Thursday, July 7, 2011

Day 5 Summer 2011 Road Trip

We are checking out of our Super 8 hotel here in Titusville this morning and moving to another hotel in Titusville, so we had breakfast and then hung around till check out time. The reason for the move is because when I first booked the reservation, I only booked 3 days, the day before, the day of and the day after the scheduled launch. However then a few days after I made the reservation I started thinking that it would be a better idea to arrive in Titusville several days before the launch so that we could take in the atmosphere and ambience of the pre launch days, and to get ourselves orientated and learn the lay of the land. However when I tried to add a couple of days to the beginning of the stay, I was too late and the hotel was already booked solid. So that is why we are splitting our stay between 2 hotels.

While waiting for check in time, we took a drive to the Canaveral National Seashore. This is a National Park so we will get to add a stamp to our National Park Passport Book.

There was a light drizzle as we arrived but it ended after a few minutes.

7883 Canaveral National Seashore, Florida - sign 7885 Canaveral National Seashore, Florida - entrance

There isn’t a whole lot to do or see here today because about 5 miles along the road we came to road blocks because of the shuttle launch tomorrow. Whenever there is any launch this area gets closed off a day before the launch. There are several beach access areas though and this would be a good place to come again during the winter months to walk along the beach.

7887 Canaveral National Seashore, Florida - Atlantic Ocean 7888 Canaveral National Seashore, Florida - Atlantic Ocean 7889 Canaveral National Seashore, Florida -  Atlantic Ocean

After we left the Canaveral National Seashore, we headed south to take a look at Kelly Park on Merritt Island. This is where we will be meeting the private boat that we chartered to take us out in the bay to watch the shuttle launch from the water tomorrow. I wanted to see the park to get an idea of the parking situation there and make sure there weren’t going to be any issues or surprises.

As we were driving along I-95 South we drove through a torrential downpour. It was over in 5 minutes, but it was white knuckle driving for those 5 minutes. For some reason the camera cuts through the downpour and the photos don’t look as bad as it really was. I was lucky to be able to see 20 ft in front of the car.

7898 I-95 South, Florida 7899 I-95 South, Florida

Close to 1 million people are expected to crowd into the Titusville area to view the launch. All the hotels for miles around are booked to capacity, everything from million dollar motor homes to pup tents are parked and set up along roadsides and beach areas. Traffic is predicted to be a nightmare at best tomorrow. Everything looks good at Kelly Park, plenty of parking. It is only a 20 minute drive from our hotel to the boat docks at Kelly Park, but we are going to leave 2 hours before our scheduled time to meet the boat there just to be sure we won’t be late.

We were quite surprised when we checked into the hotel and opened the door to the room we are staying in for the next 3 days. There are 2 rooms, a sitting area and then a sleeping area with the washroom in between.. 2 tv’s, … never have we had 2 tv’s. Now Karen can watch her shows and I can watch mine.

7901 Ramada Inn & Suites, Titusville, Florida 7902 Ramada Inn & Suites, Titusville, Florida 7905 Ramada Inn & Suites, Titusville, Florida

There is a Denny’s attached to the hotel, we don’t even have to go outside to get to it. Free breakfast at Denny’s in the morning is included with the room rate.

We enjoyed a nice dinner at Denny’s and then later in the evening we went back for dessert.

Didn’t take too many photos today, but if you want to see them, they are posted on my FLICKR site.

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