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  Advice for Greyhound trip to Cape Canaveral

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Author Topic:   Advice for Greyhound trip to Cape Canaveral
Mr. Apollo 17
Member

Posts: 55
From: Ashland, OH USA
Registered: Feb 2012

posted 07-18-2012 09:19 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Mr. Apollo 17   Click Here to Email Mr. Apollo 17     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I am planning on taking a trip with my mom (I'm 12) to Titusville in December to see the Falcon 9 rocket send Dragon to the ISS. I have (and want) to take the Greyhound because I'm paying for it using money I make on Etsy selling space art and other space stuff I make (email me if you want to buy anything) because, well I might as well just say we are not in the best circumstances and we can't pay to go. My mom feels bad that we can't pay for it but she's willing to go with me.

Does anyone have any tips on what to do on the bus for 34 hours? I have the usual things to do planned, but what else is good to do at the Cape? We're only staying the day we get there, then one night, then the next day until 8:00 p.m. when we ride the bus home (I will buy round trip tickets). Where is the best place to see the launch? Any help would be good. Thanks!

I will post photos from the trip on here after the trip in December as well.

capoetc
Member

Posts: 1705
From: Newnan GA (USA)
Registered: Aug 2005

posted 07-18-2012 09:49 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for capoetc   Click Here to Email capoetc     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
First of all, kudos to you for your enthusiasm for America's space program! It's always good to see a young man (or woman) interested in space science.

The Falcon 9 launch will be from SLC-40, so probably the best location to watch it will be Playalinda Beach. The beach site is not always open though (open 7 days a week, from 6am – 8pm), so as the launch date gets closer you will want to contact them to confirm they will be open for the launch window. Call even if the launch window is within the published open times just to make sure. The number is 321-267-1110.

There are other locations as well, but an important question first: Are you planning to rent a car? I am guessing you are not, which means you may need to either (1) hook up with someone who has a car and is trustworthy, or (2) find a place in Titusville to watch the launch. Space View Park in Titusville would work, but you will be just over 10 miles from the launch pad (still a good view across the water, though).

I'm sure others will have some ideas for you as well.

Finally, maybe you should post some pictures of your work here; maybe we can drum up some business. If you don't know how, I'd be happy to post a few for you if you will e-mail them to me.

Ken Havekotte
Member

Posts: 1823
From: Merritt Island, Florida, Brevard
Registered: Mar 2001

posted 07-18-2012 09:55 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ken Havekotte   Click Here to Email Ken Havekotte     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hopefully for the upcoming SpaceX/Dragon C4 launch on a Falcon 9 rocket will keep on track Dec. 15. But keep in mind, though, there is a good chance the space station mission might be delayed some, as prior COTS flights had been.

I am going to email you later on, however, I'll be more than happy to provide, at no cost, several SpaceX/Falcon 9 souvenirs — and in particular — pertaining to the Dragon C4 flight as they become available.

Is this your first-time visit to the Florida Space Coast?

When I was 12-years-old, I was fortunate enough to view my first "live" liftoffs from the Cape in 1968, which included the first manned Apollo 7 spaceflight in Oct. of that same year.

Those first launch viewing experiences of mine were so special and magical, that within a few short years as a high school senior, help put me on an exciting path in starting my own space-related hobby and occupation, which by the way, continues on to this day.

I'll be in touch again real soon.

Ben
Member

Posts: 1843
From: Daytona Beach, FL
Registered: May 2000

posted 07-18-2012 11:07 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ben   Click Here to Email Ben     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Regarding your visit and the above reply, I must echo the fact that you are going to have to find a way to get around. There is no public transportation, and taxi costs can add up very fast.

Regarding the launch itself, though: Because there is another Falcon launch slated before the one in December, the dates (especially the one in December) are very fluid and may easily change before then.

Regardless of what launch you try and see, my viewing guide should help you with details on Playalinda or other sites. The Visitor's Complex may even sell tickets to view closer up, but that information will not come until close to launch and will depend on the launch time.

Mr. Apollo 17
Member

Posts: 55
From: Ashland, OH USA
Registered: Feb 2012

posted 07-18-2012 11:15 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Mr. Apollo 17   Click Here to Email Mr. Apollo 17     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
capoetc: Thanks I was thinking about Space View Park because it is close to the hotel that I am planning on booking. I am going to call a taxi to take me to wherever I am going to view the launch. Renting a car wouldn't work because we can't return the car and get to the bus station at 8. I will make sure I will get up photos of my art (You could either order one I have or commission one.) What price range are you looking at? They are made using colored pencils or crayons.

