Saturday, February 15, 2014

Erik's Vacation - Day Seven: Space Shuttle & Goodbye

It's Erik's final day for his SoCal vacation and the final day we get to hang out. Today we are heading down to the Los Angeles Science Center to view the Space Shuttle Endeavour. I have been wanting to do this since the shuttle was flown to Los Angeles a few years ago.

We got up early, headed out to get breakfast at the NoHo Diner before walking to the Red line subway station in North Hollywood. We took the Red line to the Metro Center in downtown Los Angeles and then got on the light blue/Expo line and went a few more stops before getting off a few blocks from the Science Center. Once we orientated where we were we made our way to the Science Center. We got there around 10:15am and the place was pretty busy. We found out that you have to get a reservation ticket for see Endeavour and my heart sank as I thought we might not be able to see it today and I know both Erik and I were really looking forward to it. But when we got to the box office we found out that the next available viewing was 10:45am, so we didn't have to wait very long.

We made our way up to the entrance of the Endeavour exhibit. The first thing you see are some Shuttle wheels that been to space and back. There are mission logs all around the room covering every mission that Endeavour embarked on. There were several simulators and then there was a video on how they got Endeavour from Florida to California. Once the video was over we were lead down stairs and across a small courtyard to a hanger were Endeavour is stored.

As soon as you walk through the doors you see this beautiful ship feet from you and your breath is taken away. I don't think I've ever experience anything quite like it. Erik and I literally just stop and took it in, we then turned to each other with huge smiles on our faces and said WOW!!

We immediately took out our phones and cameras and started taking pictures. What is really crazy is that the public can walk right up to and under Endeavour. It's sitting on a lift about ten feet above the ground. I never expect that they would allow us to get that close to this space shuttle.

We spent a good half hour walking around the hanger checking out all the cool things they had on Endeavour. We then went to the gift shop as we both had to buy something to commemorate this amazing experience. Erik got a great hoodie and I got a t-shirt and little snow globe.

We had come to the Science Center solely to see the space shuttle but decided to walk around the center and check out the other exhibits for a few hours before heading back to my place.

Walking back from the NoHo Station we passed through my cities weekly Farmer's Market and I remembered that I wanted to try some home made tamales that I saw at one of the booths last time I was here. So we stopped by the booth and picked some up for lunch.

Back at my place we only had a few more hours before I had to drop him off at the airport. So we watched Wreck it Ralph as it was another movie that Erik had never seen and I felt was a must see for everyone.

After the movie we gathered up all his things and took them down to the car. It was now 5pm and we were going to grab an early dinner at Outback Steakhouse. Unfortunately we had some really bad service and his steak was not cooked properly and it wasn't how I wanted his last moments here in SoCal to be but he took it all in stride.

We stopped by a local BevMo as Erik wanted to find me a sour beer to try as I've been wanting to try one for a while now. He got a bottle for me, which I will save for a later date to drink and I'm sure I'll blog about it.

We drove over to the Burbank Airport, I parked and we walked to his terminal. We had to say goodbye at security. It took every ounce of energy I had to not cry (as I promised Erik I wouldn't). We had spent every waking moment the last seven days hanging out, enjoying each other's company and having a blast. I didn't want it to end.

I manged to hold the tears back just long enough to give him a big hug and exit the airport. Once outside all bets were off and the tears started to flow. I didn't try and hide them from passerby's as my heart was hurting. I have mentioned in previous blog posts Erik and I have a special bond that doesn't happen very often. Though I know we will see each other via Skype and talk on the phone... I don't know the next time will see each other in person and that makes me sad.

Of course all I have to do to lift my spirits is think about all the fun adventures we had this past week and all the adventures yet to come... who know what the future holds. I do know that Erik is very special to me and I'm so thankful that he is part of my life, now and forever.

If you'd like to see more pictures of Erik's Vacation please follow this LINK.

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