Central Florida: Baseball + a Fireball

March 17, 2017

Another morning of sleeping in. We are getting good at this after full days and late nights. Going to blame it on double whammy of entering eastern time zone and springing forward with daylight savings, right?! We did not have plans today, a recovery day of hanging out at home in the RV. I worked and kids did some school before heading over to the swimming pool.

Tomorrow we have plans to meet up with the friends we made at Florida Caverns State Park. As we were leaving the campground that day we exchanged information and they started following our Get Living Adventure through Facebook and this blog. They had read that one of the things on my Get Living List was a spring training baseball game. They love baseball and live about 2 hours south of Orlando, so they called us and asked if they could take us to a game to help us tick that off our list. Wow! Totally floored by their thoughtfulness and willingness to make the drive and visit with us again – so cool! We  made the plans to meet up for picnic beforehand so we could hang out and the kids could play. Excited for the game tomorrow!

March 18, 2017

Spent the morning tidying up the RV since we leave tomorrow. Most places so far departure day is bittersweet, however after a week in a 1950’s era Park Model Mobile Home Park we are ready to hit the road, it has left a lot to be desired! This afternoon we made our way to Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex that houses the Atlanta Braves during Spring Training. It was the Braves versus Tigers.

I can say this game goes on the list of our unexpected as we figured our first spring training game would be in Arizona watching either the Dodgers or Angels one day.

(Coincidentally about one year later we did just that in Arizona in March of 2018. So neat to look back and remember our time with Mark and Raegan and their kids in Florida)

We were seated along left field in the grass – which was great for the kids to run around and play during the game. The sun was out and it was hot for us – but we survived. The kids were smart and found refuge in the shade of the foul ball pole!

After the game the kids were invited to run the bases of the field. So fun watching them make such a special memory together, they seemed so small on such a large diamond. They ran off the field with giant smiles and a big leaguers pride, feeling so accomplished for getting run the bases like the players do!

Following the game – we had a decision to make. Before we ever arrived in Orlando, we had started talking about the Kennedy Space Center and wanting to visit – we found out that there was a launch countdown on their website for when the next rocket would launch. Once we arrived in Orlando we discovered that there might be a small chance to actually witness a rocket launch. Cortney talked again to her childhood friend Claire, who knows a little something about launches. She was quick to temper our enthusiasm, knowing how often the launches are called off.

During our time in Florida the countdown changed times and/or dates pretty frequently, we kept watching silently hoping it would work out. After the game that afternoon, we checked the countdown once more and saw the launch was scheduled that evening at 7:45pm. This was the opportunity we had been hoping for but could never have imagined when we set out from Denver in January. We jumped in the car and said ‘let’s go for it’! It was just over an hour drive, taking tolls to get to Cape Canaveral. Florida tolls are something else, we were scavenging for change before each toll booth, unreal! Lesson learned, be prepared for the toll roads next trip to Florida!

Cortney scoped a potential viewing location as we drove, racing against the clock to get there, we settled on Titusville, Florida. The closer we got the the Space Coast, the more excited we got as the crowds and cars increased. We stopped at a park across the highway from a Mexican food restaurant and called in an order to go. Arriving about an hour before the schedule launch, we set up blankets & picnic dinner overlooking the bay and Cape Canaveral. The bay was lined with people from all walks of life, from all over the US and a few who had traveled internationally to watch this spectacle. One man had been in town for over 3 weeks awaiting this launch, which had been called off a few times in the weeks previous. News crews with their cameras, fanatics with their high powered telescopes and cameras were growing more excited as the clock ticked down. Some super fanatics had radio communications between their team getting updates from the launch pad. At about 7:40 PM the launch was delayed due to an alarm. Argh, pits in our stomachs, would this be it, was it over, another launch called off?! We figured that was it – our chances were over that the launch window would go away before they could solve the issue.

We decided to wait it out an see what happened. We followed along on the iPad and overhearing the radio communications around us. Eventually and sort of amazingly our patience paid off and the countdown continued for the final 4 minutes and at 8:18 PM that ULA Rocket launched like a fireball into the night sky. So cool –  no words to describe such an incredible human feat, truly awe inspiring. Another awesome memory made. Nolan always testing and pushing for more, said he is ready to see another launch during the day! Tried explaining to him that this was quite possibly, once in a lifetime.

This post is part of our Live Like No One Else series, a retelling, through journal entries kept along the way, of all the sights and memories we made during our 2017 #getlivingadventure. We were so busy living the adventure we missed sharing many of the experiences with you. Just happy to have you along as we relive many of the great memories that we hope one day our kids will have to read and remember!

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