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What a great way to wake up on a Sunday morning; having to listen a couple of times, to work out whether the woman in the room next door was in pain or pleasure. After settling down, working out it was pleasure, it was of course an appropriate time to get up and ready to hit the road.

I had to do a double-take at the time, as I was in Florida an hour earlier than the map had indicated. This was great news for spending more time at NASA, which was the only scheduled stop of note today.

NASA was more than I had hoped for and consequently, I ended up spending not just the extra hour gained but an hour and a half later than I had planned. The whole place is laid out well enough, to keep people rotated around the exhibits and is superbly informed and perfectly engaging for space enthusiasts. It’s also one of those places you need to visit, to appreciate the size and scale of equipment and operations. I’ve had a couple of people relate their visits to me and have read the descriptions, yet it’s all just passing detail until you’re stood next to it. The two highlights for me, were the simulated shuttle launch and the re-inactment of an Apollo launch, from the re-created original control room; the whole audio experience, makes you feel like you’re really there – tremendous. Prepare yourself to also be awed by the numbers they throw at you, like the seven million pounds of thrust the shuttle generates; I still can’t get over that amount. Of course, you can’t escape some tourist traps and the NASA store doesn’t disappoint. Plenty in the way of posters, clothing and rock samples, all of which are naturally on the pricey side.

Something that impressed me greatly, is that the whole area is a wildlife preserve and home to Manatees, Alligators and Eagles, amongst a larger variant of birdlife. It’s important to me that such an institution is appropriately responsible with its actions and my entrance fee, goes directly into the running of the tour facility, that houses these creatures. Sometimes I’m always looking at the negative and ways that things are failing so, this time out, I’m biting my tongue and enjoying what’s being done right. Well done NASA.

I was assuming that Dania beach would be somewhat noisy, as it’s right near the airport. In fact, it was quite the opposite and on top of that, there was a nice breeze, humidity at 60% and a temperature (at my 10pm arrival time) of 72F. Everyone was also extremely polite and conversational, which helps get me out of my self-imposed shell. I am trying to interact more than I have ever done but do find it much easier, when other people start conversations that I can respond to.

I had intended to take a good hot shower, to take some of the heat-induced layer of dirt and salts from my body but after turning on the tap and seeing the water come out a little yellow, decided to preserve my false tan, for the following evening. This is also the first time this year, that I’ve had to put on the air conditioning in a motel. The heat wasn’t so bad but even the light humidity, seemed to thicken the air to a borderline sleep tolerance.

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