When Steve booked his trip, we weren’t considering shuttle launches, but the day he arrived (Friday) we realized there was a launch the next day (Saturday).  It happened to be at the same time as the Rays game, so we opted for the Rays game.  However, the launch was delayed a day due to lightning strikes, which moved it to Sunday.  Since Steve had never seen a launch, we decided to try to see it.  We packed up the car, got Toren situated, and headed East toward Titusville and the shuttle.  To make the trip a little more interesting, we decided to make a stop along the way and see Deseret Ranches, a Mormon owned piece of property between Orlando and Cocoa Beach that is, well, enormous.  There are several operations that are run out of the ranch, including cattle and harvesting of shell beds.  According to the Deseret Ranches’ website, they have 44,000 head of cattle.  My aunt and uncle served a Mormon mission on the ranch in just the last couple of years, but Debi and I never made it out to visit while they were there.  But since we were going to be driving past the ranch, we figured we’d stop by.

Alas, they only have tours Monday through Saturday, so we weren’t able to get a full tour, but we did drive around for a bit and snap some photos.

Ryan by the entrance sign
Ryan by the entrance sign
the sign at the visitor's center
the sign at the visitor’s center
the visitor's center
the visitor’s center
Steve in front of a field of cows
Steve in front of a field of cows

Oh, this reminds me of two fun stories.  Since newborns don’t require baths very often, Toren seems to go a little more than a week between baths (probably too long, but so it goes).  Well, he hadn’t had one for just over a week when Steve arrived.  Since we wanted Steve to meet his nice-smelling nephew rather than a stinky nephew, we decided we’d bathe Toren just after Steve got here.  This way he could also help (you know, be a good uncle and all).  So, about an hour after Steve arrived we filled up the baby bath, put it next to the sink, and went to work.  I washed Toren while Steve poured water on him to keep him warm.  Steve was near his legs, which were facing toward the sink.  About 2/3 of the way through the bath Steve jumped back and started to freak out.  Toren, aiming quite accurately, was making a perfect little urine arch into the sink (quite considerate of him, IMO).  Steve’s arm was initially in the way, but once he moved it Toren’s accuracy was impeccable.  So, Steve now has the new record for “time since meeting Toren before Toren urinated on him”: 1 hour!

I remembered that story because we had a fun little story at the Deseret Ranch.  As I drove slowly around the visitor’s center, Debi fed Toren.  Just before we left the ranch to head to Titusville we decided to change him.  I put him in my seat in the front of the car on a burp cloth and started changing his diaper.  I was just about finished when his deadly urinating accuracy was once again revealede.  The target this time – my seat (where my back rests).  He caught me so off guard that I didn’t get anything over the stream until he was basically finished.  Luckily it was hot and it wasn’t a lot of urine, so I was able to dry off the seat and not feel wet the rest of the trip.  I figure that, at this rate, by the time we potty train him he’ll have urinated on pretty much everything we own!

We finally made it to Titusville at around 6:00 pm, just over an hour before the launch was supposed to take place.  We were worried because a storm with lightening was moving in.  But we found some viewing spots in Space View Park anyway and waited.   They scrubbed the shuttle launch 11 minutes before liftoff.  We then, of course, got stuck in traffic on the way home (twice, actually, once leaving Titusville and once leaving Orlando).  We got home around 12:30 with just a short stop at Burger King for dinner (which means about an hour as we have to feed Toren during our pit stops now).  All in all, I’d say it was a good trip.

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