Ken: Really? You would give me some of the Falcon 9/Dragon souvenirs? That's so amazing! Thank you so much! Do you work at NASA? Yes this is my first OFFICIAL visit (I drove through Merritt Island when I was going to Port Saint Lucie once. That would have been amazing to see the Saturn 1B rocket launch! My Grandfather actually worked with von Braun (my Grandfather was a Missile Manager for the Jupiter missiles when they were in Turkey).

Thanks for being so kind and helpful, both of you. I hope we can do business, capoetc (I sell space art, space holiday cards, and it's not space related but jewelry). Ken, thanks for offering so many things to me and I hope we can get in touch over email soon! Thanks again! — Nassem

Mr. Apollo 17
Member

Posts: 55
From: Ashland, OH USA
Registered: Feb 2012

posted 07-18-2012 11:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Mr. Apollo 17   Click Here to Email Mr. Apollo 17     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Ben: Thanks for supplying the link to your guide. I am planning on taking a taxi only to the launch viewing site and back, to whatever museum I decide on and back, and to the bus station so It shouldn't cost too much.

I hope if the launch is rescheduled it will be two weeks prior to my trip. Greyhound discounts tickets bought two weeks in advance. Thanks for your help!

Mr. Apollo 17
Member

Posts: 55
From: Ashland, OH USA
Registered: Feb 2012

posted 07-19-2012 12:18 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Mr. Apollo 17   Click Here to Email Mr. Apollo 17     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
What is the best space place to go at the Cape other than KSC?

capoetc
Member

Posts: 1705
From: Newnan GA (USA)
Registered: Aug 2005

posted 07-19-2012 07:04 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for capoetc   Click Here to Email capoetc     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Go to the Space Walk of Fame museum. Cool stuff, nice people, admission fee is donation only, and it is in downtown Titusville, walking distance from Space View Park.

Mr. Apollo 17
Member

Posts: 55
From: Ashland, OH USA
Registered: Feb 2012

posted 07-19-2012 10:31 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Mr. Apollo 17   Click Here to Email Mr. Apollo 17     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks for that! I was looking for their website but couldn't find it before.

Does anyone know if you can see the VAB at KSC without going to KSC?

cycleroadie
Member

Posts: 241
From: Apalachin, NY USA
Registered: May 2011

posted 07-19-2012 10:35 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for cycleroadie   Click Here to Email cycleroadie     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Mr. Apollo 17:
Does anyone know if you can see the VAB at KSC without going to KSC?
Well, you can see the VAB from Titusville, including from Space View Park, though it is 11 or so miles away. Actually if you have a clear view you can see it from just about anywhere in the area.

Mr. Apollo 17
Member

Posts: 55
From: Ashland, OH USA
Registered: Feb 2012

posted 07-19-2012 10:37 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Mr. Apollo 17   Click Here to Email Mr. Apollo 17     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks! It's so tall I figured it was kind of the skyscraper of the area

Mr. Apollo 17
Member

Posts: 55
From: Ashland, OH USA
Registered: Feb 2012

posted 07-19-2012 11:11 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Mr. Apollo 17   Click Here to Email Mr. Apollo 17     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I sent emails to Ken and capoetc with examples of my art. If you are interested in purchasing my space art to help fund the trip, please email me. Thanks!

Jay Chladek
Member

Posts: 2211
From: Bellevue, NE, USA
Registered: Aug 2007

posted 07-19-2012 06:52 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Chladek   Click Here to Email Jay Chladek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Are you sure you want to do Greyhound? Given the potential for foul weather in December, I would think that a bus trip has the potential of being a little longer due to the possibility for weather delays due to snow and ice on roads (and the possibility for traffic jams due to wrecks).

Given that Southwest flies to Orlando (and Airtran is now part of Southwest), I would figure a couple quick flights down and back would be just as cheap when one factors in the food you have to get to accomodate 34 hours on a bus versus maybe eight hours total on a plane round trip. And it would free you to rent a car possibly. What about taking the train?

capoetc
Member

Posts: 1705
From: Newnan GA (USA)
Registered: Aug 2005

posted 07-19-2012 07:26 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for capoetc   Click Here to Email capoetc     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Nassem (Mr. Apollo17 - age 12) asked me to post an example of his art, which he is hoping to use to partially finance a trip to Florida to view a Falcon 9 launch.

