Saturday, September 29, 2012


When I was a child, I used to visit my Nan at her flat. She lived on the 9th floor of a 12 floor apartment building. I thought it was huge when I was small. But it’s not. It’s not huge at all. What IS huge is what we saw today. A full sized, 36 storey long Apollo Rocket. Exactly the kind of rocket that launched Astronauts to the moon. It’s big. Really really REALLY fucking big!

It is the size of a 36 storey building but is built it to the same specifications of a finely tuned circuit board. It was transported just over 3 miles on the largest (and slowest) land vehicle ever created. - ‘The Crawler’, which too, is not within your imagination to think about, unless you have seen it with your own eyes.  Once in place and filled with huge amounts of high explosive. Three people were put inside the top and shot into the air reaching 1000mph in just a few seconds and pulling 4G. 
The crawler

Space bus

The huge vehicle assembly building

Its bigger than it looks

I love the idea of rockets, space flight, landing on other worlds and the like. So, it’s no surprise that at 9am this morning, we were first in line when the Kennedy Space Centre opened its gates for the day.
What a good day it was too. A guide led us through the actual Apollo Launch Control centre where we witnessed a re-creation of the live take off of an Apollo rocket, complete with shaking building and massive noise. Then the doors opened to a huge hall, where sitting above us were the insanely huge rockets at the bottom of the unimaginably massive rocket – all 36 storeys of it. It now lies on its side in the Apollo viewing centre. It is a Behemoth.  Honestly, you can see it in TV or You tube, but until you have seen it for yourself, you really don’t know just how big and incredible this thing is. 

We had already passed by the Vehicle Assembly Building where these rockets and the now retired space shuttles were prepared for their journey – on the huge tracked crawler, which as I said before is the largest moving land vehicle ever made. Again, it is incredible. We passed by the press area, which for every launch is the bit you see on TV as the noise and heat deafen the crowds as the rockets blast off into the sky. We also saw, from a distance, the actual Launch Gantries used for launched as far back as the early sixties.  The Kennedy Space Centre also has a Rocket Garden, where instead of roses and daffs, you have a line up of smaller and not so small rockets from the years gone by. Two massive IMAX cinemas take you through movies where you watch the Hubble Telescope and International Space Station being built and repaired in space. A great day out for anyone with any interest in: - ‘What is out there!’ 


Launch tower


I only wish I could come back one day when there is a Space Shuttle launch on and be able to see it for myself, but now they are retired, it is impossible. One day though, I will try and get back and see a launch of some kind. No funny stories today – apart from being told to sit down when I got over excited and moved seats on the tour bus! It was just a great day out on a really beautiful and hot sunny Florida Thursday. 

Friday morning appears and we are now a couple of hours North of Kennedy in a lovely little town called St Augustine. We had a night out last night and met a few of the locals who explained a bit about this lovely little seaside town. It’s actually the oldest inhabited city in the United States. It also has lots of beautiful 19th century architecture (Nice buildings) and somewhat of a history of pirates. It’s also a really nice friendly place to go out for a night as we discovered when we met and chatted with a few of the locals in the bar with no name. On the way home, we had another example of how friendly they are as Dan wanted a McDonalds’, but it was closed. He tried to walk through the drive through, but was told he couldn’t be served unless he was in a car. Dan then said to the woman who wouldn’t serve him: - ‘I thought this was the land of the free!!!’ Haahaa brilliant.
However, he was saved when  right on cue, one of the locals named Jimmy, turned up and invited Dan to get into his car and he then drove through the McDonalds’ and allowed Dan to get his much needed sustenance! Cheers Jimmy!!


The land of the free?

Getting a lift...

Thanks Jimmy

Im a Gypsy

with a pirate....

...or the sheriff?

Big house!!

Bigger house!

Alma, Georgia...for me mum!

Dan in his city!

The next morning we had a nice relaxing walk around the town taking in some of the sight we had missed the night before. The old town here is lovely, with lots of quaint buildings, the fort and a really nice seafront. Plus you can do loads of different ghost tours – with a Pirate or a Captain or loads of other characters. A really nice little known City that’s well worth a visit if you are ever around here. 

We drove north along the A1A coastal highway looking in awe at the stunning houses that are perched on the sand dunes overlooking the Atlantic Ocean – a really nice place to live and I was very jealous. After a few hours we reached our first destination of the day – Hinesville. Why Hinesville I hear you ask!? Well Dan's surname, is Hine and we wanted a photo of him with the sign. After that quick stop, we had a look where we wanted to head next and I saw a town called Alma – my mum’s name, so we headed for that before continuing westwards. A long but good day of driving eventually ended after crossing the whole of Georgia and ended up in a small town in Alabama, where we are now. The whole day and 400 miles driving has mostly been completed on normal roads, with only about 25 miles done on the freeway. We have passed through lots of strange little towns, with their ramshackle houses and wide open yards. We have driven past and through swamps and even saw a live turtle slowly crossing the road – I hope the little guy made it.  

Anyway thats it for now. Its just after 7am on Saturday morning and we are up and getting ready to leave on another half days driving. We have 341 miles and about 6 hours to reach todays destination.....New Orleans!!!  :-)


  1. Did you know that you can shorten your urls with Shortest and receive cash for every click on your short urls.