garrylengthorn

30-Jul-12 Florida stage 3

In Blog, Personal, Travel on July 30, 2012 at 6:44 am

I realise I’ve been back a week and not finished my holiday blog, so here’s stage 3!

If you recall from the last stage of my blog, we’d done the theme parks, but on our final day in Orlando, we made the decision to go to the Kennedy Space Centre (celebrating its 50th anniversary) on the east coast. This was quite a long detour for us, as our intention was simply to head west. This meant a detour of over 120 miles via Merritt Island on the East coast!

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First stop en route, as it was late morning was one of the local diners (The Golden Corral) and what an experience. We were too late for breakfast, but made the all you could eat lunch! You have to try this at least once on your travels in America, as there is nothing quite like it!

For the price of $8.95 (£6), you could eat everything you wanted from roast turkey to Chinese chicken to Mexican chilly beans. Trust me, there is no greater sight to get you thinking about a diet than looking at an American family on the table next to you ploughing through this selection and then the chocolate fountain, ice cream machine and various other deserts!

After a light lunch for me (appetite seemed to fade away quite quickly, we were en route to the east coast.

Before we went to Florida, we did wonder whether we would get time to do NASA, and I have to say that I am glad we did, as The Kennedy Space Centre was a fantastic experience.

To think men make their way to space from this historic location was humbling and awe inspiring, and even if you are cynical over the whole moon landing episode, you cannot avoid being blown away by the scale of the place and the little piece of history Merritt Island has had on all our lives.

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A fond reminder of the Shuttle programme!

Although the tour had many highlights including the Space Shuttle assembly building, launch pads and the Apollo lift off experience, the bus tour guides stole the show with their typically American enthusiasm and drama. It was at this point of the holiday that we realised just how patriotic Americans are and how they love a flag.

I will never forget how Tom had explained that the flag on the VAB (Vehicle assembly building) was ‘The biggest hand painted flag of the United States of America on the planet’ and how it had taken 600 gallons of paint to complete it and how it was the size of an NBA Basketball court. Tom was indeed a legend in his own right in the land of legends!

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That rather large American flag. God bless Tom!

It’s sad to think the whole space shuttle programme is now redundant, but I guess new visions like commercial flights in space and Mars are the main items on the agenda for NASA!

After a long trek back across the middle of Florida, we arrived at Siesta Key in amongst a real tropical downpour, which pretty much followed us all the way from Orlando.

It was hardly the most ideal way to arrive, as everything was closed down early on our tiny strip of Island, which left only one option, a Mcdonald’s take away on the mainland. Pure class eh!

Of course, being Florida, the next day was a beautiful hot summer’s day. What else would you expect and I will save some details of our final week in Siesta Key for the final stage (4) of my Florida blogs later this week. Did I mention I did some fishing?

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