Live rocket launches and NASA’s Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral + our 3-year anniversary!

I hope you all had a great week! Following our action-packed 2 weeks in Orlando, Joe and I headed to Florida’s east coast in Cape Canaveral. We spent 9 relaxing days here, opting for fewer activities as we felt kind of broke after the Orlando theme parks. 😛

Nevertheless, our time at Cape Canaveral was filled with wonderful memories as the entire experience was centered around space stuff. Joe wanted to spend a good chunk of time close to the NASA Kennedy Space Center so we could try and catch a rocket launch (the schedules can be unpredictable…so we were on standby). We lucked out as we caught 2 rocket launches over our 9 days here!! More on this below.

We stayed at Manatee Hammock Campground, an RV park right on Cape Canaveral’s coast. We absolutely loved this campground – the scenery had a jungle feel with lush palm trees everywhere. We had full hookups but no wifi (thank god for Joe’s blu-ray collection!) – it was the perfect blend of comfort and being in the rugged nature we love. 

Manatee Hammock Campground, Cape Canaveral, Florida

Manatee Hammock Campground, Cape Canaveral, Florida

We got very lucky with our parking spot as it was steps away from the water – so beautiful. 

We arrived at the campground a few days late because we waited out Hurricane Nicole in Orlando. The hurricane actually made landfall right in Cape Canaveral, so we were very thankful for this decision. Fortunately, there was some debris but no major destruction at this campground. Joe helped clean up around the park…isn’t he the best? ❤

Now for the highlight…the rocket launches! We were able to see the rocket launch pad right from our campground, which made for a very convenient viewing experience. You might remember from my last post how we woke up at 3:30am and drove all the way from Orlando to Cape Canaveral one day to catch the SpaceX Falcon Heavy launch…it was exhausting and we couldn’t even see the rocket! Well, this time was total redemption and we got a very nice view just steps from our trailer. 🙂

Manatee Hammock Campground, Cape Canaveral, Florida

We saw the SpaceX Flacon 9 launch on a sunny morning from our campground. It was so amazing to see it in clear daylight. 

But the best launch of them all was NASA’s Artemis moon rocket launch, which was all the news down in Florida. It launched around 1:30am, so fortunately we just napped in our trailer while we waited for the launch. We were not sure if it was going to go since it had been delayed multiple times, so we were extra thrilled when it did. The launch was just magical. The rocket was so powerful and it lit up the entire city in the dark night. We were so happy to end on a good note with all these launches!

Artemis moon rocket launch

While we were here, we couldn’t miss visiting NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. Joe went here 10 years ago and was dying to go back to see the new exhibits, and I was excited to learn more about Joe’s biggest passion. 

Nasa sign at Kennedy Space Center

Kennedy Space Center outside

The space center was very impressive. It had a museum-meets-theme-park feel. There were massive artifacts of previous space shuttles, IMAX movies, and 3D rides.

The Atlantis space shuttle was very neat. This was new since Joe came here last, so he was very excited to see this one. 

Atlantis rocket at Kennedy Space Center

The best part – I had a personal tour guide, aka Joe. 😉 Joe knew every single rocket, it’s history, how it was built, etc…I was seriously impressed! I knew Joe loved space, but this was the first time I truly understood the extent of his passion. I love my space buff. ❤

Atlantis rocket at Kennedy Space Center

There were also interactive exhibits with VR and life-size replicas – it all felt very futuristic. 

Kennedy Space Center

Kennedy Space Center

My favorite was the real-life rocket launch simulator. Apparently, astronauts have said this is the most realistic launch simulator in the world. It was 6 minutes long and very intense!

Kennedy Space Center rocket launch simulator

We ran into Joe’s twin here. 😉 In Joe’s words, “this is the mothership for people like me.” 

It was our 3-year anniversary last week! We celebrated over a nice seafood dinner. We have been cooking most of our meals, so this felt like a treat.

Reflecting on the last 3 years…I’m amazed at how much we’ve done together! I never thought our lives would look like this and that we would be living together in an RV…but I truly feel like I have everything I need. Looking back on all those terrible dates during my single years, wondering if I’d ever meet the right person…I feel so lucky to have finally met Joe. Joe is such a loving and supportive partner, and I appreciate that he lives life to the fullest. I couldn’t imagine doing life with anyone else.

Moving on from the cheesy stuff – we took a day trip to Daytona to check out an RV show. This was very fun for us as we got to tour dozens of RVs, open-house style. The last time we did something like this was our first time at Camping World, but a salesman followed us around the whole time. It was so nice to have the freedom and endless RV options to see. Also, after living in our trailer for some time now, we’ve learned so much and I see so many more things. I imagine this is what it feels like when you buy a second home… 😉

We also made a quick stop at Daytona Beach while we were up there. It was still kind of rough after the hurricane, so we didn’t stay long.

We also did some easy hikes in Cape Canaveral. Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge was right next to the space center, and we loved hiking in the vast swampy grassland while seeing the NASA jets flying right over us. 

Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge

Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge

Spotted our first Florida alligator! Joe and I have been on the lookout for a while now. 

Alligator at Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge

We also passed by a cove with dozens of wild manatees. This was my first time seeing one, and they were bigger than I imagined.

Manatees at Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge

The Enchanted Forest of Brevard Country was a gem. It had a botanical garden feel as everything was so lush around us. Florida’s scenery is so unique…sometimes I feel like I’m in southeast Asia. 😉

Enchanted Forest of Brevard Country

After a week-plus here, we feel excited to move on from Central Florida and head further south. Next up: we’re going out to the boon-docks at Everglades National Park!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s