Travel Diaries: Orlando 2014 - NASA / Kennedy Space Center12/31/2014 08:15:00 AM
It was a long and interesting road trip from our villa to Cape Canaveral to visit the ever popular Kennedy Space Center. We decided to revisit the place after so many years to see what has changed and for me to remember what they had to offer (I was around 9 years old the first and last time we went to this place -- I even got Blue's Clues plushies here, can you imagine? Lol).
We left after a heavy McDonald's breakfast and gassed up at a nearby Wawa, driving so many miles east towards the Atlantic Ocean. I'm such a bad road tripper. Because I have a small bladder (my friends and family can attest to this, I swear) I usually need to go to the bathroom a few minutes from the last time I drank anything. So by the time that we got to the freeway (we were around 1/4 into the road trip already outside of Orlando), I mentioned that I needed to go to the bathroom. Well, silly ol' me, thinking that it's just like road tripping in the Philippines where even when you're on the expressway you can find rest stops nearby. I was so wrong at the worst time and place ever...
At the 3rd toll booth, we asked the lady where the nearest rest stop was, and she told us the directions that was "7 miles down the road." @___@ Dear Lord... It was salvation when we got to the gas station 7 miles later. But salvation was cut short when the convenience store guy told us that their bathroom door has been broken since the other day because a guy apparently destroyed the lock to the bathroom so the door couldn't be opened after he left (or something along those lines; I needed to pee so bad, all I picked up was "Guy", "Door", "Broken", "Locked", "No bathroom"). What, the, hell....... We asked him where the next rest stop was from there, and he was all "Oh, 2 miles down from Citro, there's a K station there."
We all got back to the car and drove to where he told us to go. I was praying to the heavens that my kidney wouldn't suffer from this really annoying ordeal the whole time we were looking at farms and really cute herds of cows along the road (which reminded me of Den-den since she loves cows a lot).
After we found the Circle K gas station (which at this point, we all had to use the bathroom already), we regrouped and got back on the road to Cape Canaveral.
Note to self: Don't drink anything before going on a long road trip.
In any case, we finally got to KSC by mid-afternoon, so all was A-oh-kay~
We took the general admissions ticket which included the KSC Bus Tour that happens several times a day. You can buy tickets at KSC or you can buy them online then print them out and have them validate it there like what we did. You may also check with your respective hotels/resorts regarding the tickets since they may also offer special discounts or promos for said tickets.
Btw, advance apologies from here on. It's been so long since I visited this place and I can't remember all the details of the rockets and pods I encountered around the area (like names, expeditions, etc). Nonetheless, I did take photos of them as best as I can, as well as some (or a lot) of the information they have available for walking/self-guided tours. I will, however, continue to share what happened in my space adventure. :)
I love the fact that they also cater to the young ones with special fun activities available for them to enjoy as well.
If you come earlier than we did, you can meet an astronaut and talk to them yourself. You can ask them any question you want related to their craft. I'm kinda curious about this! I feel like it's so interesting to meet an actual astronaut and ask them about their adventures, and ask if they ever experienced anything like in Interstellar or Armageddon, lol!
We fell in line for the bus tour after walking around the visitor's complex.
It's cute that they take your photos, pretending you're at the space shuttle launching, lol.
On the bus tour, we went around the area of the KSC. I felt kinda bad 'cuz the driver of our bus was pretty old and I couldn't understand what he was saying during the drive. It was like he was eating his words and they were pretty inaudible. @_@ Our bus driver on the way back was more audible though, thankfully.
We passed by their office quite a lot.
Saw the launch pad they use.
Even the crawler-transporter that carries the space shuttle to the launch pad. It takes hours just transporting the space shuttle to the launch pad.
Liquified Hydrogen gas is the choice for fueling them space shuttles.
The one thing I picked up from the tour which had no relation to the astronauts was that since Florida is the gator state, the bus driver shared that they had to keep alligators at bay since there used to be casualties between them and the employees @__@ The horror...
