|Summer Break July 2021
Coming out of the Pandemic craziness (we're pretty sure things have turned the corner), Sarah arranged for Robert to return to Huntsville and Space Camp. This time in the advanced group. They did simulations of an EVA to repair the space station, and were given time in the UAT (Underwater Astronaut Training) tank to experience micro gravity (including shooting baskets with a bowling ball).
This time he was on Team Alba, and he said it was even better than the first Space Camp — but hot. Even in the heat, walking by the rockets every day never gets old.
|This time, Sarah gave him a lift down to Huntsville. Then she had some time to spend with the Lanes, friends from Robert's old school who moved to Memphis. David was working most of the week. But caught up with them (after some overly complex travel) Friday morning. David's trip started with a return to Metro! After well over a year, and wearing a mask, he took the train to the airport for his flight.
We checked Robert out, toured the musuem, the outdoor rockets and the g-force accelerator, then headed to Atlanta for the next part of the summer break.
A big draw of the trip was a chance to see family again in person, including Addy, the latest addition to the Williams clan. It was great to see Loren, Susan, Kate, Sean, Sally and Alex too, of course.
|After Addy's pool session, we went to Woodlands for a quick walk around a lovely urban park.
|The next day was July 4th. Robert, after his year of culinary arts class, grilled the corn — an intimidating thing in a family full of foodies. After some Addy time and a lovely dinner, we headed towards the square for fireworks.
|Alas, we had to say goodbye to Addy (and her family) and continue on our trip. We thought to make some abbreviated college tours on our way home. Of course, first was Georgia Tech.
Virginia Tech was next. We lean a little more that way at this point as the school seemed a bit more welcoming and some of the facilities a bit newer. To be fair, in both cases, we did a quick self-guided tour; had we done a more formal tour, we likely would have seen both in a better light.
From there, we drove up to Peaks of Otter for the night (and through a couple bands of what was left of hurrican Elsa). It was a lovely, slowed down break before returning home.
|The next day, we packed up, took one more of the trails for a short hike and headed back to Alexandria. Robert and David went to see a Washington Spirit soccer game and then made it back in time to catch half of the Alexandria Birthday fireworks from the Masonic Temple. A fitting end to a great summer break. We're all looking forward to travelling becoming much more normal as the world recovers (slowly) from Covid-19. And we can't wait for more in-person visiting.