My dad and his cat in Kissimmee, Florida
I arrived in Kissimmee, Florida (Near Orlando) Wednesday night on February 20th around 6:10 pm. I left Matt's house in Herndon, Virginia (Near Washington, D.C.) at 4:30 am. So it was a long days drive. The weather was great for the trip. No rain at all and sunny the whole way. I started with the heat on high and around the southern part of North Carolina had my windows open. I stopped at a rest area in South Carolina and ate lunch out on a picnic table. The directions were easy to follow and I did not make any wrong turns. Because of a little short cut Matt looked up for me I cut off 20 miles from the trip.
Once I got here my Great Aunt Beulah fixed dinner and my dad and I ate. We talked for a bit and I told them what I had done while I was in Washington, D.C. I found out Marvin (Beulah's husband who passed away earlier this year) had worked on setting up the controls for the subway system when they were first constructing it for Washington, D.C. around 1972.
After dinner my dad and I went over to Ruth's (Just a 5 minute walk) and checked out a puzzle my dad got from Disney World that they had put together. Then my dad and I headed over to the pool area. I soaked in the hot tub for a while which felt real good after that long drive. Then I jumped in the pool for a bit and after that we watched an episode of Star Trek the Next Generation. Then I went in the hot tub and pool a bit more before finally turning in for the night.
I was originally planning on leave Florida on Wednesday February 27th, but my dad told me there was going to be a space shuttle launch on Thursday. So I thought about it and decided to stay to see the Space Shuttle take off.
On Thursday the 21st I helped my dad some on the computer. Getting the sound to work, hooking up an old hard drive from his previous computer and showing him how to work the scanner and digital camera through Photoshop. Larry (a cousin of mine) and Evie Richards came to visit that afternoon. We had lunch together and talked for a bit about genealogy for a bit. When I told him that I worked at Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory (KAPL) in Ballston Spa he said he has a son that is in the navy and went there for sub training. That evening my dad and I went to the pool and hot tub again.
Evie, Larry, My Dad and My Great Aunt Beulah
It rained on Friday and Saturday. Friday my dad went to New Dimensions to play in the band he is in that is called The Merritones. Both Friday and Saturday I pretty much just hung out around the house resting and scanning in pictures. On Friday my dad and I went over to Ruth's and started working on a jigsaw puzzle my dad had gotten recently. We worked on that for around five hours.
Jim (a cousin of mine) and Libby came over on Saturday and stayed the night and left on Sunday. I had not seen them since I was around 10 years old. We talked for a bit and watched the Winter Olympics some Saturday evening.
Libby, Beulah, Jim and Me
On Sunday the 24th my dad and I went to Disney World. My dad has a year pass that he got the previous year when Gwen and I visited in March of 2001. I got a 3-day pass. We went to the Magic Kingdom on Sunday, Epcot on Monday and MGM Studios on Tuesday. We had great weather all three days. Sunny and up in the 70's. We went from opening to closing and watched the fireworks.
Me standing in front of a kewl water fountain at EPCOT in Disney World
On Wednesday a cold front came through and it was down in the 50's. My dad and I walked over to the grocery store in the morning. On the way we stopped by a butterfly hatchery. None of the butterflies were out, but they had a nice garden there and we looked at a bunch of different butterfly cocoons. At the grocery store I picked up the first batch of photos from the trip that I dropped off to get developed on Monday night. The first picture on the roll was of Gwen in her new car covered with snow in the parking lot of my old (her new) apartment in Ballston Spa. The last one on the roll was on a sunny day in the 70's at Epcot which vast improvement in weather. That evening we worked on the puzzle a bit more at Ruth's.
Thursday my dad and I went to k-mart to get some rechargeable batteries for his digital camera. The space shuttle launch was moved to Friday morning do to bad weather. I took a nap in the afternoon, and pretty much have just been resting for the long trip tomorrow. I went over to the hot tub again one last time that night before I had to leave the next day.
On Friday morning March 1st I woke up around 6:00 am. We turned on the TV to check on the Space Shuttle Launch. It was scheduled for 6:22 am. We watched on TV as it took off and then went outside to see it in real life. At first it was a small bright light coming through the tree line. Then as it got higher we could see a long trail of smoke behind it. The sun was just starting to rise so there was a really neat effect on the trail from the shuttle where it was different colors (Mostly different shades of red). We continued to watch until it went out of sight. After that my dad and I went back inside and had breakfast. I got a couple pictures of the Shuttle and the kewl colors with the trail from it from the sun rising. After eating I gathered up my stuff and headed out. I left there around 7:12 am to head to Chris's apartment in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.
My dad by a very kewl water fountain at EPCOT
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