Monday, 29 February 2016

Florida November 2015 Recap - Day 8 at The Kennedy Space Centre

I'll be doing a recap for each and every glorious day of our last Disney vacation (14 days worth so in the words of Scar, be prepared)...

As the Kennedy Space Centre is quite a bit outside of Orlando, the coach picked us up at the ungodly hour of 7.55 AM. Who in their right mind wants to be up, dressed and out the door at that time on holiday?! While aboard the world's longest coach journey, the driver took it upon himself to become our very own tour guide for the morning and gave us lots of little "fun facts" about the area (for example, did you know that most of the palm trees you see in Florida were actually imported from parts of Asia and South America?). He also went on to tell us about Orlando's historical sights, boasting that some parts of the city were built in the late 1800s! Wow! Oh sweet naive baby America. It really bewilders me to think that Orlando was built within the last 150 years. I mean, the University that I work in has been around since the 1451 and our small Scottish town is home to part of the Antonine Wall - actual ruins from the Roman Empire that are almost 2000 years old!

Once we'd arrived at the Kennedy Space Centre we were given an introduction by a member of staff who talked to us as if he was a teacher trying to settle down a crowd of rowdy teenagers. He was actually shushing people! After class was dismissed we were free to explore. First up we saw a giant rocket. (the first of many that day)

We thought it might be a nice idea to get a photo taken together in front of the giant rocket, but little did I know that I was about to be gravely insulted. A little background info; I am 23 years old and my cousin Carly is also 23 years old, in fact she is a whole 3 days older than me. So I was absolutely astounded and affronted to hear the Space Centre photographer ask Carly if she would like a photo taken with her mother...REFERRING TO ME!!! Clearly the Floridian sunshine does not look good on me if I look old enough to be the mother of a 23 year old. I can only blame Carly's Frozen backpack and youthful glow for making her look like a really tall 5 year old. Damn my crows feet.

The incriminating photo

After I'd recovered from the shock of becoming a parent and Carly had stopped laughing/texting everyone she knew to tell them about her new mum, we went for a spin on the rocket launch simulator. There were tons of warning signs in the run up to the simulator so I was expecting it to be really rough and I was actually quite scared going in (plus I was expecting my old lady skin to be flapping around behind my ears) but it was more fun than scary. Although if there are any cameras at the front of the simulator they'll have gotten a nice up skirt shot of me and Carly with our legs flailing about all over the place. Afterwards we mooched around for a little while looking at spacey science-y stuff before deciding to grab some lunch in one of the cafe's. We dined with about 500 American school kids on field trips and I spilled coffee all over myself like the clumsy oaf that I am (must have been my poor senile hands shaking the cup). 

Next up we went to the IMAX to watch a documentary. I have no idea what it was about (something space related I bet) because lord above that room was cold AF. Neither of us could even focus on the documentary because our brains had just about frozen over. All we could do was huddle under one jumper and thinking back on it now I have no idea why we didn't leave the theatre sooner. We rushed outside as soon as it was finished just to get some heat. We also took some time while warming up to stroll around the 'rocket garden' which is essentially just a bunch of rockets. 

At the rocket garden we stumbled upon what I think was a kid's play area but it looked cool so we joined in the fun. Here I am waving at my loyal space fans and driving a spaceship.

Sometime after this there was an astronaut talk followed by a meet and greet. The astronaut was a nice guy called Jim Reilly that talked about the cool stuff that happens when you're in space and how your body adapts to zero gravity etc. Fun fact - Carly had already met this astronaut when he visited her high school many years before, what are the odds?

My favourite part of the Kennedy Space Centre was probably the huge gift shop. They had so many cool things, in fact I'm still regretting my decision not to buy a bright orange space suit. Sure it was like $100 and I'd have nowhere to wear it but why the heck not?? The space suits also came in little bitty baby sizes too and if I had known anyone that was expecting a baby I would have 100% bought one. Before it was time to leave we made a last pit stop in this weird room that had a cool floating orb thing in it. It at first looked like the Earth but the guy controlling it was able to swipe his iPad and it would transform into another planet, moon or celestial body. The room was really quiet and it was essentially just Carly and I watching but it was weirdly calming and serene. 

Soon it was time to board the coach again for the long drive home. The driver put a cheesy American movie on (the Sandlot I think it was) and it was lovely but made us very sleepy. By the time we arrived at our hotel we had cancelled any plans we had for that night and grabbed a pizza from the Dominos across the road instead. 

           ¡Por favour manténgase alejado de las puertas!