Friday, February 25, 2011

Shuttle Launch

Well we made it to the launch.  Even though we were only a little over an hour away,  we got up early and left the rv around 8:30.  We arrived there about 10:30.  The toll road had 3 toll booths.  That slows you down and there was some traffic.  About 3 miles from where we were going the traffic was already back up and hardly moving.  People were already getting their places.  There were cars and also motor homes lined along the road.            

                                  Don't pay attention to the dates on my pictures, the camera was set wrong

We also passed the Disney Cruise Liner.  It was huge.

We were meeting my sister, Inez and her husband Rick and granddaughter Leara, at the launch.  This was the 4th launch for Rick, so he had told us where to go.  We were going to Canaveral Air Force Station, but they wouldn't let you on their property until 2 o'clock.

 We found a place just outside their fence and decided to stay there.  We were there at 10:30 and the launch wasn't scheduled until 4:50.  We had a little bit of a wait.

People kept coming in as the day went on

We had a beautiful day.  I thought it would be hot, but there was a nice breeze.  We just sat around and talked and the day went very fast.

About the last 20 minutes there seemed to be a problem but it was corrected and the launch went off.  I think it was about 5 minutes pass the time.  Rick said they only have a 9 minute window.  If they don't get it corrected they would have to cancel it.  One of the ones he had come to was canceled 3 times and finally went off on the 4th day.

This is what we saw.

 There was a cloud cover, so we loss sight of it pretty fast.  The most interesting thing to me was after you see it go off, than about a minute later you hear the sound.  I had read this on the Internet.  This happens because sound travels slower than light.  I was expecting more of a rumble and sound, but maybe we were too far away.

They announced that they had the largest turn out for this launch.  There were a lot of cars so we hung around about 45 minutes before we left.  I think I would have waited a little longer.  This was the traffic jam we got into. 

The GPS took us the wrong direction.  I thought it was wrong but there really wasn't any  getting in the right lane so we just went with it.   When we got to Cocoa Beach, we stopped at a gas station and the guy inside told us we were going the wrong way.  He suggested we go back the way we had came.  It had taken us 1 hour to go about 4 miles.  We had to go back 2 miles to get on the road we were suppose to be on.  When we turned around the GPS said you are going into congested traffic.  I guess that is why she was taking us the wrong way. 

It took us 6 hours to go 75 miles.  We were going 2 to 4 mph for most of 50 miles.  At one point we pulled over and took about a 15 minute nap.  Another time Ed was so tired we decided to switch drivers.  The traffic was stopped so we just got out and switched places.  It was a long night.

Ed said if he knew the traffic was going to be like this he is not sure he would have went.  I am not sure, but I hope I am never in a traffic jam like that again.

Happy Trails     Ed and Lyn

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Parasailing - Wow, it was great!

Well when I got up Monday morning I didn't plan on parasailing.  We went to visit my niece, Amanda, who was vacationing in Sarasota.    We planned on just hanging out on the beach.  It was a beautiful day for that.

Satchel and Ed were having a great time in the water

The beach had very fine white sand

So we were all setting around and Terry and Amanda were saying Carter wanted to go parasailing.  Amanda is scared of heights and Terry just didn't want to do it.  They didn't want Carter going by himself.  So they are discussing it for about 15 minutes and Amanda says "Linda why don't you go with him."  Well I actually was thinking about it.  Ed went  a couple of years ago and was always telling me I should try it.  So here we are going up.

Ed had always said going up was the scariest.  But, it really wasn't that bad.  When I started rocking, it scared me.  The guy had told us the chains that held us would creak a little.  I am glad he told us that because that also scared me.  But all in all it was great.  We went up between 1000 to 1200 feet up.  We could see everything. 

                                This is us coming down.  Carter looks like he really enjoyed it.

I was a little unsteady on my feet when we were back on the boat.

If you ever get a chance I would highly recommend it.  I would love to do it again.