So, here it is:

Perhaps some cS members will be willing to support the arts and help kindle a young man's interest in science at the same time.

Questions about purchasing his art can be directed to Mr. Apollo17, who is the OP on this thread.

Mr. Apollo 17
Member

Posts: 55
From: Ashland, OH USA
Registered: Feb 2012

posted 07-19-2012 08:41 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Mr. Apollo 17   Click Here to Email Mr. Apollo 17     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Jay, Greyhound is the only option for me because I cannot afford plane tickets. It should be fine riding the bus, and for $436 round trip I think it is so much better compared to $1000-$1500 for round trip plane tickets. And wouldn't a plane be more likely to be delayed?

John, thanks for posting my art. I thought I might add: I have never sold any of my art before so I don't really know what to charge. But I will know if you try to lowball me.

I have moonwalker art, earth orbit art, Earthrise art and am working on a Voyager probe series. I need $650 for the trip so whatever sales I can get would help substantially. I don't just do the art to make money, I do it for fun, but I thought I might try to sell some to be able to pay for the trip. Thanks!

capoetc
Member

Posts: 1705
From: Newnan GA (USA)
Registered: Aug 2005

posted 07-19-2012 09:28 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for capoetc   Click Here to Email capoetc     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Nassem, I think you may be underestimating how much your trip will cost unless your parents are going to pay for some of the expenses.

First of all, have you confirmed that there are no other charges / taxes for the Greyhound fare? Sometimes the quoted fare does not include those charges.

I assume the $650 amount includes the hotel room -- same thing applies there, there will likely be taxes, etc, that will raise the price. In addition, you and your Mom will need to eat for the 2-3 days of the trip, and that assumes you will not have any other expenses.

I'm not trying to throw a wet blanket over your plans, I just want to make sure you have considered all the expenses so you won't end up running out of money.

Mr. Apollo 17
Member

Posts: 55
From: Ashland, OH USA
Registered: Feb 2012

posted 07-19-2012 09:58 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Mr. Apollo 17   Click Here to Email Mr. Apollo 17     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have already called and made sure the Greyhound will for sure only cost $436. The hotel on Travelocity I found charges $65 including tax a night (and it's a 3 star hotel), $150 for food, and $50 for taxi since I will only need a taxi to get to downtown Titusville and back and to the bus station and back. So the amount will be about $700-$750 dollars. I already have $50 so all I need so far is $650-$700 dollars.

mercsim
Member

Posts: 138
From: Phoenix, AZ
Registered: Feb 2007

posted 07-20-2012 09:12 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for mercsim   Click Here to Email mercsim     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A quick search on Travelocity shows flights from Akron for $283 and from Cleveland for $317 per person to Orlando. Rental cars in Orlando are usually cheap. I have got them for $30 a day. Taxi fare in Titusville will run that each way.

With six months notice, maybe you could find a sponsor to pick you up from the airport and show you the sights for a few days. I'm sure there are several cS'ers that live in the area.

I'll "buy" a CD with every photo you take for $60, payable in advance. Hope it helps. — Scott

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 07-20-2012 09:29 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
My best suggestion, regardless if you go by bus or plane, is that you seek out refundable tickets (or at the least, tickets that require no additional fee to make a change, although there may still be fare changes). For airfare, that would probably rule out using most of the ticket hubs (e.g. Travelocity, Orbitz, Expedia) and instead booking directly with the airline.

I say this because launches routinely slip. The worst possible scenario on a budget-limited trip is to be stuck with a set of travel dates that no longer coincide with the launch date. And with such a short trip being planned, you increase that risk.

Along the same lines, you may want to prepare for the contingency of the launch slipping when you are already in Florida. Again, it comes down to budget, but if you're raising funds now, you may want to strive for the resources to extend your trip, if necessary. Speaking from experience, it can be very difficult to turn around to go home knowing that there's a good chance the launch will take place the next day.

garymilgrom
Member

Posts: 1571
From: Atlanta, GA, USA
Registered: Feb 2007

posted 07-20-2012 10:56 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for garymilgrom   Click Here to Email garymilgrom     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I second Scott's offer - I'll buy a CD with all your photos from the trip for $60 payable in advance. Get in touch off-list and tell me how to pay. I'd prefer PayPal.

And have a GREAT trip! Even if you don't see a launch, there's so much to see at KSC that you'll have a good time. Check my website for my photos from similar trips. Good luck!

