Huntsville in Alabama turned out to be an interesting place. The venues our group went to were unique and, in between, we found a lot of cool things to see. On our trip to the travel bloggers conference there (TBEX), event organizers treated to some pretty cool stuff. The third night was no exception.
We were pretty busy, having a table at the conference. While the attendees received announcements as to what the evening activities were, we had to play a little catch up because our attention was elsewhere right up to departure time. At the end of the day on Friday, we learned that the party was at the space center. The best we’d managed up to that point was to learn that there was such a place nearby.
We had a rental car; a fun sportscar given to us at a discount because all the other cars were out. Fine by us! That meant, however, that we had to know where we were going. Fortunately, we didn’t have to have the entire title “U.S. Space and Rocket Center” to get our GPS to know where to go. “Space Center” was good enough. I suppose that makes sense. I mean, how many space centers do you suppose Earth has? The GPS filled in the rest and we blasted off to our appointment with a great big party.
The space center had full size replicas of the rockets that got us to the moon, making it easy to spot, even from miles away. While that’s nice for the drive up, it doesn’t prepare you for the effect when you walk onto the pavilion in front of the center and look up at the towering rocket. The effect dazzled us as a perfect first impression.
Inside, fittingly enough, was a replica of plane like that flown by the Wright Brothers, commemorating the beginnings of flight. A winding stair took us past the plane and, interestingly enough, slightly above it. The next turn brought us into the U.S. Space and Rocket Center Museum. The first sight, much like outside, is a full-size replica of a space rocket, this time on its side. The behemoth model hung overhead, stretching almost end to end of the large main room of the museum. Displays lined the walls, each one providing interesting information and history on the space program. Many of the items were interactive and, also, life-sized replicas, giving us the opportunity to interact with the exciting recent history of space exploration.
The event organizers had gone the distance and had an orchestra playing for our entertainment, with a replica of the landing module behind them, an interesting effect in itself. Tables filled the floor space of the museum, something we doubted the museum had during normal business hours. We ate from buffets and sipped at drinks, talking about our business and our journeys with others who shared the same passion. And, all the while, not quite forgotten, a giant space rocket hung over our heads.
It was perhaps the most enjoyable of the evenings, since we had met many of the people by then. We had gone to Huntsville, Alabama to share our new travel sharing space called Travel Stars which the travel bloggers seemed to like. We spent the rest of the evening chatting and making new acquaintances with the band playing and the crowds of travel enthusiasts surrounding us.
The evening ended and we headed out. We received the last sight of the space center when we looked up at the rocket one last time. Hovering in sky, far, far away was the moon, putting the entire evening into a new, mind expanding perspective.