Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Discovery's Final Flight

The Space Shuttle Discovery made it's final flight today, on the back of a 747. 

The cost of living up here in NoVA certainly sucks, but there are definite perks to living here as well.  One of which was this once in a lifetime opportunity.  Having been a child of the 80s when space travel was new and we got to watch {LIVE television in school! A big deal!!} all of the launches, I was certainly more excited about our little "field trip" than the boys.  And while G didn't get the importance of the event, he enjoyed it, too.
We ended up with the perfect viewing spot, and it turned out my {almost} 37 week pregnant body parts {which will remain nameless...you're welcome.} that hurt and feel like they're falling out after walking very far came in very handy today!  We debated walking {like everyone else who parked behind the museum like we did} around to the front, but before we could finish our 'breakfast picnic' and make a decision, Discovery and its 747 made it's first fly-by.  And we were so glad we hadn't moved a muscle!!

It was exciting . . . even though they had no clue what was so exciting!

And, in actuality, we were glad we hadn't moved for a multitude of reasons . . .
After the first pass, we saw it heading east again - way off in the distance - so we stayed put.

 I had assumed it would fly over D.C. before coming out to the airport, but obviously it came out to us first, then went to fly over D.C., and then came back.
Other than cutting G and Sayla off, I think this turned out cute.  If you look just above the tree line in between Kaden & H's heads, you can see the shuttle coming back the 2nd time.

When you get tired of watching a plane fly over, you take a brother-lovin' break.
 So, after the 2nd fly-over, we figured it was landing.  And since that was our assumption - not to mention there were literally thousands of cars in the parking lot and we were almost the last one we saw park, we changed a diaper and loaded up.  A few people were moving but most were still standing, looking east.  After we had looped around the museum {and were in the line of traffic . . . yet to be moving} I looked in my mirror only to see:
 What we hadn't noticed 10ish minutes before was that not only was it still too high to land {in our defense, Dulles is huge and they weren't announcing where it would be landing!} we hadn't noticed that the landing gear wasn't down.  The best part of our ignorance, though, was that we were now already in line {ahead of thousands of people} AND, we were now in front of the museum . . . just behind a fence and the tree line from where it landed. Had we stayed in our original spot, we could have seen its approach, but then that would have been it.  Yay for ignorance!

I had my big lens on the camera, but these last 2 were not zoomed in at all. 

Pretty. Freaking. Cool.

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