According to Waylon, Willie, and the boys, the only two things that make life worth living are well-tuned guitars and firm-feeling women. Tom T says it’s old dogs, and children, and watermelon wine. Confederate Railroad prefers whisky on ice and women on fire.** For us, it’s none of those. For us, gorgeous sunrises, 75°, light clouds, cool breeze, no current, and no waves, are at or near the top of the list of good things in life. That was today.
We settled in to serenades by Danny Shirley and the boys from Confederate Railroad. Then we moved on to Chris Ledoux.* Damn, that’s some good stuff right there.
But wait. Before we left Historic Cocoa Village we had some things to do. Yes, pickleball was among them. Also on the list was basketball, which begs the obvious question. Does every fan base suffer through as much angst as Tennessee’s fans.
Then the Kennedy Space Center. NASA is just way cool. One of us really wanted to see the Saturn V and the Vehicle Assembly Building (the “VAB” to those in the space biz.) Turns out what visitors get essentially is a Disney experience: Expensive parking, then expensive tickets. And THE WORLD’S LARGEST SPACE SHOP.
If the boys had opposable thumbs and the wherewithal to get off and then back on the boat unassisted when they need relief maybe we could’ve taken advantage, but $120 for about two hours of walking around seemed foolish. Plus the VAB isn’t even on the premises. So we took a couple of photos through the chain-link fence and left.
Given the size of the Saturn V it’s remarkable that they kept it hidden behind the paywall, but they did.
One more thing. We went to the burrito place in Cocoa Beach that Shannon said was awesome. Except it wasn’t in Cocoa Beach, it was 20 miles away. And it was okay, but certainly not awesome. Just across the side street was a big sign designed to remind us of the scam Key West pulls on gullible tourists.
We did make it up to Cocoa Beach, however.
Doug finally was able to replace the iconic Cocoa Beach Ron Jon shirt he last could find about forty years ago. Dana got a hat.
Anyway, the cruise up to New Smyrna Beach today was about as easy as possible. For a bonus, we actually got closer to the VAB than we would’ve gotten if we’d paid.
This supposedly is the largest one-story building in the world. It’s big enough to have indoor rain clouds. It’s big enough to hide a Saturn V—since it’s where they were assembled in the first place—so maybe it wasn’t at NASA Magic Kingdom after all.
The trip was so peaceful we had time for art along the way.
If we’d paid the $120 to NASA, there’s a good chance we’d have seen that iconic photo of the Lunar Flag Assembly right where Buzz Aldrin placed it. We saw basically the same thing for free.
After an uneventful docking and a solid early dinner, we stopped by the New Smyrna Old Fort.
Here’s the interesting thing about this place, which is on the U.S. Register of Historical Places. Nobody knows what it actually is, which probably explains why there aren’t any signs telling visitors what it is. It doesn’t look like any fort we’ve seen so far, and we’ve seen a mess of them.
After all that we climbed aboard a Mainship 400 for a delightful evening with Steve and Kathy. It reminded us of good times aboard Second Wave. The boat name? Red Pearl.
Tomorrow another fairly long run up to Palm Coast, which apparently is an actual town not just a nickname.
* RIP Chris Ledoux.
** Croce of course argues that whiskey and wild wild women—and cigarettes—will drive you crazy, they’ll drive you insane.