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We left for Miami on the 21st February and after 20 hours arrived in Florida. We hired a car and drove to Orlando where the theme parks Disney and Epcot are located. The theme parks have lost a little bit of their sparkle since we last saw them in 1988 and many of the exhibits which were at the cutting edge of technology then have not evolved. We went to the magic kingdom, epcot and Disney studios. We heard that the last mission of the space shuttle was going to be launched at the kennedy space station while we were in the region so we drove to Titusville to see the launch. We were not alone……. And it took more than three hours to drive 20 miles. Rather than go to the space station where the tickets had been allotted by lottery and participate in the grid-locked taffic jam. We were advised to watch the launch from the Home Depot(furniture shop) parking lot…….?!. So we found Home Depot and waiting in the parking lot while listening to the radio commenting on the launch. There was a computer problem nine minutes from the launch and for several minutes it looked like the launch would be postponed(again). Then five minutes before blast-off they fixed the tracking station computer problem and countdown continued until Discovery (the name of the shuttle) was ……..GO!  The launch was awesome and we saw Discovery streak upwards for more than two minutes. The noise did not reach us until nearly two minutes after blast-off as we were about eighteen miles away and we could hear on the radio in the car that they (the crew) were travelling at 14,000 mph and would be in space in a few minutes.

Two days later we visited the kennedy space center and learnt that 17,000 people took 6 hours to reach (Home Depot) after the launch. The space center was very interesting and was a strange contrast to the fantasy/façade world of Disney. We rode in a simulator of a shuttle launch and found that it was less “exciting” than space mountain in Disney.

Two days later we arrived back in Curacao to find Trifon quietly waiting for us to continue our journey
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