Our 5 days in Manatee Hammock were mostly spent at the campground but we did take one day to go check out Cocoa beach. Our neighbors, Mike and Pat, recommended the Lori Wilson beach and suggested the southernmost parking lot as it had good parking spaces for big trucks. Their directions were spot on and the beach was really nice. I needed to get some work done and I scored a phenomenal office site in the shade with a table!
We had a picnic lunch at the beach and Steph and the kids played. They played and played and played. They loved letting the waves crash on them, digging holes in the sand and burying their older brother. Their perfectly golden brown skin is evidence of the many hours of PE they’ve had in the Florida sun! All three kids declared that Cocoa Beach was the best beach so far! But we had to leave as it was T-1:43:00 before lift off of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket. One of the primary reasons we returned to the Cape was to view this rocket launch!
Our research led us to believe that our campground was actually the best spot to watch the rocket launch. Many others gathered at the water edge and the kids (and Steph) made a big jug of Rocket Fuel (AKA lemonade) to share with other spectators. We watched the official online countdown clock and then we watched it rise from the horizon. It was far away but it was beautiful. It seemed to lift off so gracefully and silent from that distance. But eventually the thunderous sound reached our ears and it was spectacular. I’m sure the view on the live stream was better. But we saw it live. We watched it leave the pull of earth’s gravity right before our eyes. And it was the first time that SpaceX (or anyone for that matter) successfully landed the first stage rocket on a floating platform! Someday that will seem so trivial, but our kids will be able to say, “I was there the day they launched the Falcon 9 and they landed it on the barge!”.
On our first trip to the Cape we had just missed a rocket launch. But thanks to not being able to get reservation in Georgia and having a flexible schedule we were able to return to this great campground and watch an historic rocket launch live! It was awesome!
Boardwalk to Cocoa
Waiting for launch
This is where the sound hit us
Just a speck in the sky
Cocoa Beach branch office