Linda, and her husband Brian, contacted me to say that they were going to be down in Florida at the same time as I was. I haven’t seen them since October 2008, when Linda gave me the “Sopranos Tour” of New Jersey, and took me to achieve Goal Number 10 at Six Flags New Jersey, by riding the monster rollercoaster Kingda Ka.
Linda emailed and told me that they intended to go and watch the space shuttle launch on 14th May. I had no idea this was scheduled, and found out that after this, there are only two more shuttle missions before they are retired. I couldn’t possibly miss that.
So after our last evening in Tampa, where we shared a lovely Thai meal with Cari and her husband Mart, we drove the next morning over to the east coast. There was a lot of traffic, but we eventually found somewhere to park at Titusville, and found Linda and Brian among the crowds.
The build up to the launch was atmospheric, and at 2.20pm, as scheduled, to huge cheers from the crowds, the shuttle took off. We saw it first as the huge blast of the initial thrust appeared on the horizon. It was several second before we heard the sound!
It was pretty spectacular, the huge flame bright below the shuttle, an impressive vapor trail left behind as it headed skywards, accelerating quickly. Moe and I were both wearing, very appropriately, our t-shirts from Aurora Aerospace that Chip had given us the day before.
After a quick bite to eat, we said our goodbyes to Linda and Brian. It was lovely to catch up with them again, and I am looking forward to seeing Linda in New York again on July 4th for the 100 goals final day.
We then made our way down to Miami, arriving fairly late, and booked in to a cheapie hotel for the evening, ready to try to find some sort of Caribbean holiday in the morning.