Our trip is broken into two gallaries, part 1 and part 2
Friday night just before 5PM Melissa and I headed North … windows rolled down and the breeze in our hair. The sun was shining down with all its power as we rolled into the largest traffic jam I have seen since Seattle. It was the start of our 4 day anniversary. The plan was a whirlwind tour of our neighbourhood, north to Manatee Springs State Park then east to St. Augustine and finally south again to Kennedy Space Center before returning home. But at the moment we weren’t going anywhere … fast anyways.
It was 9PM before we reached the park … lucky for us the gates were still open – all we had to do was pitch the tent and light the fire, all after the sun had fallen past the horizon. The tent went up quick, but the damp wood failed to start … it took almost an hour, all our paper, and some of my thumb before the fire finally raged – hint, use Spanish moss. The fire turned out perfect … we cooked roasted hot dogs and marshmallows and reminisced on 3 years of adventures.
Day 2 started with a canoe trip on the crystal clear waters of the park and the shores of the Suwannee River and a short hike on the lush forest trails. Just after noon we were back in the car heading to the oldest city in the US (founded 1565) – oldest “european” city in North America goes to St. Johns, Newfoundland (founded 1528), now I say “european” city since the Mayan culture dates much farther back (Chichén Itzá dates back to 2600 B.C. – but that was another adventure).
We toured the Castillo de San Marcos and its outpost of Ft. Matanzas. Wondered the streets of old, toured the lighthouse, viewed the 4th of July fireworks, and strolled through a afternoon shower. Ahh … the memories.
300 years for an additional 3000 miles
By the time the 5th rolled around we were already tired … yet were treated to a 6:30AM wake-up call and a 2+ hour drive south to Cape Canaveral. Within hours we went for touching the past to dreaming of the future. We spent the day soaking in the exhibits, from the Mercury to Gemini to Apollo to the Shuttle – even a touch of the Atlas 5 and Delta 4 (tomorrow’s rocket workhorses). I finally got to take the “Then and Now” tour which passed through the old launch pads, a rocket/missile museum, and the Apollo 1 and 7 launch site – now dedicated to “Gus” Grisson, Edward White, and Roger Chaffee who lost their lives in the tragic fire. It was a experience being there, especially as the Boeing pad for the Delta 4 was just off to the left … from the yesterday to tomorrow.
Today, our actually anniversary, was spent in almost complete relaxation. I rose to the sun shining through our tent and wondered down to the shore. I sat staring out to the Vehicle Assembly building across the way and the birds chirped in the background … what a wonderful 3 years it has been … what a ride … what an adventure. We have seen some good times and some bad. We have struggled at times and been rewarded at others. However, this past year has found things really starting to come together. We managed to free some debt, purchase some toys, and now enjoy our first real vacation since our honeymoon.
I have posted a few (62) of our favorite pictures – we took around 500 and kept about 250. Since there were so many we broke them into two parts:
Part 1: Manatee Springs, St. Augustine, and Ft. Matanzas
Part 2: KSC, Astronaught Hall of Fame, and Cocoa Beach
Hope you enjoy the trip as much as we did.
In other news:
Scott and Etsuko announced the birth of their new little girl, Amer (ah-mare), born July 4th (7lbs, 2oz). Both Melissa and I wish all three of you the best in health and happiness. Congratulations!!