Saturday, November 15, 2008

A Pleasant Surprise

We left Jacksonville yesterday afternoon for Ft Lauderdale to see Sarah Brightman in concert. After a few hours we were south of Daytona on 95 and the traffic came to a standstill. Fortunately, just as we realized this, we were approaching an exit, so we got off and headed over to US 1, figuring it couldn't be any worse.

We got on US 1 a little north of Titusville. As we got into the town, we noticed a lot of activity, people walking on the road, sitting in lawn chairs everywhere. It reminded us of Pigeon Forge in Tennessee. Tourists will sit out on the road there at night just to watch the traffic go by.

As we drove on, we noticed more and more people, for miles. It looked like people lining up to watch fireworks. Cars were parked in every available space along the road. Suddenly, I finally put two and two together what would people line up on the road to watch in Titusville? There must be a shuttle launch!

Once I said this, Michelline remembered having heard about it earlier in the week. It was about 15 minutes until scheduled liftoff. In all the years I've lived in Florida, I've never watched a shuttle launch, and this was the last scheduled night launch ever. We got the local news on the radio and pulled over into a deserted parking lot, south of the city, with about 30 seconds to spare. Then this -

You can't tell from the video, but you could feel the rumble of the engines. I wish we would have known about it, we would have made plans to stop closer by so we could have had a better view. Still, this was pretty cool, and we were only a few miles away. My parents were watching too, from Jacksonville. It's so big and bright, you can see the launch from the causeway that leads to the island our neighborhood is on.

It was quite serendipitous. I'm glad we all got a chance to see it before it was too late.
11142008 Shuttle taking off

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