Day 214 – 4/1/21 NASA’s Kennedy Space Center

We had a great day visiting NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, and then hanging out with our friends.

A bit of a different early morning today.  The girls are on spring break, so no school.  I did not have any works calls, but got some writing done, and still have a few behind to catch up.  I then had a call with Apple at 8am to figure out why I cannot submit the claim for the stolen iPhone.  After another 30 minutes with the tech, and this was my 4th contact with Apple, each time escalated to someone else, the tech told me it would be faster to go to a store and they’d fix whatever needed fixing and just get me a new phone on the spot.  So, he made an appointment for me at the Millenia Mall Apple Store for tomorrow late morning.  It does suck not having a phone.

Bella woke up right before my call, then Carol woke up next, and Bia woke up while I was on the call.  Everyone was getting ready as we wanted to leave to the Space Center by 9am.  Bia and Lulu were coming with us too, so Ju was getting them ready.  We finally left around 9:15.  The drive there is pretty easy, most of the same way to Cocoa Beach, and then as you get close we turn north a bit.  We were there in a little less than an hour and a half.  Calina’s arrived just a few minutes after us and parked right next to us.  Gehri’s arrived earlier and started exploring right away.  We were walking around with Calina’s, the Bellodi girls and us, so we had a group of 11.

The Kennedy Space Center is very cool.  It is one of NASA’s facilities in Cape Canaveral where many space shuttles, rockets, and satellites are launched.  This park is operating at limited capacity, and all the internal spaces are as well, the cafes, the rides and exhibits, etc.  Cape Canaveral now has a few different companies operating space ports too, such as SpaceX.  It is cool to be in a NASA place, with so much history about massive human accomplishments.  As we walked in, there were a few rocket ships on display right away.  We passed security and tried to get a spot on the buses that can take you to another exhibition later, but they were full, so we planned our route instead and started by visiting the Atlantis exhibit. 

All the kids did great, they all behaved really well and played together a lot while checking out everything they could. The Atlantis exhibit was great, and it was the best part for everyone.  You first watch a video about how they made the shuttle, that included some passages about how they needed to make it back intact, how to take it there with fuel and rockets that would disengage, how they fixed the problem of heat on the return with heat panels, etc.  Then you go onto another room and watch the video of them succeeding and then a launch, which at the tail end is supposed to end with a big door opening to the actual Atlantis Space Shuttle hanging from the ceiling in another room, but the big door did not open for us, so they had us go through an emergency door into the other room. hahahahah…. The size of the space shuttle is pretty amazing, everything there is amazing.  The amount of wires and hoses, the amount of planning and testing, and all the engineering that went into making all of that.  It’s really cool. 

I am not really sure what the kids actually retained from all they learned there, but for sure they have a good idea of what things look like for the space program, in person, from the size of everything, to what the toilets look like. hahahah..  They did get that the space shuttle has a huge fuel tank and two rockets attached to it so they can launch it into space.  The fuel tank and rockets are standing outside the building, and the shuttle is inside.  A replica of the Hubble Telescope was inside as well, and it is pretty cool.  The kids also got to walk inside a replicate of parts of the international space station, well, more like crawl in there and through the tubes (hallways). 

After Atlantis, we went to eat.  There was a line to get in the Orbit Cafe, but it was moving so it was not that bad. Once we were in, I took all the kids to sit so we could reserve the two tables I had seen from the line.  Carol and Flavia stayed in line and placed our orders.  Once Flavia placed her order, I took her receipt and waited there to pick up the trays, and she went to the table with Charlie.  It took a bit for all the food to be ready, but we got everything and the kids ate pretty good.  No complaints.  The food was decent too.  I had a double cheese burger and it was decent. 

After lunch, we moved across the street to the Kids Play area.  There was a line there too, so we had to wait a bit to get in.  The kids were excited to explore and play.  Once we got in, we were told to stay 30 minutes or less, to give others a chance to play as well.  The kids went right to it and started running around, going up and down walls and playing.  There was not much exploring, but all the toys and rides had space themes.  We were there for about 45 minutes, the kids had a lot of fun, and Carol and I even had a beer there while we watched the kids zoom by. 

As we left there, it was already after 3, and the park closed at 4.  We then went to a Mars exhibit, and the cool thing there is that there are the different rovers they had.  From the first ones which now look pretty primitive, to the latest one which looks very high tech.  From there, we were pretty close to the center pavilion and gift shop, so we stopped there.  Some people went into the store, and I stayed outside with the kids. 

We met Gehri’s at that point, as they were walking towards the gift shop too.  The kids were just playing around for a bit, and after everyone finished their shopping we started heading out. We took some pictures by the NASA sign right there too, and got all the kids, then families, etc.  We made a final restroom stop and headed to the cars.  Vi wanted to come with us in the truck, so Bia B went with Calina’s, Vi went in the back with Bia and Bella, and Lulu came in the front with Carol and I.

The ride back was nice.  The girls in the back were entertained by the TV.  Lulu was in the front and she usually gets car sick, so it’s better for her to be looking outside.  She took her dramamine before we left, but said she was not feeling well soon into the ride.  Carol kept asking her a million questions about how she felt, what she did, etc… her replies were nothing, or just shoulders, and rarely words, but sometimes soft words that Carol could not hear… well, that went on and on, until somehow we changed subjects and started conversations with Lulu, which she engaged in and the rest of the ride she was talking to Carol about all kinds of stuff.  She was not even realizing she was not feeling sick anymore, she was looking happy, and was the chattier I had ever seen.  Cool.  We got to Calina’s in about an hour.

The plan from there was to just hang out.  Carol, Heather and Flavia left to go to a nearby Brazilian store, while the guys stayed with the kids.  The kids were all just playing, so Ricardo got a few things done, got a dresser out of the box, put a button for his garbage disposal, etc.  When the ladies arrived back they brought a ton of food with them, wow.  I thought they were bringing bread and a few things so we could eat the leftovers from their fridge, but they had so much stuff we are making more leftovers for sure.  On top of that, they had pies, cakes and donuts.  Oh boy.  They also had coxinhas, so that was great.  hahahah.  Leo and Ju arrived soon after that.  We all ate, the kids ate well and had dessert too. 

Then the adults finished eating, put some stuff away, and sat by the living room and hung out.  We shared stories, jokes, listened to music, chatted and laughed the rest of the night.  We had a great time with everyone. 

It was quite late when we decided to leave.  Bia stayed and Bella came with us.  Carol drove home.  It was a bit cold and we went right to bed when we arrived.  I just got the computer to catch up, and map out tomorrow as Carol wants to go to Calina’s first in the morning, before I go to the apple store.  We have time, but it will take 30 minutes to get to Calina’s and another 30 to the apple store, so we need to make sure we leave early.

We had an awesome day at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, and hanging out with our friends.

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