still be able to hear it there so I went to an area close to Space View Park. I read to get a good view you need to get there about 3 hours early and since I'm a staggering 5' tall I thought it best to get there early so I could be in the front. The drive is only about an hour and a half away but it probably would have been cheaper to fly given all the tolls! Blake was interested in going until I told him the launch was at 4:30 a.m then he was less interested. When I told him I needed to get there 3 hours early he lost any interest he had left. Since he wasn't coming I needed to bring something to occupy me for 3 hours but not too much for me to carry by myself. I brought a camera bag filled with 3 types of cameras, chips, a book, and a small flashlight. Unfortunately it was so cold, and I didn't think to bring gloves, I never read the book. I know 3 cameras is a little excessive but I am far less talented behind the lens than my sister and without a tripod any pictures I take at night are guaranteed blurry. I decided to take the new camera and old camera to see what worked and if they failed I had my Vado to record it. I recorded it.
I realize most of the country is under a lot of snow and much colder but the 50 degree nights here are equivalent to Alaska to me. So I made sure to bundle up with sweatpants, sweatshirt, and a heavy coat. I also took this really cute pink and brown blanket I got for picnics and my pink fleece blanket (yes I like pink). At the last minute I decided to grab a folding a chair also and I am glad I did! I forgot most of Florida is a big boggy marsh. There was no way I was going to put my nice blanket on that ground! They did come in handy though because even with dressing for the cold I was freezing! I huddled up on the chair and put both blankets around me and still thought I might go home with a few less fingers and toes. When I got to Titusville it reminded me of going to a sporting event. 3 hours before the launch and people were parking everywhere and walking with bags and folding chairs. I got a great spot right in front and could clearly see the launch pad even with about a hundred people already there. As I waited I pondered some of life's greatest mysteries like what kind of work can one do after losing their fingers and toes? And is there irony in losing your fingers to frostbite while in Florida? Many of the people around me were checking updates on their phones and laptops and Space View Park actually broadcasts Nasa's TV broadcast. It went back and forth from a go to a no go to a go before it was actually scrubbed. The launch was reset for 4:14 a.m Saturday night. I was disappointed but couldn't complain, at least I wasn't too far away and could easily come back. Not to mention better safe than sorry. At least now I would be better prepared! So Sunday night I at least already had everything packed and this time I wore a hat, scarf, gloves, wool socks, and 2 layers under my coat. So WHY WAS I STILL FREEZING?!?!?! At least with the gloves I could read my book except it is hard to turn a page with gloves on. When I got to Titusville I was worried they scrubbed it while I was driving there because it looked nothing like Saturday night. The place was a ghost town. The parking lots were all empty and no one was walking around. I actually called Blake to check the status but it hadn't been scrubbed. It eventually got more crowded but still only a fraction of the previous night. The night started out just like Saturday; beautiful clear skies full of stars that quickly became covered by clouds. I just knew it was going to get canceled again but waited it out now pondering how many times I should keep coming before being certified as crazy. Eventually the T minus count started and then got to the no going back point and everyone started counting down with it. When it hit T minus one the sky lit up like the sun had just skyrocketed up. The pitch black skies looked as if a switch was flipped and it turned to daylight. Because of the cloud cover you could only see a bright dot and the clouds light up after the initial take off. A minute after take off you could hear it and it is hard to describe while doing it justice. It is definitely something you have to be there to really experience. It only lasted a couple of minutes but afterwards I was so glad I made the trip twice and it was worth almost losing my fingers.