Terry didn't think Satchel was old enough to go but he did go out on the boat with us. 

They took us out on a smaller boat and than transferred us to a larger boat.  The boat ride was pretty neat except it was a little cold.  We didn't think about it being that chilly because it had been so warm,so Satchel was only in a t-shirt. We had wore long sleeves because we thought it would be cold when we were in the air.

We wrapped a towel around him but it was wet so I don't think it helped much

This was the boat that took us out,  this was another group of people that were going up after us
The employees told us they work 15 hour days and they average 100 people a day.  Their  busiest day was 185 people.  That would make for a long day. 

We are now at the Orlando Thousands Trails which in in Clermont, Florida.  We are going to see the shuttle launch onThursday, going to see John Paul Jackson at a Bridge church on Sunday, and we are going to snorkle with the manatees on Monday.  We are going to be very busy in the next few days and I am looking forward to telling you how things went.

HAPPY TRAILS      Love Ed and Lyn

Monday, February 14, 2011

Florida has a lot of oranges

Everywhere we go we see orange groves.  Something you don't see up north.  We went geocaching the other day and we were in the midst of several orange groves.  The trees are loaded with oranges.  Although they are picking them so some of the trees are bare.

The other things you see are trucks taking the oranges to market.

We also saw people picking the oranges.    I look at that tub and it looks like it takes an awful lot of oranges to fill it up.                                                                                                                            

We came across what we thought were baby oranges but yet we really didn't think they were.  So we weren't sure what it was.

So do you know what they are?

Well we didn't until we came upon a guy who we named Rancher Rick.  He owned some of the orange groves where we were at.  He also had these on his property.

This was for 2 families

Inside the building, one apartment

The other half
Obviously, no one is living here but I tried to imagine  someone living here.  We were checking them out and Rancher Rick came down to see what we were doing. 

So back to the small oranges.  Rick told us they were mandarin oranges, the little oranges you buy in a can.  So did you know?  We didn't.

 We learned a lot about orange trees.  We have wild orange trees behind us in the park.  The oranges are very bitter and have very long thorns.  Rick told us that orange trees that are not native to Florida can not stand all the rain that Florida gets.  So they start out with a native orange tree and when it gets to a certain height they graft in a different kind of orange tree.  When you look at all the orange groves down here that's a lot of grafting. 

We are still in Wauchula, Florida.  We have changed parks but we still have Peace River behind us.  We are in Pioneer Co. Park.

  They are getting ready for Pioneer Days.  It will last a week and will have about 400 vendors coming in.  We would like to be here but are heading to Orlando.

Happy Trails.    Love Ed and Lyn

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Finding new hobbies

We have found that we really like to play shuffleboard.  It is very popular here at Peace River.  We planned on playing pickle ball, but the first time we played Ed hurt his knee and we haven't played since.

We played it once about 40 years ago, and we liked it than.  Don't know what took us so long to play again.

Than the other thing we are really enjoy is the digging for shark teeth.  We went up the river with a guy we call River Bob.  When he goes out, he stays out all day.  We wear waders, he wears water shoes and shorts.  And Bob is 74 years young.   Bob has been showing us some places he has found some large shark teeth. 

                                             This is what we look like when we go out.
                                                                             Ed is taking a break 
                                                     Is this a fashion statement or what?

                                               Can you believe we pile all this stuff in the canoe?

Ed never could get me into fishing, but I love this.  Also I love the river.  It is so peaceful.  I feel like we are in the Amazon.   We didn't see any wildlife except for a few turtles.  Here are some pictures but it is so much better being there in person. 

The other thing we have started is geocaching (pronounced cashing).  People hide things and give you the coordinates.  You download them into your GPS and go look for them.  The other day we went out and our batteries died.  We ended up meeting someone and since our gps was dead we just followed them around.  We had a good time just talking to them.  The next time we will take extra batteries.

It is a good way to explore your surrounding area. 

Happy Trails    Love Ed and Lyn