Doug has been wanting to see a shuttle launch since they announced the retirement of the shuttle program. Originally there was a launch scheduled for September 15th. That launch got postponed in August, and so we started planning for the November 1st launch. The launch was set for a Monday and we were leaving on Thursday. We were heading to the panhandle to visit with the Crestview Roberts for the weekend. We were all going o head down to Orlando on Sunday night, do a little Disney visit on Monday morning and then head to Cape Canaveral on Monday afternoon. We would then head back to Crestview on Monday night and head for home on Tuesday morning. This allowed us to miss only 3 days of Samuel’s school. This is important because at 4 days the school can file a misdemeanor complaint against the parents for truancy.
So, we left Thursday morning at 10:00, which was only a half an hour behind schedule. The GPS said that we should arrive in Crestview at 10:30 pm. This was obviously very optimistic and didn’t include any stops for gas or bathroom breaks. We did pack a cooler of lunches so that we wouldn’t have to make extra stops for fast food. We had sandwiches at a rest stop, which only cost us twenty minutes. We ran into some traffic in Houston because of an accident, but that was the only snag. We made excellent time to Baton Rouge where we ate with Doug’s grandparents. I made a quick trip to Walmart, because we weren’t going to make it very far without the diapers! Then it was on to Crestview. I think with the Baton Rouge stop we ended up in Crestview at about 1:30. Mike and Ingrid were up waiting for us, and Ingrid served us ice cream on a tray (she’s very much the Italian hostess in that way!).
On Friday morning we found out the launch had been delayed by a day. We were still planning on staying because we had scheduled in one day of cushion, but Ingrid and the kids weren’t going to be able to come because of school commitments. At this point though we were still all planning on Disney on Monday morning.
On Friday the cousins all played and then we went to the Air Force Armament museum. This was a lot like the Air Museum that we went to in Shearwater last year, but they had way more planes outside. The kids loved it, and we were having a great time with Mike and Ingrid. After the museum we had a little Wendy’s picnic at a park while Ingrid went to a Symphony rehearsal. We took the kids home, and a sitter came so that we could meet Ingrid for a late dinner in Destin. THe boys were super excited that their cousins get to watch movies at night, which meant that they could stay up past their normal bed time.
We ate at what I think is Emeril’s favorite restaurant in Destin. There was live music and snails, plus some very yummy dessert. We then went home and fell asleep watching the Mentalist!
On Saturday there was tie dyeing, Halloween carnivals, a performance of Madama Butterfly, and a late dinner at Applebees. I don’t know how we stayed awake, because it felt like non-stop action! On Saturday we also found out that they delayed the shuttle until Wednesday, so we decided not to make the trip to Orlando. We decided to start the trip home on Sunday night.
Sunday we had church and then Ingrid threw a fancy party for Samuel’s birthday since we kind of ignored it! There was hula- hooping, parachute marshmallows, eyeball spaghetti, cake and ice cream. Then there was a second feat of roast! We got packed and left their house a little after 9:00, which meant that we didn’t get in to Baton Rouge until after 2:00am. Everyone crashed hard! We had a great visit with grandma and grand-dad on Monday morning, and then we headed home. Except for the rain the drive was smooth. So far we haven’t need a dvd player. The kids are great in the car.
We even made it home in time to watch Dancing with the Stars … if only we hadn’t canceled the cable!
Thanks Ingrid and Mike! Hopefully we didn’t wear out our welcome too much, because we might be coming back in February!!
p.s. Just so I don’t forget, there was chess and a panini press and probably a million other wonderful things that Mike and Ingrid did for us.
pps The shuttle got rescheduled again!