I combined the pictures from our last two trips to Disney in this gallery. (Post race and the last day in Orlando.) From new Fantasyland attractions to the parade to the most exciting new ride in Disney – Starbucks. We jammed more into a few short days than some people do in a week. It was an awesome time and the pictures only tell a part of the story. Thanks again to BobG and Sonya – just let us know when you are ready for a return trip. Other than a few odds and ends that is all the pics from the trip. Do note that Starbucks did not turn anyone that was stone back to life. Disney magic can only do so much.
I am certain that after I ran my last half-marathon (City of Oaks 2008) I never planned to run another one. Fast forward five years and for some reason I decided I wanted to challenge myself. In particular I wanted to challenge the me from 2008 that didn’t do everything that I thought he could on race day. So I found a race that looked like fun – recruited a couple of people to run it at the same time and started training. In February of this year my average mile time was far north of 12 minutes and my average distance was under 2 miles. A long way from where I wanted to be if I was going to run a faster time and feel better afterwards. By October I had finished my first 10K in under an hour and felt ready to tackle the half-marathon distance. I still didn’t know until I crossed the finish line how things would really go. I was chasing a ghost and was probably more ready than I should have been to feel the way I did in 2008. So much so I stopped posting times and confided in very few people what I hoped to accomplish. Now that the race is done I can safely say I made it, plan to run at least one more (Disney Half 2014) and am glad I took the challenge. I would highly recommend the Space Coast Race for beginners or experienced runners. And yes – just like I won the Super Bowl – I went to Disney World immediately afterwards and may have walked another half-marathon in the process.
And yes – that was 4:39AM when we were up and ready to go to the starting line – temporary tattoo of my goal times on my arm – scared to death about what the morning was going to look like.
Congrats to BobG and CaraDMc the lucky folks who ran the same race. I saw Cara on the course – somehow Bob and I missed each other.
If you don’t know what the VAB & 39A are please read here first – Vehicle Assembly Building and Kennedy Space Center Launch Complex 39. This doesn’t forgive you for not knowing but at least you’ll have a better idea of what you are looking at in these pictures. To walk in (or on) either place is to be completely overwhelmed by the history. This is where we built the vehicle that took man to the moon, this is where we made low earth orbit a routine mission and this is where one day soon we’ll go even further.
Also in the pictures – the Space-X Falcon 9 that launched earlier this week, a weather satellite, a Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle MPCV mock-ups (pretty sure they are not flight ready), and a hydrogen tank that was purposefully made look “damaged” for a movie coming out next year. Most importantly in the Apollo/Saturn IV center we all got to touch one of the rarest materials on earth – a moon rock.
The last time we visited Kennedy Space Center it was a little depressing. The wound was still fresh from the closed shuttle program and America’s place in the space race seemed uncertain. Had we forgotten our past glory or had we just given up? I don’t think anyone really knew for certain the space program’s direction. We only knew the greatest fleet of space vehicles ever designed were permanently grounded and headed for museums. Our new path to space required going to another country and hitching a ride. It seemed like we had only the past to be proud of and perhaps our best days were behind us.
What a difference a year and a half makes. I feel like there was a renewed sense of priority in the area and the upcoming Space Launch System (SLS) is going to take us further than we’ve ever been before. It was and always is humbling to see NASA’s accomplishments but this visit made the future feel the same way. Maybe it was seeing Atlantis in all her glory, maybe it was seeing the updates starting to take shape on the VAB or maybe it was standing on the launch pad that had sent so many great missions into space. Or maybe more than anything it was hearing that VAB was about to close because new rockets more powerful than the world had ever seen were about to roll out of those large hanger doors. Yes – I’m glad I got to see inside that large building but feel better knowing it is about to become the work space it was designed to be. So first round of pictures of the park and of Atlantis – more coming soon of the VAB and 39A. And yes – I do believe “the adventure has only begun” and am really excited about what happens next.
More Disney? Maybe we’ll see an animal or two – like the one trying to make off with the giant handbag or maybe even a surprise proposal. (No surprise here – she said yes.) If you jump to a conclusion before you hit the jump you might want to bounce on out of here. All in all another great round of park adventuring. I even rode what has to be the wildest ride in Disney – Expedition Everest in the dark. Fortunately for me no one took a picture of that picture and I was able to find a video of what the ride looked like in daylight. Thrill rider I am not.
When the day was done we headed home to the All-Star resorts to check out the four story tall Buzz Lightyear in Andy’s room. And as many of you already saw on Facebook we crossed paths this trip with the infamous Pooh. Nope – he is still not allowed in the RV. Read More
So I debated calling this post the “Dark side of Disney” but there is nothing dark here at all. In many ways this is an amazing part of the inside of the machine. It is a small glimpse into want it takes to make the magic of Walt Disney World happen and it looks like a lot of it centers around Disney University. If you don’t get into Disney University you better hope you applied to Clown College. Read More