Kennedy Space Center and Boggy Creek Airboat Ride

kennedy space center and cape canaveral tour

Our friends Steve and Mary Bergman came to Kissimmee to visit from Colorado. We did this fascinating tour of the Kennedy Space Center which included a bus tour of Cape Canaveral
Great quote by a great man.
The different rockets used during the space program.
Steve and Mary posing in front of the Atlantis Booster rockets for the space shuttle. It’s enormous! The two brackets you see on the fuel tank are where the shuttle attaches.
Jan and me in front of the Atlantis booster.

A mural of the Space Station

The control room where they launched the Apollo from. We sat through a re-creation of the day they launched the Apollo moon landing. Pretty cool and realistic!

A graphic showing the vast difference in size of the Saturn V to the space shuttle, the Statue of Liberty and the other previous rockets used early on in the space race.
The second stage rocket  engines of the Saturn V.
Stage 3 of the Saturn V. It wasn’t possible to get the whole thing in one picture even with my wide angle lens!
The moon rover, referred to as the”Off World Off Road Vehicle”!

The actual Apollo 10 capsule; notice it still has the burn markings from re-entry!
The underside showing the extreme heat it withstood during re-entry. Amazing!
This is the final destination for the Space Shuttle Atlantis!

Their space walking uniform.
They also had a Hubble Telescope there; it was also put into orbit using the Space Shuttle
Plaques for all 33 space missions

They had a very nice display of all the shuttles and a tribute to the two that were lost along with their crews; the Challenger and the Columbia. I don’t think anyone will forget either!

The funeral procession for the Challenger’s 7  Astronauts.
The Shuttle Launch pad
Another launch pad. Notice the huge towers? They are lightning rod towers to keep any possible lightning strikes on the rocket!
The building that houses the shuttle prior to launch. The tallest single story building in the world!
The platform that transports the shuttle from the building to the launch pad. It has 2 tracks on each corner for a total of 8. It traverses the 4 miles (I think) in about 8 or 9 hours! This thing has been in service for 50 years, built in 1965! It is getting refurbished for the Mars Program.
This is one link of one tack; it weighs about 1000lbs.
The crushed and compacted rock bed ( it’s 7 feet deep !)  that the transport uses. They recently refurbished to in preparation for the Mars Program; the next step in space exploration!


Space X and Boing are both big participants and have facilities here.
Even NASA has gators! They put fences around the launching areas with sides that curve out so the gators can’t climb them!
Some parting shots as we left at the end of our visit. I thought this shot of the NASA logo with the moon in the background was fitting!
Looks cool with the colored lighting!

boggy creek airboat tour

While Steve and Mary were here we also took this airboat tour, lots of fun!

They had their own petting zoo! NOT!!

One of their boats coming in called “Gator Transportator”, cute!
And off we go! Smile Steve! (Oh yea, he is!) Notice the “Life Vests Under Seat” sign? I think they would be use less; the water is only a couple of feet deep plus there’s alligators!

Our first sighting; he was shy.

Snapping turtle
A big boy!
Kind of like an iceberg; mostly submerged, except this will kill you and eat you!
Here’s lookin’ at ya!
Love the Spanish moss on the trees!

These cattle didn’t seem too concerned about their hungry neighbors!

We saw this perfect beautiful shell just sitting on top of the sea grass! Something in my head said, “Don’t reach for it!”
And this is why!
Nice reflection!
Heading back in; the 1 hour flew by, so much to see!
They had a local indian on site to show and explain how their forefathers lived, hunted and survived in this swampy land.
A stone spearhead
A gator skin; I guess that was his last meal in his jaws!

He’s demonstrating the blow dart!
Time for some Gator for lunch!

Legoland with Reeve & Family

At the entrance, Reeve couldn’t wait to get inside! He’s REALLY into Legos and especially anything Legos Star Wars related!
Reeve meeting the Lego R2D2
An AT-AT battleground
Amazing detail in all of the displays!
Laura is as much or more so into Star Wars and Legos!
Starship Enterprise (I think!)

We did pry Reeve away from the Star Wars exhibits; he and Laura and I did the Lego Safari ride, fun!

I was in a separate car behind them. It was on rails so I could take pictures and let it self guide!
Reeve also got to drive himself on the electric Lego cars.
I on the other hand didn’t quite fit; but it was a FORD!
Speaking of Fords, they had a 1964 1/2 Mustang Coupe made entirely of 194,900 Legos!
It took the team 1200 hours to complete! It’s 15 feet long, 6 feet wide and 4 feet tall.

At the entrance of the Imagination where they let the kids (and adults) build stuff with Legos. Yes, thats Einstein in Legos!
Bryce & Reeve building cars to race against each other

The Luxor; part of the city of Las Vegas exhibit.
The Hollywood Bowl; complete with full orchestra and an audience!
Daytona NASCAR Speedway, complete with spectators and RVs in the infield!

And a NASA exhibit with a Lego Space Shuttle launch!
Reeve in the Lego star with his “friends”!
Branpa and his bench buddy!

Florida with the Grandkids!

