I’m leaving on a jet plane …

Blogging photography workshopTravel has to be right up there on the top of my list of Favourite Pastimes. I would never refuse to go and visit a place. Anything Anywhere Anytime as I believe you can never see too much. I will never get to see the whole of the World in my existance (although I’ll give it my best shot given half a chance) so I make do with accepting as much as I possibly can and reminiscing over my travels and experiences when I’m back home in beautiful Ol’ Blighty.

So when Tara from Sticky Fingers chose Travel as this week’s prompt, my mind started boggling? Which photo out of my ma-hoo-sive photography hoard could capture that one word and tell a story at the same time?

Well this is my first photo for you as for me it epitomises the ‘getting away.’ I know on seeing a photo like this one I have butterflies of excitement in my tummy, I’m brimming with anticipation and hope that it’ll be a good time and I marvel at the unknown wonders that still lay waiting for me as yet unexplored.

aeroplane in clouds

I adore flying. We were lucky enough as children to have flown pretty early on and I think I went on my first aeroplane at about 6 years old. I struggle to understand those who have a fear of flying as in my book you’re more likely to get knocked down by a car or contract the evil cancer these days than be on a plane doomed for a crash, anyway, when my time is up it’s up and if it’s to be on a plane so be it, I hope at least it would be the journey back and not leave me in eternity wondering at what holiday I missed!

So Tara, today I’m showing you a flash of a holiday we took in 2007, it’s one I’ve mentioned quite a bit on here as it had been a hard year for us but the holiday was so good it is still in my heart and I would thoroughly recommend Key West to ANY traveller. Here are a few shots of Miami and Key West – enjoy and get yourself a piece of Key West Lime Pie to savour whilst you drool.

Miami - Key West collage

Of course, my travels don’t stop there, I have slowly been writing about them and you can found out about our Eurocamp holiday to Lake Garda, or our trip to Cornwall. A short Parkdean break in Torquay or our most recent holiday in the beautiful Sardegna and now you’ve got me wondering about our next trip *sigh*

Do you know what? How about a quick camping trip in North Kent beginning of August? How does that grab you?

NASA Space Shuttle – The final mission

NASA space centre FloridaFinal is a sad word and today in just under 7 hours as I write NASA will launch Atlantis on its final shuttle mission. I am lucky enough to have visited the John F Kennedy Space Centre in Florida in June 2007. Paul and I were on a tour of Florida and we were only a day or two into the trip of a lifetime starting in the north, reaching Key West on the most southern tip and ending in Orlando, home of the fun parks; 21 days of immense fun after going through such heartbreak.

To be honest, when I saw this stop in our program, I turned my nose up, thought, boys stuff, bound to be boring but heyho, let’s check it out. It was a coach tour so I had to check it out anyway! I was so excited to be in Florida and to be going on to Miami after that I would have gone anywhere, add to that I love visiting new places too. I sat back ready to see the John F Kennedy Space Centre. Crawler track NASA

Entrance to this centre is set up very much like a theme park, enormous car parks, and coach stops, turnstyle ticket booths that then allow you through to the centre itself set out with rocket gardens, shops and ice cream stands.

After a quick peek in the shop and a fill up of water as it was a very hot day, we were guided through to a bus stop where we hopped on a NASA bus which tool us on a lengthy tour around their massive plot. We drove past an extensive flat gravel roadway where we learnt the crawler would literally crawl for days from the ‘hangar’ to the launch pad.

The crawler transporters are 131 feet long and 113 feet wide, with a flat upper deck measuring 90 feet square — about the size of a baseball diamond — that serves as the carrying surface. They move on four double-tracked tread belts, similar to those on a military tank. Each contains 57 “shoes” weighing more than a ton apiece.

NASA space shuttle hangar

Each transporter is powered by two 2,750-horsepower diesel engines. The hydraulic system includes 16 jacking, equalizing and leveling cylinders, which keep the crawler’s surface level at all times. This leveling system keeps the shuttle from deviating, only allowing the top of the orbiter to move in an arc about the diameter of a basketball during its journey — even as the crawler climbs the short hill to the launch pad.

We climbed a station and were able to view the launch pad  and on the way back down we were directed into a large air conditioned room which was very refreshing and we could see various models of how the crawler worked and the engineering magic that went into making it.

A trip to an enormous hangar which housed a massive rocket stretching the entire length of the room, a moon buggy and a model of the international space centre too was utterly gob smacking. The sheer size of these things is unbelievable until you stand up close. we feasted on American burgers with the rocket hanging over us which was really quite something.

Before I left the centre, I popped into the shop and bought some moon rocks, a brochure to read up on and a couple of souvenirs and I left the whole experience a lot wiser and extremely happy I had visited, I never would have guessed I could have been so blown away by a space man!

I am linking up with Karin over at Cafe Bebe today in her Flashback Friday where you can find many more flashbacks