Thursday, May 19, 2011

Southern Wedding Trip Day 3: Rocket Center and Wedding

Day 3 was all about spending time with Barbara's family. The night before at the family dinner everyone was talking about what they wanted to do. Terry and I had talked about going to the NASA Rocket Center. Then everyone else decided they wanted to go, too. So we made plans for breakfast and the Rocket Center. And here's how the day turned out... Someone chose to meet at the Waffle House by the hotel. I had NEVER BEEN. So I was a bit excited to take part in this American truck stop tradition. Seating 11 people was a bit of a struggle but I enjoyed talking to Nanci about travel for our meal. I had a waffle and I'm not going to was pretty dang good. Was really intrigued by Nanci's story of taking her children around the world for 6 months when they were young.
Then we headed off to the Rocket Center. We took a wrong turn and ended up at the Redstone Arsenal where they do the rocket testing. Super cool but super restricted.
The rocket center entrance
The first monkey (or only?) to go into space is buried here. People leave him bananas! Next time I'll be sure to bring one.

The Redstone Arsenal has an exhibit here with all of their rockets and super cool Army stuff.
Then I rode the (free) Mars virtual ride. It was
Walking through a space shuttle mock. I wish you could open the stuff but I guess with kids running around everywhere you cant.....Still, how cool.
A mock of the water training facilities where astronauts train for missions.
The big rocket! I don't have the specific names with me for this.
The Rocket garden!
More of the garden
They made a big crater for this mock of the Mars Lunar landing vessel.
There were some cool rockets nearby.
Holy cow!
Then the Space and Rocket Center exhibit where it was focused more on the big space shuttle and space missions.
Entrance to the second building
Loved this quote on the big wall leading to the exhibit.
The whole facility had the shuttle from one end to the other. It was really neat. I hear in Florida, though, there's an exhibit where you get to walk all the way through it.
The family met back at noon (only 2 hours to see everything) and we ended up going back to the room. Terry and Barbara hung out in their room and I walked down the street to get some lunch. Very tasty! I did some blogging, showered and soon it was time for the wedding.
Nanci wanted to tour the Botanical Gardens before the wedding started so we went early. I got to take some nice pictures of the Gardens and their exhibits, too. Glad we went early. When we got there the guys were setting up the chairs for the wedding.
I wandered into the Education Center where the Butterfly Garden was.
There were plenty of butterflies flying around. Most of the ones I saw were Monarchs that Texas has.
I loved this sculpture in the Children's Garden.
They had a train exhibit in the bonsai garden. Very cute, and it made a loud "choo-choo" noise so it was a hit with the kids walking around.
And soon after it was time for the wedding. Amy looked beautiful! And she and Bob were a joy to watch. I met some AMAZING people that night...lots of new Facebook requests, lol. It was a great night...although a bit crazier than I thought would have ended up. Sadly, the next day was a LONG (10 hour) drive home.

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