I had struggled to get to sleep last night as my room was either blazingly hot or freezing cold thanks to the air conditioner that seems to operate on a whim all of its own. Still walking up this morning I didn’t feel too tired and went about looking for something to do. I had thought I would go to a beach since there were several within an hours drive from where I was, the question was which one of them to choose? I found a couple good sites on 5 of the local beaches and I eventually settled on Cocoa beach since it had a good amount of shops close by and seemed to be the biggest out of the lot.
Before I could leave though I had to attend to the matter of what to wear. Specifically the fact that I had worn pretty much everything I had brought over with me and they really needed a wash. Thankfully the hotel had a coin (well no cash value token) operated laundry on the second floor. I’d never used one of these before and it was novel, at least for the first 15 minutes until I realised my paranoid self couldn’t leave the clothes alone in case someone nabbed them. About an hour later I was out of there with half of my clothes clean and dry with the other being clean but still wet since they couldn’t be tumble dried. I strung them up in the laundry and then went about getting out of the hotel.
I hadn’t bothered doing my hair or anything since I knew I was going to ruin it not 30 minutes later when I arrived at the beach, so the first thing I did was take the top down on the Corvette. It was nice have the wind in my hair all the way down there although I quickly realised I had neither a beach towel nor any sunscreen to speak off. A quick detour into the local Walmart solved that problem and I continued on my way. No sooner had I got back onto the highway than did I see the sign for the next exit. It read “Kennedy Space Centre” and instantly my heart began to soar. I knew I was going to be going close to the KSC but I didn’t really know how close until I was crossing over the bridge. Just as I was getting over the apex I saw a structure I recognised, the Vehicle Assembly Building a giant hangar designed to house the shuttles while they’re being prepped for launch. I was like an excited kid, bobbing up and down in my seat at the mere site of it. I promised myself I wouldn’t go there until launch day, or failing that the last day before I left Florida.
With a giant grin on my face I continued on to Cocoa beach. It was getting on in the afternoon and I hadn’t had any lunch yet so I thought I’d get some food before heading down to the beach. No sooner had I pulled into a random car park to get my bearings than I heard the unmistakable sound of several large jet engines flying low overhead. Looking skyward I saw it was a Boeing C-17 being followed by two Blackhawk (I think, they didn’t look armed) helicopters, performing an in flight refuelling manoeuvre. A smile crept onto my face as I realised that I had lucked out and found the Cocoa Beach Airshow, the one I had been searching for but had be unable to find. What ensued was several hours of lying in the sun watching various aircraft perform all sorts of feats overhead. I even got to see the legendary Thunderbirds and their compliment of F-16s. Alas I had unknowingly left my camera back at the hotel, but I did grab a few iPhone pictures as momentos.
Once the show was over I went for a quick dip in the water. It was warm and inviting, the perfect way to finish off an afternoon of staring into the sky. After jumping out and towelling off a bit I realised there were no public change rooms in sight, nor any public showers. I made my way back to the car and then did the most awkward clothes change I’ve ever done, with half of myself sticking outside of the car and the other squished up against the centre console. I got there eventually however and was off on my way back home, content in the fact that I had lucked out considerably by choosing Cocoa Beach as my destination for that day.
There’s still been no word from my travel agent as to whether or not I can change the flights without incurring some kind of penalty. If I don’t have a response by tomorrow morning I’m going to take matters into my own hands and call the flight directly. I still haven’t found a hotel yet but I’m not terribly worried, we’re not in peak times over here yet and when I was staying at the airport I would bet on the fact that at least half of those rooms were empty. We’ll see though but if worst comes to worst I’ll just rent another car and sleep in that 😉
Hey, I might actually have a use for that stupid cellphone I bought. Awesome.