This is where they test the engines of the shuttles to see how hot the flames are based on the reactions of the metal on this board-like contraption before they set out on a launch. Better to be safe than sorry, right?
On the way back to the other side, we passed by their office again.
At a distance, you can view the launches at their viewing docks.
After going around the bus tour, we get dropped off to enjoy the Apollo/Saturn V Center.
Inside, we experienced a simulated flashback of how they experienced Saturn V back in those days. It was so cool, like stepping into a time machine!
They restored the actual control booths they used and everything. It was so surreal @.@
After experiencing the flashback to history, you get to exit to this huge area exhibiting what you just saw in the presentation.
Banners carrying the symbol and the astronauts of each mission carried out.
Snoopyyy!!! <333 p="">333>
News papers dating back to 1969~
Even after all these years, I never forgot about the pizza we ate in KSC. And when we ate here again recently, I felt like that happy little 9-year old kid munching on her cheese pizza, hahaha!
It felt really interesting being able to touch an actual moon rock, lol. It was a cool mix of rough and smooth..
Astronaut Barbie because Barbie can be anything.
I'm half tempted to dress up as Princess Leia and drink coffee from this cup, lolol~
Save up for your space adventure with this cute space piggy bank!
I got myself this shirt because I couldn't resist not getting myself an astro-Snoopy anything.
I love all the Snoopy stuff ^.^
When we got back to the visitor's complex later that afternoon, we went inside the Atlantis. This is one of my favorite places to go to. You get to watch 2 short presentations about their Atlantis adventure (no, not the one like the Disney movie). It was so, wicked, awesome @_@
They still retained the actual Atlantis shuttle they used in the real mission! I had to take a photo of it as a whole, which was quite a challenge since it was really, really, huge irl. I felt like looking at a T-rex skeleton in a museum @o@
You can even take photos pretending you're piloting the shuttle.
Peek-a-boo! Hello~ Look, ma! I'm flying a space shuttle, lololol!
Mission Space flashbacks!!! @______@
After exiting the first exhibit with the actual Atlantis shuttle, you have two choices in moving on to the next part of the area: to slide down this huge slide like my mom and my brother (no shoes though, so you have to carry your shoes with you as you slide down),
Or go down this path where you can see the history of the missions launched. You can slide more than once (which was what my mom and brother did, lol) by going up this area too. So either way you can experience both paths.
At the bottom, you can see a few more historical tidbits of the Atlantis expedition, and experience some activities, space games, and astronaut training for yourself.
After coming from Atlantis, we caught the last showing of the Hubble 3D in one of their IMAX cinemas, narrated by Leonardo diCaprio. Exiting from the cinema, you can see for yourself some of the images they got that were also present in the movie.
We passed by their main gift shop before going home to see what they had to offer (and if they offer stuff there that differs from the one in Saturn V).
One of the rare sights in KSC are these cuties. The Bald Eagle has a nests in some of the trees in their area. If you're lucky, you can see them for yourself while on the bus tour.
Alligator plushies, lolol. So fierce~
Little baby eagles~ <333 p="">
Didn't get to go inside this place, but I heard it's filled with fun activities for the family and the kids to enjoy.
If you guys want more information, feel free to visit their website here. Bye Kennedy Space Center! Till my next visit!
On the way home, it was raining so darn hard, we could barely see a meter from the hood of our car! Never have I ever experience such scary rainfall in my life, and I was pretty scared to see a lot of drivers maintaining (if not going way beyond) the speed limit even with the intensely heavy rain. @__@ Please, drive more carefully under these circumstances. It's better to be late than to cause inconvenience and misfortunes upon you and other people when you get into avoidable accidents.
In any case, we fortunately got back to Orlando that night safely and crashed onto our beds for a good night's rest (the best reward after a fulfilled day).
Till my next post!
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