On Jan’s birthday we all met at Medieval Times in Kissimmee, just up the road from our campground. Luckily Rich and Aneka’s time in Kissimmee overlapped by a day with Bryce, Laura and Reeve’s time here so we could do this birthday celebration for Jan!

Our guy was the black and white stripes.
Cheering him on!
So fun to have everyone together! Jan’s best birthday ever!
Our guy tried to throw the flower to Aneka but his aim was off, bummer!

animal kingdom

We visited Animal Kingdom 3 times; once with Rich and Aneka, once with Bryce, Laura and Reeve and once by our selves after everyone had left. We had fun all three times!

We did the Kilimanjaro Safari ride each time; you never get tired of it because you’ll see different animals each time!

Beautiful exotic birds everywhere.
And crocodiles; we learned that Florida is one of the few places that has both alligators and crocodiles!
And of course giraffes
A beautiful lioness enjoying the sun!
Monkeys monkeying around!
Lunchtime with Aneka and Rich.
They even had a “bicycle shop”.
A Roseate Spoonbill (according to Google!)
One of their many Hippos with a friendly bird on his back.
Enjoying watching Reeve take in all the animal sightings!
He loved the fish tank!


A very handsome gorilla!
White Rhinos.

Lunchtime at the Rainforest Cafe.
Playtime; burning up energy!

Bryce, Laura and Reeve rode on the Dinosaur ride; kind of like Dumbo but with cute dinosaurs!

This is called The Tree of Life; it is one of our favorites. So many animal and other critters carved into it! You see something new each time you visit it. There are over 300 animals carved in it!

One for you, Joni!


Rich and Aneka really enjoyed this park!
They especially enjoyed the countries.
One for you Barb and Zach!
GranJan and Aneka.
Aneka and her new friend!

Holding the ball!
Rich and my favorite; Germany!
Aneka and Branpa with our new friend!
Aneka modeling!

The ball at night, pretty lighting!
Bryce, Reeve and Laura in front of the ball; waiting in line for the ride.

In front of a Mexican Pyramid.
Reeve meeting one of his favorite characters from Frozen (I’m not sure which one she is)
Reeve always has the best view! In front of the Chinese exhibit.
Reeve was enamored with the large train display
They had a really detailed train layout!
Now in Italy with Reeve and his giant Mickey Pretzel.

And we’re off again!
Japanese drummers

Reeve loved them!
Lunchtime at the Japanese Hibachi Grill.

Mickey Mouse!
Our chef was very entertaining!
Reeve and daddy!
On to meet Crush from Nemo!
Mine, mine, mine, mine!
Crush was entertaining. He answered questions from the kids. Amazing how they can do that!

Reeve loved the fish tanks too.

disney hollywood

Their Christmas tree.
The Star Wars exhibit was the main attraction.
Again, Reeve gets the best view….
…For the Stormtroopers!
And Darth Vader.
Chewbacca and Princess Rey.
A very large At-At walker!
After the kids left Jan and I went back to see the Indiana Jones show. It was pretty cool; they showed you how they do a lot of the special effects on the movie!
The infamous giant rolling boulder!
Which apparently is not all that heavy; two skinny stage hands pushing it back uphill!
The film crew filming the flipping and exploding army truck.
Cut… putting out the fire!
More action with the good guys getting away!

magic kingdom

Reeve in his box seat (daddy’s shoulders)for the downtown parade!

EVERYBODY’S favorite ride.. It’s a Small World After All. Come on, sing along! Stuck in your head now?!?

On to the Jungle Cruise and Tom Sawyer Island.
I didn’t point this sign out to Reeve!

And the finale for the day, Dumbo!


South Carolina & Georgia- On Our Way to Florida

In South Carolina we stopped for 3 nights at Santee Lakes Campground in Santee, SC! First because of the obvious connection to home and secondly it was our 21st Anniversary! This picture looks better than it was!
We were the elite of the campground we think; most of it looked like this. BUT, it was Santee Lakes, east coast!
Fall was upon them
They had this pier to enjoy the best part of their campground- the sunsets!
We took drinks out the evening of our anniversary to celebrate and saw some great sunset views!


While there we did do a hike in Santee State Park
We loved the Spanish moss on many of the trees; beautiful along with the fall colors!
And, since we’re getting farther south, the lawyer signs everywhere (don’t forget to read the FINE print)!
A beautiful fall day, around 73 degrees!
Some Tortugas and fall color reflections!

Interesting growth on this fallen tree
Cool rickety bridge! We traversed it twice and lived to tell about it!
Cool Geckos!

on to kings bay submarine base campground, georgia

Being a Naval base there are limited opportunities to take “legal” pictures; here’s one near the entrance.
This Submarine in the grass was kind of cool!

Our campsite was awesome; we’ll plan on returning here sometime.
Our view and Happy Hour spot for the 3 days.
And, of course, the obligatory lawyer signs!
An egret drying his wings.
Pretty fall color reflections on the water!

They even had this covered fishing pier for the campers enjoyment!

on to our winter home(for this year)-sunny florida