Thursday, November 4, 2010

Cuckoo for Cocoa Beach

We've been back for four days now, huddling by the wood stove, staring out at the nearly bare Sugar Maple, Boxwood and Persimmons, and watching the leaves fall, fall, fall, from the Red Maples.

Last week we travelled down to spend a couple of days at the Luna Sea Motel in Cocoa Beach, where we walked on the clean, pleasant beach in high 80's temperatures and waded a bit in the mid 70's water. While we were there we visited The Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral for a pleasant and interesting few hours, seeing the technological marvels our country is capable of creating when it isn't wallowing in hyperlegalism and self doubt. The Saturn Five Moon rocket, lying on it's side, now enclosed in a vast museum a couple of hundred yards long with a fifty or sixty foot high ceiling, is impossible to adequately describe. A thirty six story skyscraper that once lifted itself off the ground and flew, it's payload eventually reaching a speed of 25,000 miles per hour. You have to see it.

You can no longer go up close and walk around the giant crawler tractor that transports the assembled rockets, or the vast vehicle assembly building, as I could when I was visited there many years ago, before the 9/11 attack that so changed the nature of security at any sort of government installation. But the crawler is still amazing from a distance as pick up trucks parked near it provide some sense of scale. The vehicle assembly building, seen from a half mile or so away, is not nearly as impressive, even if you realize that the medium sized flag painted way up there on it's side is bigger than a pro basketball court. Besides the bus and walking tours the center also has a very good 3D IMAX movie about the Hubble Telescope. There are some awesome 3D scenes of the astronauts spacewalking to repair the telescope in orbit.

Cocoa Beach itself is a relatively undistinguished beachfront town, although you have to grant that they have it landscaped and planted pretty nicely. They also have it very clean and pleasant despite the empty storefronts in relatively new looking shopping centers that show it was no stranger to the huge overbuilding of commercial space in some parts of the country. I suspect there are also a lot of empty condos available there for attractive prices; but as I mentioned they are clearly going to a lot of trouble to keep the town desirable looking.

Linda was especially taken with the big surfer statues in front of Ron Jon Surf Shop which is quite an eye catching store. And we both liked the very good food at Rubio's Cuban restaurant, a little place, and at the Florida Seafood House, a much bigger place. Cocoa Beach is well worth a visit for the sun, surf and endless beach. The prices were also very nice although that may have been a function of it being the off season.

After Cocoa Beach we headed over to The Villages for a four night stay with Jas and Kathy in their new house in the kingdom of pickle ball, pinochle, pools golf carts, dancing and crossword puzzles. More on that next time.

In other news: The other day all of President Barack Obama's many enemies, for that's how he very clearly characterized everyone who doesn't agree with him last week, got together and delivered termination notices to a whole bunch of his political cronies. Taking back the House of Representatives from the lefties and achieving a better balance in the Senate are, of course, only the first necessary steps; but it is good to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Now we must keep the feet of all the newly elected Republicans to the fire to ensure that they don't get the Washington disease that spreads so easily to newly elected members of the political class.

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