Mr. Apollo 17
Member

Posts: 55
From: Ashland, OH USA
Registered: Feb 2012

posted 07-20-2012 11:24 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Mr. Apollo 17   Click Here to Email Mr. Apollo 17     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I am going to take the bus no matter what. I really don't want to go through all the stuff at the airport and because they found needles in airplane sandwiches recently! Thanks for offering to buy photo CD's!

Scott, could you email me? I cannot find you're email. I already emailed Gary. I really want to see the VAB! Even if I don't go to KSC, I want to see it from somewhere in the area. My grandfather had an impact on the US missile program, and the missile he was in charge of was the Jupiter. See my excited-ness!

fredtrav
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Posts: 913
From: Birmingham AL USA
Registered: Aug 2010

posted 07-20-2012 11:37 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for fredtrav   Click Here to Email fredtrav     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Don't worry about all that stuff at the airport. It is not as bad as some make it out. As far as needles in food, you are not going to get food on the plane anyway.

Please keep in mind that bus trips can be very much delayed so try to leave earlier than planned. I know planes are often delayed, but unless there is major problems it is usually short (1-3 hours or less) while you could run 10-12 hours behind on the bus.

Mr. Apollo 17
Member

Posts: 55
From: Ashland, OH USA
Registered: Feb 2012

posted 07-20-2012 01:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Mr. Apollo 17   Click Here to Email Mr. Apollo 17     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Sorry, but I am not going to sell the CDs. I don't want to sell them then maybe not be able to go and it would be a hassle trying to get the $60 back to you. But if you would like to buy art we could make a deal.

mercsim
Member

Posts: 138
From: Phoenix, AZ
Registered: Feb 2007

posted 07-20-2012 02:49 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mercsim   Click Here to Email mercsim     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Robert has some good advice about flexible schedule.

The point about 'buying' the CD of photos was more about donating the money to help with your trip. It shouldn't be a big deal to make them when you return. I suspect you could sit down and write a few dozen in an hour once you figure it out. I'm sure you have a school friend that is savy in this area.

We are all space nerds here and will enjoy your photos. You don't need to include them all. Pick your favorite dozen or so...

My e-mail should show up now. I'll Paypal the funds when you are ready.

Kudos to Gary for offering to help.

Mr. Apollo 17
Member

Posts: 55
From: Ashland, OH USA
Registered: Feb 2012

posted 07-20-2012 03:56 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Mr. Apollo 17   Click Here to Email Mr. Apollo 17     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks! I didn't know you were donating the funds. Thank you so much! But if I don't end up having enough to go, I will just send the $60 back, okay?

I will probably have enough but these days you almost have to make a money back guarantee. I don't want you to lose 60 bucks! Thanks again!

Oh and I haven't got your email yet. Could you try sending it again? Thanks.

p51
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Posts: 771
From: Olympia, WA, USA
Registered: Sep 2011

posted 07-20-2012 06:43 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for p51   Click Here to Email p51     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It's not exactly space related as such, but there's a very good airplane museum right down the road from the Hall of Fame building, certainly worth checking out!

Ken Havekotte
Member

Posts: 1823
From: Merritt Island, Florida, Brevard
Registered: Mar 2001

posted 07-20-2012 06:58 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ken Havekotte   Click Here to Email Ken Havekotte     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Nassem, Haven't been able to email you a longer "letter," but let me donate $100 for the upcoming trip along with a bunch of SpaceX/Dragon/Falcon souvenirs. Do I use your regular email address for a paypal?

Let me also speak to some SpaceX and NASA officials in seeing what could possibly be arranged for a better launch viewing opportunity.

I'll certainly do what I can, however, with recent viewing limitations and restrictions in place--unlike space shuttle liftoffs--there are no guarantees, but I will do what I can and may need some additional information from you later. For now though, you are 12 years old, and an U.S. citizen, correct?

Mr. Apollo 17
Member

Posts: 55
From: Ashland, OH USA
Registered: Feb 2012

posted 07-20-2012 10:33 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Mr. Apollo 17   Click Here to Email Mr. Apollo 17     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
p51, Thanks for the tip! That looks really cool! I have wanted to see a F101B Voodoo for a while.

Ken, Really? I can't thank you enough for offering to donate 100 dollars and for offering to get in touch with NASA and SpaceX people for me! You hae been a huge help for me! Thanks! Oh, and I'll email you the email to use for Paypal (It'll be my mom's, Erin.) Yes, I am 12 and a U.S. citizen.

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