05.05.11

Home At Last! Now When Will I Go Back?

Posted in Astronomy, Space Shuttle, Traveling at 7:49 pm by Rebekah

Today I drove about 500 miles, from Alexandria, Louisiana, through northeast Texas, to central Oklahoma. It is good to be home!

My trip totaled 3,565 miles and 11 days, and it was an absolutely fantastic vacation. I am very tired, but need to get some rest tonight as I have numerous errands to take care of tomorrow and my sister flies in tomorrow night to visit for a few days! I will also be wrapping up some research work this month and hopefully be busy with some new developments on the job front.

Today I finally found some plantations; I took a slight detour northwest of Alexandria this morning, and found several beautiful plantations.

Here is the old Oakland Plantation home, built in 1821:

And here is the Paris, Texas Eiffel Tower that I have heard much about, but never saw until today:

It is 65 feet tall.

And here is one more photo from Paris, featuring the mascot of Paris Junior College: Pyro the Dragon!

And in case you think I’ve forgotten completely about the weather (though I have sadly been having a bit of a break from pouring over weather maps lately), there is a chance for supercells and tornadoes in my favorite chase territory (the Texas Panhandle into western Oklahoma) early this next week. I might even get the chance to take my sister out on her first storm chase!

Oh, and one final note: I’ve been hearing rumors that the space shuttle launch might just be delayed to some time next weekend. Again, this is better for me, as it means it’s more likely I can go. Hopefully it would launch then, though! NASA is going to have a meeting tomorrow and decide the next official launch date. I may then start looking at plane tickets. I loved the road trip, but I can’t afford the time or money to turn right around and do it all again!

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05.04.11

Almost Home…

Posted in Astronomy, Space Shuttle, Traveling at 9:27 pm by Rebekah

I started off the day in Pensacola, and first drove through Mobile, Alabama. There I stopped to check out the USS Alabama, a great battleship:

I stopped at the beach one more time in Biloxi, Mississippi. This photo is looking towards Gulfport.

A Great Blue Heron that I tried to make a friend of:

Later I stopped for a bit in the French Quarter of New Orleans. This photo is looking towards St. Louis Cathedral and a statue of Andrew Jackson.

I had a mid-afternoon meal of Jambalaya with shrimp at Cajun Cabin on Bourbon Street. It was extremely tasty!

Tonight I’m in Alexandria, Louisiana, and tomorrow I’ll drive back up to Oklahoma!

Looks like the problem with the space shuttle may take longer to fix than NASA initially hoped…which is good news for me, anyway, as a longer delay means a higher likelihood that I can go back. 🙂

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05.03.11

From Beach To Beach

Posted in Astronomy, Space Shuttle, Traveling at 10:25 pm by Rebekah

My epic NASA space shuttle launch trip continues (minus the launch…so far!).

Today I drove from Treasure Island (near St. Petersburg) up the Florida Gulf Coast to Pensacola. I stopped at a couple spots along the coast, including Crystal River and Cedar Key.

After settling in to the hotel, I went to Pensacola Beach. I was quite amazed at the beauty of the beach. The sand was very white, fine, and soft, and the water felt very warm. In fact, the water was warmer than the air! A cold front had just passed (though I missed the thunderstorms, which I was happy about), so the air temperature was in the low 60s and it was a little breezy.

I stumbled across a live band performance this evening, as apparently every Tuesday they have “bands on the beach”.

Tomorrow the plan is to continue along the Gulf Coast on I-10, through Mobile, Biloxi and Gulfport, New Orleans, and up into central Louisiana for the night.

Thank you again for following my adventures! I promise I will get to posting more photos from this trip in the near future, though my next few weeks could be pretty swamped as well, so I can’t say just when this will be.

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05.02.11

Sunset Over The Gulf

Posted in Astronomy, Space Shuttle, Traveling at 9:47 pm by Rebekah

My space trip continues. The space shuttle launch is now set for no earlier than May 10, which means it’s more likely I may be able to come back to Florida to see it.

I spent a couple of hours at SeaWorld Orlando today, and then drove on to Tampa / St. Petersburg. I’m spending the night at the Bilmar Beach Resort, a very nice beachfront hotel that affords me a view of the Gulf of Mexico, a couple hundred yards away.

The Gulf was quite warm even for early May, and extremely clear. In fact, I had never seen water so clear before. I waded out a little ways and went swimming in the shallow water, and then watched a beautiful sunset.

Tomorrow I’ll drive up the Florida Gulf Coast on my way back to Oklahoma!

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The Plan

Posted in Astronomy, Space Shuttle, Traveling at 9:17 am by Rebekah

Sad to leave DeLand…I’ve had a great time while here. However, the trip is not over yet. I’m about to head on back to Orlando, check out SeaWorld for a bit, then continue on to Tampa / St. Petersburg. I’ll spend the night over in that area, and then start to work my way up and along the Gulf Coast on Tuesday!

Again, I still might be able to come back for the shuttle launch, but only if it is delayed further to at least the middle of next week. If I come back, I’ll be flying…the road trip is wonderful, but I’d want to make the trip back a little quicker (and probably cheaper).

Okay, time to finish packing and head out!

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