On the road with Ed and Judie travel blog

White Ibis hanging out in the campground

Peaceful Water

Tri-Color Heron

Pelican landing

Manatee surfacing

Manatee surfacing

Manatee diving

Tampa Manatee park across from the Tampla Power Plant

No manatees here

Our dinner spot in Cocoa

Sunset from the Sunset


Arrived at NASA

One of the space exploration vehicles

And, another

Ed and Gloria touching the Universe

In the Garden of Space Ships

In the Rocket Garden

That is Leadership!

The Mercury Mission Control room

Gemini Capsule

Gloria in a space vehicle

In the Rocket Garden

Ed and Judie in front of the mural

One of the Block House Control Rooms

In the Monkeynauts area

Learning about an engine

Painting of the Cape Canaveral lighthouse

The lighthouse

The original control panel, including cigarette butts, in a block house

Cable Trays run above

Ed liked the cable trays....

A lauch structure

Lauch site of Apollo 1

and, it is abandoned in place.

Apollo 1 site

Hallowed ground in respect for Apollo 1

Thursday we drove to the Tampa Airport and picked up Gloria (Ed’s sister) for a week’s stay with us. She arrived right on time at 11 am after her flight from Chicago. We decided to have lunch and go to the Manatee viewing area at the power plant. The warm water from the cooling system is discharged to a channel that goes to the Gulf. The warm water attracts the Manatees and they have built quite a viewing platform and trail out to the end of the channel. The Manatees were not cooperative so we did not see any. We were told with the warmer weather, they did not have to come up to the warm water for heat. This is the same information that we were told in Old Town a few days before. After our Manatee trip, we went back to the coach and got Gloria settled.

Friday we made the move to Cocoa on the East Coast and set up at the Sonrise Palms Christian RV Park. With the short trip we arrived early in the afternoon so we made a trip to Cocoa Beach to do a little exploring. We enjoyed the Old Town area but found that most shops were closing at 5 pm so after a short walk we decide to proceed further out to the Island. On the drive we found a nice seafood restaurant on the waterway called the Sunset Restaurant. After a good dinner and watching the sunset over the waterway we went further out and made a stop at a beach souvenir shop so we could look at some of the tourist trap souvenirs, tee shirts, towels, etc. A quiet evening, what was left of it, and early to bed to get ready for our big day at the Space Center.

One of the items on Gloria’s vacation wish list was to visit the Kennedy Space Center. This was high on Ed’s list also and Judie had heard some good stories from RV’ers during our travel so we were all interested to tour the venue. We found they had a doggie day care so we took the dogs and they spent the day at the doggie day care while we took the tours. In addition to the museum and exhibits, we signed up for the3 hour tour of the launch sights and base.

We enjoyed the exhibits while waiting for our tour time and at 1:30 pm loaded the bus for the tour. What an experience this was for all of us! We had a bus driver and tour guide that were just great. They each took their turn giving us information about the sights we were seeing, what had happened at each area and launch pad and a general history or the space program. You could tell that they both had a great passion for the space program and had done a lot of research. They both were older and probably retired from their original jobs and did this because they enjoyed it. The driver had seen more than 90% of the launches since the very first one.

We were impressed at the immense area of the base and the distance between launch pads. We made a stop at the original Pad and block house for a tour of the block house with the original equipment in the control room. We were told that all the computing power in the two rooms was probably less than most smart phones. Ed was impressed with the little computing power and automatic controls that existed during the early space program including the trips to the moon. We stopped at the Apollo 1 Launch Pad where the 3 astronauts died during the launch. This pad was used again for Apollo 7 and then it was not used again and has been ‘abandoned in place’ as a memorial. This tour with the exhibits was well worth the visit.

We picked the dogs up and headed back to the coach by way of Highway 1 to see the local towns. It was also St Patrick’s Day so we decided to stop for corn beef and cabbage on our way back. The Irish Pub was having a big party so we didn’t stop there, but went back to the Sunset Restaurant who had advertised corn beef and cabbage. The second night was not so great. They ran out of the special and were trying to quickly make more. Hard potato’s, cold cabbage and corn beef. After a disappointing dinner we went back to the coach. Have to add, the dinners were taken off the bill, as the manager was properly embarrassed by the whole incident.

Sunday was a rest and recuperate day with a trip to Cocoa Beach and the pier in the late afternoon. The pier was a disappointment with mostly being bars and drinking areas in the first section and then they wanted a fee to walk out the last section which appeared to be a rundown old pier for fishing. An evening well spent at the coach with lamb stew and an adult beverage. After a relaxing day we are ready to move north on Monday to the Bulow Plantation RV Park in Flagler north of Daytona Beach.

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