Florida Foray

My employer seems to have decided that face-to-face meetings taking place in months beginning with ‘M’ should take place in beach resorts starting with the same latter. In March it was Marbella and in May it was Miami Beach. For the latter, a couple of colleagues suggested we extend our trip and drive up to Kennedy Space Center. Having never been to Florida before, I was keen to join them.

There was due to have been a SpaceX launch two days before our visit and when it was pushed back by 24 hours it seemed too good an opportunity to miss so we set off that evening. Sadly, half way there we got the news that the launch had been scrubbed again. As a consequence, we then stopped at a steakhouse for dinner which turned out to be even sadder!

Staying up near the Space Center did still have the advantage that we could be there from the moment the gates opened until chucking out time. As someone who had visited many years ago commented, it has been a bit Disneyfied in that there was no-end of 3D cinemas and rides but there are also lots of one-of-a-kind original artifacts. After taking a tour around the Rocket Park and then spending some time in the Atlantis space shuttle exhibition the party split in two based on the tours we were booked on.

I joined Steve on the Explore Tour which includes stops at the massive Vehicle Assembly Building and Launch Pad 39 where the Apollo and Shuttle Program’s launched from. Although launching from elsewhere, sadly the SpaceX rocket had already been moved back inside so we didn’t even get to see it on the ground.

The following day, we had a few hours to kill after dropping a colleague at the airport for an earlier flight. We decided to make a side trip to the Everglades. We did spot a couple of alligators on the airboat tour but, to be honest, the boat ride itself was probably more fun, particularly as there were plenty of gators lazing about in the sun when got back to the nature reserve. There was even the opportunity to hold a three-year old (captive) alligator as part of the educational show.

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