Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Epic Vacation, Day 15 - The Space Center

What a great day!
We focused on spending most of the day at the US Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, AL. 
And the boys were so excited when we drove towards it, and we could see rockets from the highway. 

A nice gal offered to take our picture.  She had the Nikon equivalent of my camera, so I knew she wouldn't mess it up, and she didn't.  I like to find folks that are not intimidated by my camera when we ask for photo help.  Of course, I set it all on automatic, so it does the work, but sometimes, that's not enough.  But this gal was really nice, and we ended up following each other all morning.  

I was really thriled that our Indiana State Museum partner pass got us in here for free.  As soon as we entered, the boys wanted to see this exhibit, The Robot Zoo!   I wasn't sure if our free pass would allow for it.  Luckily it did!   So the kids were thrilled right from the getgo.  Frankly, I think that if I had paid full price to get in here, I'd have been less than festive.   But for what we paid, the price was right!  The restrooms were two stairs down unless we went outside.  I'd feel bad for someone in a wheelchair here.  We had enough trouble with just a stroller.  

Still, the boys thought it was really cool to go outside in the heat and check out all the real rockets.  Most of them are real, some just outsides, a nice mix, and real enough.  

I tried to take pictures of the boys with the rocket, but it was too wide.  Life size! 

Do, Re, Egon. 
Three boys, three rockets.  They look so tiny. 

Right next to the rockets they had a play area.  There was a climby thing, like we'd find at McD's or Chick Fil-A.  And in the center of the room, one of these rocket blast off things, but smaller than some I've seen.  They had an attendant, so I just let the big boys play while we snacked and drank.  When Jake was done snacking, he wanted out of his stroller, I thought he'd go play on the climby thing with his brothers.  Nope.  He ran for this, and snuck through while the attendant had the gate open.  There was no height requirement posted.  And we all watched as Jake climbed up by himself.  We shrugged, figuring we'd let him.  The attendant told us he could stop it at any time if there was a problem.  So we let him go.   He hung on with one hand for dear life on the cross bench, and the other to his seat and seat belt.  Once he bounced a couple times, he lost the Oh $@^! look on his face.  And he had fun.  

Christopher was not going to be shamed by a baby, so he hopped on afterwards.  He says he likes rides now, but is not so happy about heights.  But he figured if Jake could do it, so could he.  
And Chris had a wonderful time! 

Back outside we found a helicopter that we could just walk right into.  The boys thought this we really cool.  So they insisted on buckling themselves in.  It was dark and hot, but they were tough.  Just like real soldiers.   

All my boyz with the helicopter.  Though calling it a helicopter doesn't do it justice.  
It's a Chinook. 

Lastly but not least, we had to find the Space Shuttle. 
This one originally was not built to fully function, just for show.  They sent it to Japan for a museum.  Then they sent it back.  So we modified it so the outside looks real, even though the inside is like wood, so it couldn't be really sent into space.  Still, it's a life size model, and freaking awesome.  
Daddy was very excited to see the Space Shuttle, he was reading all the history the night before.   

Astronaut twins!  Those outfits are so huge you can fit two sweetboys back there! 

It's a Alien!  

No, just my boyz and I taking a walk on the moon. 

We were able to have lunch at the Mars cafe, which made the boys very happy.  And after the Space Shuttle, we made our way back to the front, and the car to hit the road.  We got on the road about 2.  

Happily, it only took a couple hours to get out of Alabama, through Tennessee, and into Kentucky.  
 We decided to stop for the evening before dinner.  We wanted a relaxing evening, since we were going to go home the next day.  In theory, we could've made it home in another 4 hours, but we just didn't want to.   We needed one more relaxing night.  Eric decided he was going to make sure he had a bed, no more sleeping on the rollaway.  We stopped in Bowling Green, KY because we saw a bunch of hotels and a restaurant we liked.  But apparently, it's hard to find something to hold 5 people in Bowling Green.  All they had were 2 queens, and rollaways.  No suites to be found!  Even the boys were looking all over the signs for the word 'suites'.   And a pool.  We had to have an evening swim.  We checked out like 4 different hotels.  And none of them could hold us.  We were getting tired.  I was even considering moving on to another town... I sent Eric into our last shot, the Ramada.  They told us they only had 2 fulls and rollaway too.  But wait, they also had the Presidential Suite.  Well, Eric thought, there's no way we could afford that.  But the gal gave us a deal we couldn't refuse.  And she offered to send up a rollaway, just to be sure there'd be room for 5.  Since it was labeled a foldout couch and a king, but the couch was in a separate room.  Eric went up to check that we'd all fit.   Um Yeah, it wasn't going to be a problem.  It was 2 full rooms, a full king size bedroom, and a foldout couch, a spare couch, full kitchen, and they did indeed send up the rollout.  

It was so spacious, I couldn't even fit it all in one shot.   The boys were THRILLED!  
They hadn't been this happy since we arrived in WDW.   I was worried they'd like this better than the Grand Flo.  Not quite.  But still pretty freaking Awesome!  

So we went out for our last dinner, at Chuy's.  It's a Mexican restaurant that they used to have in L.A., a friend of mine took us there, because she adored the tortilla chips.  And it was Awesome.  The kids loved the festively retro decor.   We had a great dinner, and went back for an evening swim. It was an outdoor pool, but the weather cooperated, and the kids were able to get a good swim in before the sun set.  It would've been great at the heat of the day, but it was a little chilly for me.  Still, the kiddie pool kept them happy.   And it was nice and relaxing.  From here on, it was all going to be easy to get home, so one last relaxing evening and nice night sleep was a great note to end on, so we did.