Did I mention that I had quite some trouble booking hotel rooms for my shuttle launch? The nights in Orlando were no problem at all - Orlando simply has so many hotels of all kinds, it is really hard to book them out... But Titusville and Cocoa Beach is a different story.
I made the mistake to not immediately book hotel rooms after I booked my launch transportation tickets from KSC. When I was ready to do that, my fellow "launch viewers" already had taken the majority of rooms. Interestingly, the 22nd was most heavily booked - but the 23rd was much easier to get. It looks like a lot of folks believe in a total on-time launch - or hope to be able to extend if the launch is delayed. The later, I think, is a false impression.
I finally managed to book rooms, but I have to change hotels every now and then. The interesting fact about this is that on certain days I need to pack all my luggage into the car - and if that is on a launch day, I'll need to drive with my fully-packed car up to KSC. I am not sure what the security guards will say about this... For now, I hope it will not really be necessary, but, if so, I hope I can get along with it. Of course, once I am down there in the Titusville area, I'll check with the hotels if I can put my luggage into some room even when I have checked out.
So I was all set. Ahem - was I? Actually, I made a second mistake: I was so sure that Orlando hotels are no problem that I simply forgot to book a room over there! Boing... Crazy me. What now? Well, book ASAP. And that I did. Thankfully, I was able to book at the Residence Inn, what was exactly what I wanted. But the bad news was that pricing had changed. I suspect there is higher demand for rooms due to the shuttle launch. Whatever it was, it costs me around 20 bucks (plus tax, of course), per day. Bottom line: if you want to visit a shuttle launch and still stay in Orlando, book as early as possible even if it typically is no problem to get a nice room in the Orlando area...
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