Kit’s working on the video so you’ll have to just read the story in the meantime.
Last year (pre-eyeball update) we had planned a trip to camp on the coast with cousins but the weather last minute looked horrid so we cancelled. We wanted to reschedule and just hadn’t gotten around to it as things got really crazy last fall with some various challenges. When we received the news about Ben’s eye report he wanted me to make sure I included the ocean and NASA on his wish list. We researched how much it would cost and where we could stay and just let it sit on the list while waiting for life to calm down a bit and to budget for it.
Then the kids started the truffle fundraiser which lead very surprisingly to the newspaper article which was shared around and we were contacted by a great guy named Ron who got us in touch with another wonderful person named Chad who happens to work for NASA! (You should have seen Ben’s eyes pop out of his head when I showed him the email that actually said NASA.gov – he was deeply impressed.) Chad offered to help let us see some of the NASA sights and we thought – NEAT! We’ll go do the public tour and meet someone who really works there and maybe see some of the public exhibits up close – how cool will that be?
But oh, no. Apparently Chad had something else in mind. All I knew was that Chad did something there involving astronauts (which the kids thought was neat, he had met real astronauts? Little did they expect…)
The timing once again managed to work out beautifully that I wasn’t on call and Kit was able to get a couple days off work (with his always fantastic boss watching our dog while we went) and we were going to go soon! In a couple weeks! We looked around quickly for hotels and just picked one that was reasonably priced and looked in the vicinity of the space center. I asked for trip suggestions online and got wonderful ideas – a shrimp restaurant, the ferry ride, things in Galveston, etc. We wanted to make sure we drove down the day before to see the ocean (another wish list item), spend a night at the hotel, NASA, then head back home since I was going on call that following day for an expectant mom.
A few days before we were getting ready to go I get an email from Chad that says, “I may have spoken a bit too soon…” which made my stomach drop. Oh, no! Maybe we weren’t able to get clearance to visit with our little ones (I knew there were age restrictions for some of the public tours) or a work thing came up or something went wrong? Then I kept reading – and I cried. The issue was he had told us we would be meeting in the afternoon for a bit, but a lot of people around there wanted to help out so there was a growing list of tour opportunities that would be starting bright and early that morning – if we wanted. Then I read the list, and I got goosebumps. I knew these were once in a lifetime experiences that were being offered to our kids, and I knew it was going to absolutely blow them away! (And we had truly been expecting to just buy the public tour tickets and maybe see something special in that main building with Chad – we did not expect this!!!) I think I read that list four times going – no WAY! We get to see that????? I think at this point I realized Kit was possibly even more giddy about this than the kids were, and he was telling them all about the things they were going to see.
We had been studying space for awhile and the kids read about astronauts and the space station and we talked a bit about the Challenger and I let them watch an edited version of Apollo 13. They started to write up all their questions for the trip and checked out every book they could find from the library about space.
So of course we told Chad yes, yes, a hundred times yes, you say when and where and we will be there!! (I’ll share all those places in tomorrow’s post when we get the pictures up.)
Onto the first day…
Day One – Galveston
Day Two – NASA
The Sad Journey Home