It was time to leave the comfort of the Apartment and set off on the road again. The car hire rental was around 3 miles down the road so we ordered a cab, which arrived on time and off we went. I was offered a Ford Crown Victoria with leather seats etc and accepted as I didn't really know what it was except that it was a fairly big car. I went back in to see the guy on reception and asked what fuel it took and he replied "whatever is the cheapest", I was then aware that the car was not going to be that economic on fuel and later I was to find that it only does around 20 miles to the gallon although it is improving each day. It was a good job that the deal came with a full tank.
Off we went to Kennedy Space Centre, which was around 60 miles away
. We arrived about 1pm and started firstly on the tour bus, which stopped as close as allowed to the launch complex 39 where the Space Shuttle Endevour was attached waiting to go. It should have gone a few days ago but there was a problem, it was then set for the 2nd, the day we arrived but still they weren’t ready so unfortunately we didn’t get the chance to see it take off. It is now reset for the 10th but we will be the other side of Florida. The other time it stopped at the Apollo / Saturn V Centre where we saw a short movie and then had a walk around a 363 foot rocket with the Saturn V Lunar transportation on top. (I won’t remember exact names and information so if you would like to know more, then visit the web site) The tour took around 2 ½ hours so we knew that we wouldn’t get to see all the things available so decided that we would come back the following morning to see the rest, especially as the ticket allowed free entry for a second day. We did however have a go on the shuttle launch experience, a tame simulator that just rattled your face making my flabby cheeks wobble like crazy. A good thing was a 3D film and the building of the space station. After we finished wandering around we left to go to our hotel that was about 30 miles down south meaning that we would have to add 60 miles to our journey tomorrow.
3rd May – Kennedy Space Centre – Boca Raton – Best Western Plus University – 215 Miles
We made the decision to return to the Kennedy Space Centre even though it added quite a few miles and was in the wrong direction mainly because we wanted to see the other 3D film on the Hubble Telescope and it was well worth it as the film showed its history and how repairs were made and also how far is could see into space
. I don’t have the figures but the sights were absolutely fantastic, especially in 3D. We also watched a live Star Trek show which was rubbish, looked at all the different rockets in the rocket garden and visited the memorial site. Altogether it is well worth the visit if in this area although I’m not sure for how long as only two more flights are scheduled before it closes down on shuttle flights.
Our journey back down south was all about trying to hug the coast line on the A1A highway. I was hoping that we would have nice views but the sea seemed to always be hidden behind buildings or trees. We did stop a couple of times to have a look but no more than that. I had hoped to stop at Palm Beach but time was running out and again I had booked a hotel further south so we had to decide if we wanted to go there in the morning. In the evening we went down the road and to a typical American shopping centre come restaurant area.
4th May – Boca Raton – Marathon Florida Keys – Kingsail Resort – 190 Miles
Today we decided not to return north so set off firstly to Fort Lauderdale and this time I stayed off the coast road and kept to the main highway to get us there quicker
. Fort Lauderdale was full of big yachts and boats all looking very impressive. At one stage we had to wait for a particularly big yacht pass under the drawbridge, which was up of course. In fact during our travels down here we must have crossed at least four other drawbridges but this was the first that was open. We then headed for the beach and decided to sun ourselves there for a couple of hours and I even took a dip in the sea which was the warmest I had been in on this trip, but full of seaweed. With it being so warm it didn’t take long to dry and we set off for Hollywood just to see what it was like, however once we arrived I decided to set off to Coral Gables as there didn’t look much to see where we were. It may have been different in another part but I couldn’t be bothered as the traffic was quite heavy. Coral Gables was a pretty place full of restaurants and shops, nice looking buildings and tree lined roads. Once we had eaten we set of for the Keys going through several toll roads that didn’t allow us to pay as they just record the registration number and send a bill a month later, so we will have to take this up with the hire company who will be sent the bill and I don’t want them stinging us for extra fines. The first place we passed through on the keys is the famous name of Key Largo made famous by the 1948 Humphrey Bogart film aptly named 'Key Largo’. Our place of stay is in Marathon some 3 miles short of the Seven Mile Bridge and 50 miles away from Key West. The bridge has been used in four movies True Lies, 2 Fast 2 Furious, License to Kill and Up Close & Personal.
2nd May – Kissimmee – Kennedy Space Centre – La Quinta Inn & Suites Melbourne – 113 Miles