In order to be up, fed and ready (and preferably not morning-sick) for our "grand resort" tour, we hung our room service order on the doorknob Sunday night and settled down to sleep, knowing the kind room service people would deliver at or near 7 a.m. Monday morning. Tim also set an alarm, just in case their knock was too soft or whatever...
Seven a.m. Tim is up early, taking a bath and reading a book. I peek out the door to see if perhaps a breakfast tray is just waiting for the room service's clock to turn to 7 a.m. Nothing. I open the door. The nice little room service order card is still dangling from the doorknob. It was placed there before midnight, as instructed. (Well before midnight. Nine p.m. maybe?) Tim calls the desk. We are instructed to talk with management later, as we do not have time to wait for them to bring us breakfast before making our trip to the grand resort for our vacation ownership tour and offer. We stop at McDonald's for a Big Breakfast. One is never disappointed with a McDonald's Big Breakfast -- unless it's the one in Gahanna and they're out of biscuits, but that's beside the point.
We see the place. Lovely. "All of these people are owners." (Except of course those who have rented, NOT as owners, as we have since discovered can be done for anywhere from $150 up per night, depending on the size of room...) We do not buy, despite the enticing offers meant to push us over the edge. We move on.
Off we go to Kennedy Space Center. We stand in line, buy tickets, stand in line to go through a metal detector, then stand in line to have our bags searched, and off we go to find food. Unfortunately the pregnant Jenny is hungry enough to pay the usurious price for the food -- a chicken calzone, bag of cheetos and a drink totals over $12, and we wonder why it is that Dad didn't want to go here back in the day??! -- and then we're off for a bus tour that takes us by all the cool sites at Kennedy (well, several of them), stopping us off at the LC39 Observation Gantry (from which launches from both LC39A and LC39B could be seen) for a movie and opportunity to go up to the top for pictures. We watch the movie. We take the pictures. We get back on another bus and go to the Apollo/Saturn V launch site. We see another movie. Then we go into MISSION CONTROL for the launch, and there's a recording using the actual desks and controls for Mission Control, with the voices of the people who were doing the work, the noise from the launch (they made the windows shake), a very very cool thing (perhaps my favorite). Then we get to go through the displays and see a real Saturn V rocket, moon lander, all that cool stuff, and since Tim has been there before (albeit when he was not yet a teenager), he didn't make me stop and read all the signage and all that. Nice Timmy. Good Timmy. Then back on another bus and off to the International Space Station. Well, not actually to the space station, since it's, well, in space. But we got to see some space station modules and go through them, and then we got to go across a bridge into the building where they actually work on building the modules that become part of the ISS. Then it's back on the bus to head back to the visitor's center.
En route to and from the places, we had short videos and also commentary from the bus drivers, and got to see where the space shuttle is worked on, the big tracks that the mover drives to get it to the launch pad, and even one of the big movers that the platform and then the space shuttle and all its accessories are put on and then taken to the launch pad. Also various aspects of local wildlife were pointed out, including an eagle's nest that has been inhabited by eagles for at least 30 years (our bus driver said 40 but the book said 30...). The eagles come down for the winter, hatch their babies, then fly to North Carolina for the warm months, and then the female goes on some distance further to take a vacation from her mate until they get back together to head back to the Cape for the winter. Interesting. We could see it clearly -- it was very near the road -- and Tim saw eagles in it.
Back at the Vistor's Center we attempted to get food but were so horrified by the prices we turned away -- in the end, a mistake. Then we went off to see the Space Shuttle, the Rocket Garden, the IMAX movie, and, of course, the Gift Shop. After that, we stopped off at the Astronaut Hall of Fame, saw some cool stuff, took Tim's picture with the display of his favorite astronaut, Story Musgrave (he met him when he went to Houston after high school graduation to accept his NASA Challenger scholarship), and back to Orlando for some food (too late, run down preggy lady who should'a eaten sooner, but lesson learned). Ate Mexican, back to the hotel, Tim deals with the manager on the subject of room service, and we will be BOTH granted complimentary room service in the morning.
(please note the moon in the sky just off the tip of the rocket. I worked very hard to get that shot...)