Another American Adventure
Florida, home of Mickey Mouse. Home of Donald Duck, home of Pluto and Snow White and even Neil Armstrong. An amazing place, perhaps the ultimate holiday. Nothing to do with catering equipment, commercial refrigeration or catering sundries. Nothing to do with counter chillers or back bar coolers or Parry or Blue Seal. But still great. We flew from Manchester and landed in Orlando International Airport and collected our... Chevy I think. We drove to our hotel and met Mr P (the Virgin Flight Attendant we went to Vegas with) who was already there... or he may have arrived later.
I shared a room with him. We went to Disneyworld, we went to Universal Studios and Seaworld and Busch Gardens. We went on every available ride and I loved every one of them. Then we went to NASA at Cape Canaveral... hallowed ground. The launching gantries stood on the great flat nature reserve like skeletons from the cold war.
The V.A.B. (Vehicle Assemply Building) made us gasp with it's sheer size (we're not gay) and when we finally entered the... room is not the right word... hangar with a Saturn V rocket suspended from the ceiling I felt my life was complete. I had finally seen the gateway to space, something I had dreamt of since I was a child.
I got to touch a piece of moonrock (the second most valuable material on the planet, the first being martian rock which I have also touched). We watched a simulated launch from a replica mission control and it brought a lump to my throat. On another day we went to Coco Beach just down the road and, as we sat eating sandwiches, heard the deep rumble of thunder: "Wow, sounds like a storm is coming... listen to that! Thunder doesn't last that long in the UK... I wonder... hang on" I looked round the corner of a building and saw the telltale smoke trail of rocket launch... which we totally missed. GUTTED!