I’ve been away from Toronto since December 29th, when I flew to Tampa by way of Montreal. Montreal had just gone through some record snow and its consequences:
While the post-Christmas snowstorm didn’t cancel my flight. It greatly delayed it. Pictured below is the green de-icing fluid being applied to my flight. It’s the stronger stuff with a longer usable life: 80 minutes as opposed to the 20 minutes that the orange stuff is good for:
The First Part
I still made it to Tampa in time to catch Bobcat Goldthwait’s stand-up routine at the Improv in Ybor City. He doesn’t use the screaming, spastic voice that we remember from Police Academy, Scrooged and a few other ’80s films anymore, and he’s quite funny. He told some jokes, as well as some funny stories, including one about the time when he did stand-up at the 2012 edition of the Gathering of the Juggalos:
…and the day after, it was a full afternoon and evening of boardgames with friends. Here’s the better of the two editions of the The Walking Dead boardgame — it’s the one based on the Robert Kirkman comic book that inspired the TV series:
I’m on a Boat!
It was the first time on a cruise ship for the both of us, and we had a great time. We rang in the new year there; I also licked in the new year…
…and we had fun at the two stops the ship made. The first was to Royal Caribbean’s private island, Coco Cay (known formally as Little Stirrup Cay if you want to look it up on a map). It’s got some great beaches that they’ve populated with some gorgeous tropical fish, which makes for some good snorkeling.
Our second stop was in Nassau, where we spent some time at the Atlantis resort’s “Aquaventure” water park as well as the port area of the city.
From Nassau to NASA
Since our ship both left and returned to Port Canaveral, we decided to take advantage of our proximity and an annual pass offer and spend Friday and Saturday at the nearby Kennedy Space Center. Among other things, I got to see the Saturn V rocket up close and personal:
…pose for some amusing pictures (“Look at me! I’m texting and driving…on the moon!“)…
…and meet some real-life rocket scientists. Standing with me in the photo below is David Henson, who was an engineer at Rockwell and worked on the second-stage booster for Apollo 8, the first Apollo mission to orbit the moon (and the one that carried Jim Lovell, who’d later be the commander of Apollo 13). We’re posing with an original Saturn V flight manual, which he’d saved from those days. He went on to do engineering work on the Shuttle flights. I’m sure he gets told this all the time, but I had to shake his hand and tell him what an honour it was to meet an Apollo engineer.
I’m in Florida a little while longer, but I return to Accordion City late on Monday the 7th, after which I’m back to “the real world”. I hope you had a good time on your holidays as well!