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Space Shuttle Launch...My Way

In light of the last Endeavour Space Shuttle Launch this morning, which I didn't see...even on television...I'd like to share MY experience with Endeavour.

We got to watch this magnificent moon rise while waiting for the launch

Back in November of 2k8, Jerry and I were lazily drinking our coffee and watching the morning news. The launch of Endeavour had been put off, due to weather, and was being discussed extensively that week on all the news stations. Finally, it was announced that morning, that Endeavour would take off at 7:55 pm that night.

We were living in Tampa, Florida at the time and Jerry always had Fridays off from work and we didn't have Sophia or any other plans that day...


we looked at each other and immediately decided to go watch the launch.  

I called Hillary and Pedro to ask them if they wanted to come with us but Pedro had to work.

Then, I called my brother Jeff, who lives in Orlando to see if he wanted us to pick up him and his family on the way to Kennedy Space Center. He declined saying that the traffic was always SO bad on the way there and back that it just wasn't worth the trip to the coast. Plus, he said he could stand out in his driveway and see it from there.

So...we got on the computer, looked for parks along the coast where we figured we'd tailgate and off we went.

At this time it was probably around 1 or 2pm and we had no problem with traffic, directions or anything...until we got to Titusville.

Google Maps had shown a park on the edge of the coast - directly across the water from the launch site - but when we got there we found out that they'd 'paved paradise and put up a parking lot'. Oooh bop bop bop.

There were a whole set of new condos where the park used to be.


So, I said, "Go right" and Jerry did. We drove along the coast for a couple minutes on a fairly obscure rural road. I think it was Indian River Road. There were several breaks in the trees between us and the river? sound? bay? (not sure what the body of water was because my memory is not what it used to be) and there were cars pulled in to the small strips of available land on the side of the road.

That was where I thought we'd end up if we were lucky enough to find a strip that wasn't already occupied.

Pretty quick we came to a bar/restaurant and decided to get some food to take with us. We'd come empty handed and we were getting hungry.

The parking lot was full so we pulled in behind another car and went on in.

The first thing I said - loudly - was that we were parked behind this car and who did it belong to. A woman piped up and said it was hers but she was leaving and if we wanted to wait a minute, we could have her spot. It turned out to be the only parking space left and we got it!

This motorcycle bar was a great place to hang out. Wish I could remember the name of it. There was a dock out back which went all the way out to the water and again...we were very blessed to get a great table.

So we sat and drank beer and ate what the kitchen fed us and talked to the locals who all wanted to know where we were from and how in the world we'd found the best kept secret in Titusville.

It started getting dark and the place was packed - including the huge green lawn beside the bar. It was a festive, loving, happy crowd with kids of all ages anticipating the launch of Space Shuttle Endeavour.

We met and totally enjoyed some awesome people that day and the whole experience, up to that point, was spectacular.

Then it was time for the launch.

And it went way beyond anything I could have imagined. 

It was indescribable so thankfully, I was sitting on the edge of the water and have my video to show you...but just let me say, that it doesn't even come close to the real life experience. It captures the light somewhat but the vibration, the ripples in the water, the sound, the power, the glow, the energy was stupendously wonderful and could only begin to be captured by my little Canon.

It was one of the TOP experiences of my life and by the end of the video I was sobbing...along with about half of the crowd.

You might want to turn the volume down. I got a little boisterous.


Create your life,



  1. Great video! (I have a brother named Jeff who lives in Orlando too! Cue the Twilight Zone theme!)

  2. does he work at Disney...as a Chef?

  3. Thanks for posting that. I had goosebumps watching it.
    Several years ago Thelma and Louise, and Lucy and Ethel (me and friends) took a road trip to go watch one lift off. You're so right, seeing it on film is nothing like seeing it live. The sheer power is overwhelming! Glad you were lucky to have found a good spot to watch it from.

  4. It gives me goosebumps...and makes me cry again every time I watch the video. Glad that you and friends were able to experience this magnificent experience too!

  5. Thanks for sharing the video Annie. I am SO jealous that you saw this wonderful experience...having followed the space programme for what feels like YEARS and years I can only imagine what it was like to actually SEE it first hand. Lucky you.

  6. YW Ann! I'm so sorry that you have'nt had this experience but I'll bet something even Better is in store for you!


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