Long a go, in a land not so far from here, I saw asexual sea grass for the very first time. This spotting was during my first trip to the Space Coast! It was also my first and only trip to Space Camp Florida. I was in my second season of camp as a teacher counselor when I begged my way onto the first Advanced Academy for Educator’s trip to KSC. This would be the trip I would make friends with some of my best friends, Rhonda Cox, Tony Fleury, Wes McCammon, and others of the Alpha 19 group. I have so many wonderful memories from that trip, but my favorite is sitting on the deck of Paul’s Steakhouse sharing our favorite Space Camp moment stories! Other than the asexual sea grass, that group bonding was my favorite Space Camp moment.
Today, I sit miles from the U. S. Astronaut Hall of Fame – formerly owned and operated by Space Camp. I am with Chris (aka Pumkin) and Kerby (aka Kerby). We drove straight through the night just so we could be the first members of the Space Camp delegation to arrive for the launch of STS – 131. In 2007, Chris and I drove down with Rhonda, Ed, and Charity for the launch of STS – 118. Since my husband and I are space geeks, we nicknamed our Toyota 4Runner the TEV – Travel/Excursion Vehicle. I have so many wonderful memories from my first trip to this area and my most recent in 2007. This trip will not be any different. Even last night at four o’clock in the morning when I was chatting with Kat, Lead of Alpha 19, I remembered the asexual sea grass or the time I got carded at a Walgreen’s liquor store when I was buying ice. I also remember missing every thing by just ten to fifteen minutes.
We didn’t get to see the orbiter delivered to KSC on the Boeing 747 or Barbara Manatee, but we enjoyed great rock shrimp at Dixie Crossroads and learning lots about space. I wish I could organize a reunion of our team. Monday as we watch Discovery lift off the pad I will be thinking of all my wonderful Space Camp and Aviation Challenge friends! Good Luck and God Speed Discovery!