Friday, June 03, 2011

The Space Coast

One thing I will miss when the space shuttles are retired is traveling to the Space Coast for the launches. I've made a total of 6 trips to Brevard County in recent years (3 of them in 2011 alone) and I've gotten to know the area in a strange way-- by writing in the voice of a child who grew up there and knew the terrain like her own skin. Those of you who know the places where *I* grew up know how much I had to fake details like the palmetto trees in the back yard, unrelenting hot weather, lurking alligators, and the background rhythm of shuttle launches and returns.

Since writing the book, I've come across a lot of stuff I wish I'd been able to fit into the book, like the awesome memorabilia at so many restaurants. I've come up with a working theory: the worse the restaurant, the better the space memorabilia and vice versa. A shack that sells beer in cans and deep-fried marine life will be coated inside with signed crew photos, old blaze-orange NASA passes for long-ago launches, and random bits of NASA propaganda. A white tablecloth restaurant with a nice wine list will have nothing at all.

Also, there are beaches. (As gorgeous as this beach looks, it was covered in dead jellyfish, so... don't get too jealous).

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