Living in Northern Virginia definitely has a few perks. I don't talk about the positives of living here very often, so listen up, because I am about to give NoVA some props ;)
Several months ago, I got wind that the Space Shuttle Discovery would be transported to the Air & Space museum here in Dulles in April. Of course, it had been all over the news for the last week, and how could I not make arrangements to actually see it.....but silly me didn't think that many people would actually take time out of their busy days to stop and see a space shuttle on the top of a 747....right?
WRONG. (one of the not-so-perks of living in NoVA.......everyone and their mother has the same idea as you)
We didn't get out of the house until 920am and planned on heading over to the space museum to watch the arrival from the parking lot, but as soon as we got on Rte 28, everyone and their mother had the same idea. Gridlock. People were parked all over the place, and taking over overpasses, etc. It was insane. My girlfriend called to let me know the museum parking lot was full and they were spilling over into a park nearby, so we would try there....but then all of a sudden, people started pulling over, and stopping as if Armageddon was about to happen. Our car started to shake and I looked up, yelled an expletive and there it was. 20 minutes early than they said it would even start to happen. WTF. The kids missed it and so did my girlfriend who was following me. We pulled over hoping it would turn around, but it didn't. Then, Kevin called to tell me it was already downtown DC circling around the Monument and around his office. Phew! I knew it would be coming back.
So, we hopped back into the car, and started our way towards the park, but the people....Oh.My.God. The traffic was horrendous. We had an idea to go to the airport to view, and as we were taking the exit, we saw a median with about a 100 people just standing outside. We decided to pull over and join in on the fun. We didn't want to chance the airport not allowing people to spectate (even though they were allowing, just didn't know it until after). The kids got out and jumped up on the hood of the car and waited. And waited. And waited. We were getting ansy. Then all of a sudden we see people getting excited and see the front of the 747 approaching us. And this is what we saw...
It was SO cool! And it was so close. I didn't get a good photo - waiting for my girlfriend to send me hers, so I stole this from ABC.com website. It was so exciting. People were cheering on and clapping. Very patriotic, but at the same time, it was rather sad knowing this was the end of an era. What a cool thing to be a part of and I hope the older girls will remember being a part of this special day.