We went to go see the Shuttle lift off. We did the trek across the state before, and the last time we went, we got as far as the other side of Orlando before we decided it was craziness to get stuck in traffic hoping to see the liftoff. So, we opted to get the Sun Pass prepaid toll card to assist us in getting through the tolls on the Beachline expressway. One of the toll booths did not have the tellers at the booths to take the money, so I suppose that those cars who did not have the prepaid toll devices in their car had to receive the friendly “you ran the toll device” letters in the mail. Or else the State of Florida lost money on those instances. I’d venture to say that the private company who contracts with the state of Florida to collect the debts probably does not stay in business to lose money.
I’m not a fan of paying money to drive on roads, nor am I particularly a fan of spending money to park at a location. Yet there are times when one has to pay to park a vehicle. Often times, it is at a garage that the city financed the construction of, and the charges to park are part of visiting the city. Or else it is at a university where the university derives money from having a greater demand for certain spaces than there are actually spaces to accomodate them. They accomplish this usually by having certain tiers of parking permits. Some hospitals charge money for parking. I’d assume other corporations also charge money for the priveledge of parking near work.
The shuttle did go off, and I was near the launch site. I wasn’t in Titusville, but at Cape Canaveral Beach. We parked at the Cocoa Beach Peir (another paying for parking experience that probably wasn’t worth it in the end). At the same time, it was part of the experience. I got a T-shirt commemorating the Launch of Atlantis, the last shuttle launch. Leaving was another matter. There was a lot of traffic. We took our time trying to get back. We had lunch in Melborne at Friendly’s. We had dinner at B. B. King‘s House of Blues in Orlando. The performers were doing a pretty good job with the blues guitar.
I wanted to find where Howl at the Moon was in Orlando, as we left the parking garage we did see that Howl at the moon is in that complex of Pointe Orlando. We stayed Thursday Night in Orlando, at a nearby hotel, but the weather was lousy that night. We now know for next time. Some parking garages tend to be a little bit unsafe. I don’t think that there are many accidents inside of parking structures, but who knows for sure?
- Video: Atlantis lifts off on final shuttle mission (cbsnews.com)
- Atlantis crew checking shuttle for damage (ctv.ca)
- Space Shuttle Atlantis STS-135 crew, loading up for liftoff (photo) (boingboing.net)
- Last voyage of Atlantis (newsboulevard.wordpress.com)
- Striking NASA Photo Shows Last Shuttle Launch From Above (space.com)
- NASA Launches Space Shuttle on Historic Final Mission (mbcalyn.wordpress.com)
- Final Launch of the Atlantis Space Shuttle, Titusville, Florida, July 8, 2011 (photographs) (historymartinez.wordpress.com)
- With eye on sky, shuttle aims for last flight (chron.com)
- Astronauts, 750,000 gather to glimpse blastoff (cbsnews.com)
- A Era In Space Travel Comes To An End, With The Lift Off Of Atlantis: UPDATE (annem040359.wordpress.com)
- Weather Doesn’t Stop Atlantis Launch (patspapers.com)
- NASA fuelling Atlantis in slim hope of scheduled liftoff (ctv.ca)