We had been looking forward to our east coast beach vacation for months and had invited my son's friend to go with us. We lived in Sarasota, but enjoyed the "other" side of Florida in Cape Canaveral just as much. The four of us packed up and got ready to go for a long weekend, looking forward to spending some time at the edge of the ocean. We had no idea what awaited us. In the weeks before leaving, we had been watching the news that the space shuttle launch had experienced delay after delay. The day we departed, we found out the shuttle was scheduled to be launched the night of our arrival! We had front row seats to one of the most spectacular (and final) night launchings from the Kennedy Space Center. The crew included a young Clearwater, Florida astronaut, Nicole Stott, who was going to the International Space Station. My teenage son and his friend were so excited. What a stunning view we had of that launch from our balcony. It lit up the sky - and the ocean - for miles around! We were at Ron Jon several months later and incredibly, again totally by coincidence, we were able to see the landing of another shuttle that carried that same Florida astronaut back to Cape Canaveral! Good times... and the beach was pretty spectacular, too.
- Submitted by: Jim&Leslie