L-2 Days 'Til Launch: Arrival in Cape Canaveral for #NASATweetup

SpaceX lightbox at Orlando International Airport saluting
the final space shuttle launch. One of many I'd see.

After all the excitement and planning to get my butt to Cape Canaveral for the final space shuttle launch, today almost didn't happen.

I spent yesterday afternoon at the doctor's office because a gnarly little chest cold that I brought back from a conference looked like it was blooming into full-blown pneumonia. 1 chest x-ray, 3 vials of blood, an Albuterol session, 1 large needle to the gluteus maximus, and a scrip for 2 inhalers, a pill and some Tussin with codeine later she ruled it a big jerkface of a case of bronchitis and cleared me to fly!

So here I am, ready to let my geek flag fly. The red eye from SAN > LAX > MCO went swimmingly well, and upon landing I acquired a passenger, a fellow tweeter who'd just landed and needed a ride. We drove straight out to Kennedy Space Center to pick up my credentials.

There's a sign, so
it must be real!
As I passed each successive sign on the freeway (do they call these little 4 lane highways "freeways" here in Florida?), my heart grew a little more with excitement. I guess I didn't plan for that little kid who began peeking her way over my shoulder as we got closer to Cape Canaveral.

Stephanie Schierholz, NASA social media maven, greeted us and gave me my credentials and -- bonus! -- a fab swag bag full of NASA goodness: a calendar, posters, astronaut ice cream (hee hee), the official STS-135 mission patch and sticker, and a super cool little foam astronaut.

All set, I headed to our rental home, lovingly dubbed #DiscoveryHouse. Right...accomodations! You may have asked yourself where I was staying. Why, with 7 perfect strangers of course! No worries, we've all passed the same top secret security clearance, so if anything happens to me, NASA will be able to point you in the right direction. Seriously, though, they're all nice people and I'm looking forward to having a great time with my as-yet-unmet roomies. (I have a great history with semi-unknown roomies...ask Liz about our fun times at SXS!)

Speaking of anything happening to me, I guess I didn't realize that Central Florida is Casey Anthony trial country. Driving around Cape Canaveral/Cocoa Beach today I definitely saw and heard a lot of commentary on the not guilty verdict. Without going down that sad trail, I leave you with a picture essay of the rest of my day today. Tomorrow, we get our VIP tour of Kennedy Space Center -- and meeting Elmo (yes, he/she/it of Sesame Street fame) is on our agenda.

Don't hate.

Because nothing can go wrong when you put
these two things together, right?

One of many declarations of support for Space Shuttle Atlantis.

A decidedly different locale...same sentiment:
Safe Journey Atlantis!

A commentary on the Casey Anthony trial:
"Not guilty? WTF."

My #NASATweetup credentials! It's real!

Our #NASATweetup lanyards.

The super cool, unexpected #NASATweetup swag bag.

Related posts:
My TEDx talk on Space Shuttle Atlantis, Cancer, and Life...and the 30% That Binds Them
On Being Invited by NASA to the Final Space Shuttle Launch
L-1 Day 'Til Launch: Day 1 #NASATweetup Recap
L-0 Launch Day: Live from Space Shuttle Atlantis Launch for #NASATweetup