Posted by: ilanasmith | June 16, 2005

Arlene, astronauts and alligators, oh my

Had a jaunt to Florida.  Had a conference to attend in Orlando, so to celebrate the Twenty-Ninth Year of Me, my boy shunted on down later in the week, and we wandered all about central Florida on the weekend.

We were planning on heading down to Palm Beach and doing a couple of dives (there are some great wrecks and nice lazy drift dives there), but that pesky Tropical Storm Arlene put the kibosh on it.  On the plus side, we were under Tornado Watch for a few hours – we’d just been on the Twister ride at Universal Studios the night before, so Alex spent time peering hopefully out the window.

Despite the weather, we went to Wet’n’Wild.  It reminded me how glad I am to live in a city where most people are mostly covered up most of the time.

With Geek Boy in tow, the trip to Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral was mandatory.  I tried in vain to appear jaded and bemused by the frantic geeking-out taking place beside me, but it was actually very cool.  I could have done without the strident patriotic Bruckheimer-esque musak that blared out throughout the place, but it is hard to belittle that whole landing on the Moon thing.

Alex got to meet astronaut Winston Scott.  By all reports, he won the encounter – Mr Scott said that he’d never been to Australia and would quite like to, to which Alex replied that he’d never been to Space, and ditto.  I’m confident that the photographic record will be up on Alex’s blog with much haste.

Geek Boy has eagle eyes too (our scuba guides always learn to hang near Alex so whenever he spots stuff, they can get points showing it to the rest of the group) and so managed to spot an alligator in the ditch beside our tour bus.  They make this big deal about how Kennedy Space Center lies in the middle of a 140 000 acre nature preserve that is home to more endangered species than anywhere else in the US….then they take us to an observation point three miles from the two main Shuttle launch pads and brag that if we were there during the launch, the concussion would kill us.  Sweet, load that place up with bald eagles, manatees and rare frogs.


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