Las Crusas, NM- Day off. Selpt in. Went swimming. Ate Subway. WENT TO ECLIPSE with Kori, Julia, and Mark. Mark loved it. I’d forgotten how unfortunate the Twilight movies are.
Lubbok, TX- Um, I really can’t remember this day at all. Oh yeah, I had to count all the merchandise in the entire bus. It was awesome.
Dallas, TX- There was a really awesome pool behind this mexican food place that you could swim in and they would just come out and bring you drinks and food! We spent allll day there. It was so relaxing.
Houston, TX- GREAT DAY! Got up early and hopped into a rented mini-van with J&K, mags, June, Julia, and John and after a quick stop at Starbucks for some energy, we headed to the Johnson Space Center, aka NASA. We went into an escort only entrance and met up with our own pirvate guide, John Paul. John works on the floor at mission control for Thermal Systems of the Space Station, and is also a huge Mates of State fan. Jason got an e-mail from him a few weeks back asking if he wanted to come in for a private tour. The tour was AMAZING! I can’t stop raving about it. We got to the see the training area for the new astronauts that are heading to the space station and go inside all the Mach Ups (full size replicas of the space station and shuttle). Got to see the cockpit, where they sleep, how they cook their food, their bathroom, and the machines they use to make their Urine and CO2 into Water and breathable Oxygen.
After that we headed to mission control where we got to go in the mission control room that was used when we put man on the moon, and was also used for the Appollo 13 movie. And also the mission control floor that is used today to communicate with the space station. We got to sit at the desks, and see live video feed of one of the astronauts fixing the toielt on board.
Some interesting facts; the international space station is only about 250 miles from earth. It takes 3 days to get to the space station (bc the shuttle has to catch up to it in orbit) but only a few hours to get back to earth. Every 90 minutes the sun rises or sets on the space station (so astronauts have 90 minute days and nights), but they stay on a 24 hour schedule. There are six Americans living in the space station. The space station is about as big as a 5 bedroom house. Becuase the Bush Administration stopped the space shuttle program at NASA we have to pay the Russians to take us to space. Obama also did a lot of funding cutting at NASA.
While at NASA I was also lucky enough to get to see Mark, Sharon, and Kaitlin, our great family friends that live in Houston and Mark and Sharon both work at NASA. I got to eat lunch with them in the empoloyee cafeteria and catch up. We could’ve talked all day (it had been 9 years!) but we all had to get back in time for sound check.
When we got back to the bus Mags and I ventured out in the rain and went downtown where we saw a cool modern park and Minute Maid field. Then we took a bike taxi back to the bus. Had dinner later with Kori’s dad at a really good Viatnamese place.
Baton Rouge, LA- Wins the award for Sketchy-est neighborhood on tour. Kori and I were followed by a man in a truck who got out and tried to take our picture, and honked at multiple times. The heat was sweltering! We played soccer and all got drenched in sweat, of course there was no shower! In true tour style we washed off in some fountains you could run through downtown. Did merch that night. Not many people bought stuff. But I did get like 6 bucks in tips!
Birmingham, AL- So far, so boring. Somehow my family back in Minnesota turned off my sim card on my phone so I don’t have one of those.