Tuesday, April 17, 2012

once in a lifetime

Today is one of those days where we were able to do something incredible, something that your able to do maybe once in your lifetime. Last week I found out that the space shuttle Discovery was going to be flown into DC for its final flight. Growing up, I wanted to be an astronaut, I had a telescope, loved reading books on space and would sit on top of our station wagon to see if I could catch a view of the shuttle take offs when we lived in Florida. I always wanted to see a shuttle in flight up close. 


Today I had that chance. A friend of mine Amanda was going to Sully Park with her two daughters to watch the landing. I packed Judah up, grabbed his buzz light year and made him wear his chewbacca 
t-shirt for this occasion. Put the park information into my GPS and headed out. 



I told my friend Amanda who was already there that we should arrive shortly. Oh my goodness never in my life have I experienced this much traffic! Everyone in the Northern Virginia/DC area was headed over to the same place at the same time! Today is a day in history, its the final flight of the Discovery and everyone wanted to be part of it. My GPS was taking me all over the place and not getting the directions right so I was getting kind of frustrated because I had no idea where I was at on route 50. At that moment Scott called me up and said "Do you see it!" I didn't understand why the shuttle arrived early and told him "I don't see....WAIT I SEE IT!!!" The shuttle flew directly over the top of my car! I started crying on the phone with my husband, I can't even explain how amazing it was to be that close to the shuttle.  I've been wanting to see a space shuttle in real life since I was a little girl and the GPS had me take the wrong route so I could see it up close and personal! Almost everyone abandoned their car in the middle of the road to take pictures. Scott said "Jess meet me at Chick Fil A by my job, its going to loop around". So I headed over, driving as safely as I could since no one was paying attention to the road because every one had their eyes locked on the sky. 

The Chic Fil A area location was so much better than the park. We were able to walk up to a bridge that had a clear view for 5+ miles in all directions. We waited with a handful of other people.


Sure enough it lopped around and flew right in front of us! Everyone was shouting, cheering and crying. My heart had a mixture of pride, excitement and sorrow that this is the last flight.



We tried to get a family picture, you can kinda see the Discovery right above the woman behind me in the pink shirt. It looks like a faint mark in the sky.


It was an incredible sight to see the Discovery fly over Route 28, cars stopped, people pulled over, the police didn't even care. This was a once in a lifetime event. This was a part of history. 


We were going to leave but some people told us it was going to loop around one more time. We figured we might as well stay, I would be stuck in traffic going home anyways. So we waited. Judah by this point was really excited and was screaming "ssssss" for shuttle.


Ten minutes passed and it flew back around. This time I tried to get a picture of Scott pretending to hold the shuttle, I was to excited that I couldn't get a good shot. 




The final time around we were all watching in silence and cheered her along when she finally landed. 



On Thursday I am taking Judah to the Udvar-Hazy center for the "Welcome Discovery Celebration". I would love to see the shuttle up close with Judah and also meet former astronaut John Glenn! 

Now I can check off "seeing a real life space shuttle" on my bucket list.
 I feel like a kid who....well saw a real life space shuttle! 


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7 comments:

  1. Oh yay!! So glad you got to see it! I'm bummed we missed you, but it looks like you had an awesome view! Hope to see you all sometime soon :)

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  2. This is INCREDIBLE!!!!!!!!!!! What a memory!

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  3. That is absolutely amazing!!! You are so lucky to be capturing this moment! Very, very cool!!!

    BTW...my little man has those same Yo Gabba Vans. They are too big for him still, but he plays with them all the time because he loves them ;0)

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  4. So exciting! We went to the Kennedy Space Center last December, it was TOTALLY worth the trip. We got to see all the launching pads, the vehicle assembly building, and what was left of the shuttle Endeavor. Very neat.

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  5. Thats so awesome! I can't wait until we get ours here in LA this fall.

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  6. This is awesome!!! What an awesome once in a lifetime experience!

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