Road trip!

So, instead of just hang around my (mostly empty of furniture) house for four weeks before heading up to Ottawa, I need to do something.  I looked at Cancun, and heading north to see the quite spectacular aurora, but just decided to jump in my car and head south to spring training.

Space Coast Stadium

Spring Training is spread out across Florida (and there’s a whole separate batch of teams in Arizona), so I decided to  spend two days near KSC, two days near Orlando, and finish up on the west coast near Sarasota.  I used to live near KSC when I worked there, and while driving around some back roads found this:

That’s an external tank and set of SRBs (just the casings, I’m sure) from the Space Shuttle, sitting in a field behind the KSC visitor’s center.  What I think they are, are the set that used to be on display at the visitor’s center, connected to a mockup of a shuttle orbiter.  That mockup is being replaced by Discovery, but I doubt they’ll display it outdoors as they did the mockup, with the ET and SRBs, so if someone needs a set…  The SRBs are collectors items.  They include segments of the filament wound boosters which were going to be used to launch shuttles from Vandenberg AFB into polar orbit.

Visiting an old homestead allows you to revisit favorite restaurants and stores.  In my case, it gave me the opportunity to get some fresh squeezed orange and grapefruit juice from my favorite place just outside the south gate.

I hadn’t planned to visit the air museum at TICO airport (well worth visiting if you’re in the area and have an interest), but as it turned out there was an airshow that weekend which gave me the opportunity to see rare WWII warbirds, including the only flying B-29, in the air, so that was just an unexpected bonus.

I ended up seeing five ballgames, including my hometown Nationals and childhood Yankees, but Spring Training is a lot more expensive than I expected.  I expected minor league prices.  They’re closer to major league prices, which given that you’re only seeing the major leaguers for a few innings at best, is a bit of a ripoff.  Add parking, food and the price of sunscreen 🙂 and it ends up being a pretty expensive way to pass time.  Still it was worthwhile, particularly after you add beach time and the great weather.

But, I had to return because there are things to be done.  I still need to find out how to get things out of storage and ship them to Ottawa, since the State Department doesn’t provide housing up there.  I need to pick up my visa (yes, a visa for Canada).  I need to sell off or give away the furniture I’ve been using while I’ve been here.  I’m replacing a dead tree in my front yard (with a live one) and getting my house ready for rental.

Two weeks, more or less, to go!



Filed under Foreign Service Stuff

4 responses to “Road trip!

  1. Cancun? Don’t you have to be in the U.S. during home leave?

    But FL sounds pretty sweet too.

  2. rkolker

    That’s one of those questions I never got an answer to — once you get back to the U.S. for home leave, do you need to stay there? All moot in any case.

  3. rkolker

    As I’ve been reminded, Atlantis is coming to KSC, not Discovery.

  4. Anonymous

    You need a visa to go to another country as a member of a diplomatic station?

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