Final Launch of Space Shuttle Atlantis

Jennifer and I decided to roll the dice and drive down to see the final launch of Space Shuttle Atlantis. We figured we had a good shot because there were three chances to go, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. So we packed up the car and drove 8 hours to Florida!

Or at least, we tried to drive. We were within spitting distance of our destination on Thursday night when we spent 45 minutes going verrryy slowly.

It's 11:30 PM and We're Not Moving, Argh

Nevertheless, we crashed in Orlando for the night and then popped over to the coast on Friday morning to see the launch.

My plan was to avoid the common viewing areas right up close to Kennedy Space Station and show Jenn what I had seen as a child. I spent 9 years living in Satellite Beach, FL, and saw the first 24 shuttle launches from either the beach, my backyard, or my school. So we headed through Kissimmee and St. Cloud, on our way to Melbourne and the barrier islands. On the way, I stopped by the Old House to see if was still there. It was.

My Old House

Jenn and I drove north on A1A until we got to a point where we figured it was too crowded to continue. We ended up parking at Lori Wilson park and sat on the beach reading books until the launch.

Atlantis Launch

As you can see from the picture, it was a bit hazy and cloudy, but thankfully the weather was good enough for the shuttle to go! Jenn got to see her first shuttle launch, and I got to bookend my experience with the space program.

We spent the rest of the weekend in Cocoa Beach about two blocks from the ocean and did…nothing. And it was glorious.


Not Recommended:

  • Sunset Cafe. Service was fair to poor, food was boring. The only reason I can think that I would eat here again would be to sit at one of the tables that’s out on the dock. Otherwise, no.
  • Finding good beer. Maybe it was just where we ended up, but no where seemed to have any kind of beer selection beyond standard domestics in bottles. Blah.

We had a good time and we really should just uproot and go to the beach more often (unhappy look on my face is an artifact of squinting and trying to get the bloody camera to take the picture).

Bill and Jenn

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