From Palm Coast to Cape Canaveral

February 8, 2010 22:25 – 22:25

We’re at the Country Inn & Suites in Cape Canaveral. We’re hoping to see a launch tomorrow morning. The Endeavor went up early this morning—way too early for us (4:15 am). But, the first Space Weather Research Network mission in the Living With a Star, or LWS Program of NASA is schedule to launch tomorrow morning between 10:26 and 11:26—which is much more our speed. So, if possible, we’ll watch it.

Our first stop on the tour today was at the Ormond Memorial Art Museum and Gardens in Ormond Beach. They have changing thematic exhibits. “We have a video on NASCAR that runs an hour and fifty eight minutes. For the exhibit, it begins with the earliest NASCAR events on that wall there, then continues to the present date if you follow the wall. Would you like for me to start the video for you?”

I think to myself “You lost us at NASCAR,” but I ask “Is the entire exhibit about NASCAR?” I swear, she pumped out and enthusiastic “Yes—and it’s pretty great.”

Our time at the museum took a little less than 10 minutes. The gardens were much more interesting for us. I’m sure there are people who enjoy stock car racing… but we aren’t among them. I frankly fail to see the point…, but I don’t care for football, either. So, what do I know?

In the garden, there’s a small gallery featuring local artists. The art wasn’t wonderful, but some of it was quite good, and none of it was pictures of race cars. Outside, there was a pretty tiled work that was dedicated to one of the founders of the historical society (I think that’s what the attendant said).

Some of the items in the wall were things that had belonged to his wife and children.

The garden was very tropical.

A building outside the grounds had some very interesting columns—I’ve never seen twisty columns like it before

The garden also had some huge bamboo.

And a waterfall.

Leaving there, we wanted to drive by Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune‘s house at Bethune Cookman University. Unfortunately, we couldn’t find her house—it’s being renovated.

Next, we made our way to the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge. We had been there before, but wanted to go back. Here’s what I remembered most from our previous visit.

There’s a seven-mile nature drive that we took. There are lots of places for photographic birds along the way. My favorite is the roseate spoonbill.

Parts of Merritt Island look very much like pictures I’ve seen taken in parts of Africa.

We left Merritt Island at about 5, and headed towards Cape Canaveral, where we checked into our hotel. After a brief bit of research on the Internets using The Google, we decided on Papa Vito’s for dinner. The food was good, although, strangely, my favorite part was the antipasto salad. For starters, we split a piece of pizza to see how it was. Karen really liked it, but I thought it was average. Alex of Biddeford is still the winner. For entrees, Karen had the beef ravioli—which I thought was really good. I ordered the seafood trio, which was supposed to be shrimp, scallops, and mussels over fettuccini, in a red sauce. Unfortunately, they were out of shrimp, and they really skimped on the scallops, which I said they should substitute. They also were bay scallops, rather than sea scallops, and were therefore very small. Don’t get me wrong… the food was good. It’s just that it wasn’t quite the experience I wanted.

It was in the mid-60s today. Tomorrow, it’s supposed to be warmer, but with a chance of thunderstorms. I hope the weather doesn’t interfere with the launch, but it probably will. After that, we’re going to make our way down to the Fort Lauderdale West Palm Beach area, where we’re reserved at the Comfort Suites.

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