One of the highlights of this trip is visiting my Aunt Natalee and her husband Randy. We had not seen her in 20 years, and she looked the same and is as vivacious as ever. It has been such a pleasure to be with her and Randy in their lovely home. Beautiful house, rooms, decorations, plants, and yard. We slept there for two days, and it will be fun to meet her youngest granddaughter Leah and her new husband Will for Christmas Dinner. Lee and Randy were great hosts, and we had a few drinks and some good memories and shed a few tears. It has been too long, but it was really wonderful to be with both of them. Family is family!
One of the nicest things was that they loaned us Randy’s truck so that we could drive to Kennedy Space Center, a must-see according to Allen who had been there 40 years ago. It was a superb day.
The Saturn V Rocket still awed Allen after all this time. So much to see and do—simulations, videos, exploring the small places where the astronauts sat for hours and hours and days—the Space Center is a must-see for anyone at any age but most inspiring to young folks who will do in the future what we consider the impossible and the improbable today.
My personal favorite exhibit was probably the Heroes and Legends building. I loved re-learning the names of our real-life space heroes –real people doing courageous, selfless, determined, acts and who persevered into the unknown of its day. As we age, we forget how tremendous and audacious and inspiring it was for us growing up, how we were all glued to the tv to watch men liftoff into space. At the KSC, we got to see and hear from the men and women astronauts who lived our space program, in the rockets and behind the scenes. Amazing stuff!