Today, while I was reading the paper at breakfast I saw that the space shuttle, Endeavour, was taking a tour (on the top of a 747) of the Los Angeles/Orange County area on its way from Edwards’ Airforce Base to LAX. It was flying by Malibu at approximately 11:30 a.m. As I live 20 minutes away from Malibu and didn’t have anything going on at 11:30 a.m., I decided to take advantage of being so close.
“Let’s go see the space shuttle be transported,” I said to Dave.
He was in.
Unfortunately for Chandler and Marley, we are selfish and greedy parents so we sent them to school.
As we were driving to the beach I told Dave how happy I was that we were going. I knew that I’d regret it forever if we didn’t. It was such a simple thing – driving 20 minutes and taking a 10 minute hike to a bluff – but it would have been so easy to shrug away. I’m tired today. And busy. But this was a genuine once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
We got to Pt. Dume and noticed they were filming something. Of course they are always filming something at Pt. Dume. (Trust me – anytime you see the beach in a movie/TV show/commercial it is probably Pt. Dume.)
It turned out to be Bones. I don’t watch that show, but it sure looks like a crazy episode.
We walked up the path to the top of the hill and surprise, surprise weren’t the only people who came to see a little slice of history.
We even asked someone to capture the moment for us. We never have our picture taken. (Of course with the way I look in this photo it’s no small wonder!)
There was a pre-school there waiting to see the shuttle. I wonder if any of those kids will remember this when they get older. (And even if they don’t, it still makes a great story. I have a photo of myself with John Wayne when I was about 4 years old. I have no memory of the event – but I sure do like to tell that story!)
And look at these two pre-school moms. They are so cute I just want to
punch them be them/be their BFF!
As we were waitng someone in the crowd would spout out news reports. “It’s in Santa Barbara.” “It’s flying over Vanderberg.” And then finally, “There it is!”
I couldn’t see it. “Where?’ I asked, “Where?” The guys next to us pointed, “Right there.”
Still all I saw was sky. Dave couldn’t see it either. And then, as if appearing from nowhere, there it was. I was looking for it to fly parallel to the coast but it was coming right at us.
It was super low. (The newspaper said it was going to fly at 1500 feet.) And I have to tell you – IT WAS SO COOL! A space shuttle being transported on top of a 747 – WOW!
After flying 25 missions and 123 million miles (which is even more miles than I have on my 18 year-old Honda), the Endeavour was making its final “flight.” And I got to see it. Damn. I wish we’d pulled the kids out of school.
It literally gave me chills. My hands started to shake as I tried to take a picture. I knew it would be neat to see, but I didn’t realize how truly awesome (in the rarely used, true sense of the word) it would be.
And then, just like that, it flew over us and was gone. It lasted less than a minute, but it was worth it. I’m so glad I didn’t just shrug it away and think, “That would be cool, but I’m too tired, too busy, there’ll be too many people.” I’m glad Dave and I took the opportunity that we were lucky enough to have land right at our feet.