David and I awoke this morning as 8 & 12 year old children. We were both giddy about seeing Johnson Space Center. I’d been there as a kid with Mom and Dad, but the closest Dave has been to such an experience is the cosmosphere in Hutchinson. First, though, we had a delicious breakfast at the Staybridge Suites, complete with Texas Waffles.
YUM! Then we packed up the car and hit the road for JSC. I think Dave started to twitch when he saw the T38s by the entrance. For me, it was seeing the shuttle as we rounded the corner into the parking lot. We bought our tickets via my phone after scanning a qr code, and it saved us $5/person!
Once inside, we took a few minutes to take it all in, then we boarded a tram for a 90 min tour of the grounds which included old mission control (wow), the astronaut training facility (super wow), and finally, rocket park (think I might implode!!!). At rocket park, we also got to see some really awesome Texas Longhorns. David thinks this is because the next spacecraft is going to have horns on it like the Limo in Crocodile Dundee. (groan)
Later, back at the museum, after a quick bathroom break, we decided to take in the blast-off theatre. As Daphne leaned up against me, she linked her hands in mine. Awww, such a loveable child. Then I had a thought…”hey, where’s your wallet, Daphne?” A look of panic on her face ensues…then the exclamation “Bathroom!” Unfortunately, we were trapped in the blastoff theatre room. pretty sure she had $30 in there. And she’d already lost her water shoes somewhere in Seguin…*Sigh*. I tried to enjoy the experience and not freak out about the money. As soon as it was over, Daphne and I hightailed it back to the bathroom. I thought there’s no way it could still be there…I found myself face to face with a woman pushing a stroller and tending to a couple of other girls. She read the look on my face instantly…”silver wallet?” Yep, it was still there…complete with all of Daphne’s money. Whew. We even made it back into the room to hear most of the update on the international space station…which was AWESOME…
After that, the kids wanted to go see the chomp exhibit, while Dave, Kelli and I looked at all of the interesting items from the history of the space program, including the cockpit of the shuttle,
where i saw my chair… (mission commander’s seat, of course) Finally it was time to visit the gift shop and find the things we never knew we couldn’t live without and hit the road.
Wait! Sophie wanted to see the Angry birds in space exhibit…and I HAD promised her…*sigh*. Ok. Dave and I wandered upstairs and found some more interesting things like an Apollo capsule model, a shuttle landing simulator and more. After about ten minutes, we returned downstairs to collect the kids.
and that’s when it happened…”Houston…we have a problem….” Sophie asked us “hey, did I give you my bag?” She had set her bag with $20 worth of souvenirs down and walked away. And she wasn’t as lucky as Daphne…the bag was gone. And as much as it broke my heart, I did not go back in to replace her sparkly shuttle keychain and NASA shirt. I REALLY REALLY wanted to… I walked over there, and walked back, and walked over again, and talked myself out of it. Sophie was fairly crushed and it was a very painful parenting moment as well…(to be continued…..(you should be hearing ominous mood music in your head)