I have traveled to Orlando many times over the years and have imagined how exciting it would be to time it just right with a shuttle launch. I was thrilled to hear one was scheduled during our visit last week and caught snips of news as each day went by with a delay. Last night we heard today was the last possible day in this launch window. and wouldn’t ya know it… the morning was jammed with to-dos. Get up to prep for meeting, travel to meeting, attend meeting, return from meeting, and oh yes… pack for the transfer from Disney’s Beach Club Resort to the next hotel. There was no way I would see it with my own eyes. Right?
After the morning festivities, Annette and I returned to our rooms connected by the "ease of bantering, chatting, etc, in hopes of getting more work done during our off hours" connecting door. As we packed we both had our TVs tuned to random stations televising the event. When we first checked in a couple of days ago, I must admit we were slightly bummed that our view was not of the usual Boardwalk across the way but was in fact the top of a building over the lobby drive up area. But in true ‘things truly happen for a reason’ form, the view was even better.
As count down went from 5 minutes to 2, we debated which way was east and which was west. 2 minutes… naw… we MUST be facing the wrong way – lets just watch it on TV… 1 minute… hmm we can still see the TV if we prop the balcony door open with the chair!… 30 seconds… well its certainly worth a look right? 10, 9, 8, (In an effort to avoid disappointment, I have now convinced myself we just couldn’t be THAT lucky – I mean, even if we are facing the right way there are a lot of clouds in the sky…) 7, 6, 5, 4, (hmm… I should finish packing shouldn’t I… We are past check out now….) 3, 2, 1… Nothing. All attention turns back to the tv.
As the shuttle clears the tower, I think about a couple of days ago when I went on my third Mission Space ride – "green card please" – more on that later.
We run back out on the balcony just for one last look and just as I begin to give up hope, I hear "BECI – LOOK! THERE IT IS!" – coming from the balcony next to me. I looked in the general area Annette was pointing, and with a few head bobs around a building support, there its was. A very bright dot light, like a small piece of the sun had fallen off and was trying to ascend back to its position, followed by a long trail of billowing smoke. I had to blink a few times and when I realized it was really the shuttle, a chill went up my spine in the 90 degree heat.
I was frozen in awe of this incredible site and we slowly sank to the floor of the balcony as we kneeled to watch to shuttle rise beyond the roof line. A few short moments later, the bright light vanished but the trail of smoke remained. I quickly turned back to the tv and sure enough the cameras reflected the sunlight had begun to turn to the darkness of space. wow.
A few seconds later we snapped back to reality that at any moment a maid would want us out of her way, so we finished our packing and headed for the lobby to catch the transfer.
Just goes to show that more often then not situations that might not seem like the best at the time actually turn out to have a true purpose ( a personal mantra of mine actually) AND that Disney can work its magic in many different ways. Just imagine if you were boarding the Disney Magic today! wow- what a sight!