T Minus 9


Posted by kat | Posted in Family Happenings | Posted on 11-07-2011

We recently went to Florida to see the last of the current space shuttle launches.  It’s the last because they are not sending any more missions to the moon.  They are working on sending people to mars, and from what I read and have heard, they are sending things to the private sector.  I am not sure what is really going on, as you can never really trust what you read or hear.

We left Fort Valley, on July 6th at 9am.  We packed plenty of snacks and activities for the kids.  It was decided that we would stop every two hours, this was to stretch and let the kids out to run around.   We stopped at the Georgia/ Flordia border, where there is a visitor’s center that gives out either Grapefruit or Orange Juice as free samples.  We also decided to stop for lunch at this time, other than the kids not wanting to eat, because they wanted to run around, it was a rather uneventful first two hours of the trip.   The also had these cute cut outs that I took the kids pictures at.  Nana and Papa, even decide that they needed pictures taken.

We then continued on our way, the 6 hours trip took us 8 hours. We arrived in Daytona Beach and got settled into the hotel.  We took the kids swimming at the pool and we also played in the ocean a little.  We decided that we wanted to get up and see the sunrise on the beach.  We set our alarms for 6am and herald in the new day with a walk on the beach, little did we know what we were in for.  My mother and husband had been to Daytona Beach before, and it was decided to take the kids to the boardwalk and pier.   I  really do not think that they remembered how far it was from the hotel.  It ended up being 3.5 miles away from the hotel.  The walk to the pier was not bad at all,  we walked along collecting seashells, and other interesting items.  They found a few pieces of sand dollar, a few crab shells and several seashells which were put in to zip-locks we had brought along.  We also found a live crab, several jelly fish and even a baby fish.  Later we left the kids with Nana and Papa and Hubby and I, went and found the few Elongated machines that were listed.  We added about 6 new pennies to our collection.

They next day we checkout, we packed the night before so that we could get an early start.  We drove an hour to where the launch site was supposed to be.  We didn’t get to go to the space center, as it was closed for the visiting dignitary’s.  I was sort of bummed because they have 44 different penny images there.   We decided since traffic was crazy and there was a park near where we were, that we would just sit at the park and watch the launch.   There was a bad storm scheduled to hit around the time of the launch, hubby found an app on his phone for NASA Radio, so we listened to it for a while and they mentioned that at T-Minus 9 they were going to hold the launch from anywhere from 9- 45 mins, so they could double check the weather.  We were about 5 miles from the launch site and even with the clouds being low, it was still cool to see the glint of the shuttle as the sun hit it.  It took about 2 mins, before we heard the sound of the shuttle, because it moves so fast.  We ate a picnic lunch, while we waited for the traffic to thin enough that it wasn’t a mad house.  We then started on our way home, which is when we hit trouble.  We had a slight shimmy in the car, and figured that somehow we had lost the weight bar that balances the car tires, the further we drove the worse the shimmy got.  I then thought maybe we were low on air, so we stopped at the only gas station that had a working air compressor, paid the $1.00 to get air which only lasted long enough to fill two tires, paid another $1.00 to fill the other two tires.  The shimmy was alot less, it was around 5pm, so we decided to stop for dinner.  We then proceeded on the rest of our journey, about 3 hours from home the shimmy came back and had a loud noise with it, so we pulled off at a weigh station, thinking we had a flat tire.   The tire did not end up being flat, it had a wave it it, which meant that it was out of round.  We put the spare on, which by the way is the spare that comes with the car and says not to go over 50 mph.  Most spares are also on an aluminum rim, and are not meant for long term use.  We tried to find a Walmart that was open, but they were all closed by this time, it was roughly around 8pm and we were supposed to have been home already.   We finally made it home at 11:45pm. I called the tire shop first thing in the morning and they said to bring the tire and the receipt in and they would look at it.  They looked at the tire and said that the radial belt(metal) had separated from the wall of the tire.  They replaced it free of charge, I then asked them where I got get a rim to use as a spare, so I could get rid of the doughnut spare.  They sent me to a salvage yard that was about a mile down the road, they are only open Mon-Fri.  I sat in their parking lot and called my parents, to see if they know of any place to go, that might be open on a Saturday.   They were able to find me a place, and while it was a bit of a drive to get there, they had a rim and it even had a decent tire on it.  I was thrilled that it was only going to cost me $35.00, I really wish that I had taken the time to find a replacement rim sooner.

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