Home Again

I’m back!  And we had a marvelous time, both on the cruise and afterward.

We relaxed a lot,

Cheryl relaxing in cabin

dressed up a little,

Larry in his tux

and I got to spend a lot of time with my sister

Kathi and Cheryl

and the family (there were 16 of us).

Cruising with the family

After the cruise, Larry and I stayed with my sister in Bradenton Florida for a few days, and had even more fun. One of the neatest things we saw/did was a total stroke of luck and timing. We saw the space shuttle launching! Well, we were nearly 200 miles from the actual launch, but we still had a good view.

We’d just had dinner at a restaurant near her house, and were driving back at sunset. All of a sudden, she said “look at that UFO in the sky!”. We could see something through the trees, but it was hard to tell what it was. At first I thought it was a tall building crane, with the top glinting from the setting sunlight, since it was a diagonal silver line with a bright glow at the top. But as we got around the trees, we could see that it was definitely something bright and fiery in the sky, with a trail behind it. It looked like this photo, but more colorful from the sunset. I jokingly said that it looked like the Columbia. Then Larry said that the shuttle was supposed to launch, and we realized that’s what it was! We pulled over to the side of the road and I jumped out with my camera, but I was too late to get a photo of anything but the trail, which was already starting to fade and break up.

Shuttle Launch

If we had left the restaurant even a single minute later than we did, we’d have missed it and thought we were just seeing a jet trail – and if we’d left the restaurant 5 minutes later, we’d have been at her house and wouldn’t have seen a thing.

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14 Responses to Home Again

  1. Cookie says:

    You’re back!

    I’m so glad you had a restful and relaxing trip.

  2. Carrie says:

    Wow, awesome about the shuttle! Sounds like a fantastic time.

  3. Chris says:

    The trail is still pretty cool! Sounds like an awesome getaway.

  4. Nora says:

    Very cool – welcome back!

  5. Carole says:

    Sounds like a great trip!

  6. Carrie K says:

    That is so cool! Seeing the launch! And the cruise and the visiting. But mostly seeing the launch. 🙂

  7. margene says:

    It sounds like a wonderful trip. I was in Georgia one time and heard the Shuttle land (sonic boom)…even that was cool. Can’t wait to spend some time with you.

  8. Stacey says:

    Awesome picture! I love watching it rake off and when it would land at Edwards, we’d always get to watch. The sonic booms are amazing.

    I’m glad you’re back!

  9. Norma says:

    Sweet! But hey, we didn’t have any wine and fruit in OUR cabin! I must go on a more ritzy cruise next time. And there WILL be a next time!

    Glad you’re back and glad you had a great time. Should I come visit this weekend? Heeee.

  10. Lani says:

    Yay for a lovely trip! 🙂

  11. Robby says:

    So glad you got to see a bit of the shuttle launch. I got to see a night launch once years ago. It was one of the most spectacular things I’ve ever seen. Ahhh, the possibilities of space.

  12. Elizabeth in Apex, NC says:

    Welcome back! I’m so glad your trip was wonderful – you certainly Look relaxed in your robe with glass of wine.

    I grew up in Tampa and got to see one of the early launches W-A-Y closer than they let one get now. But my hubby were also surprised one night on a trip to visit my folks to see a night launch as we drove down I-75. Tons of cars were pulled over and people were sitting on the side of the interstate watching. It was really beautiful to see the trail through the night sky!

  13. Anne says:

    How fun – the entire trip sounds great! (And pretty dang cool you got to see the shuttle go off too.)

  14. How lucky are you!

    Glad you had a good trip! And it was good seeing you last night.

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