Friday, 18 September 2015

My trip to Florida (U.S.A.)

My dad had 4 weeks of work in his company's headquarters in Des Plaines, Illinois, after which he took one week off and we flew to Orlando to visit NASA & Disney World.

Now, here I am sitting in O'hare airport, waiting for the flight to Orlando. Unfortunately the flight gets delayed. Then the announcement that flight has got cancelled made me upset since all our plans are already in place to visit NASA next day. Fortunately we got shifted to another flight which was via Miami, however the journey became longer and we reached Orlando airport pretty late at night, around 1:00 a.m.

It was quite late at night when we took a rental car, Toyota Corolla this time, and started driving towards Titusville which is on the east coast of Florida, close to Kennedy Space Center. The highway was totally deserted and we hardly saw any other car on the road. I slept in the car while my father was driving, totally dependent on GPS. We reached our hotel 'Best Western Space Shuttle' around 2 a.m., welcomed by sleepy staff there.

Next day morning, we went to my dream place, 'Kennedy Space Center'. I was very excited as from childhood I want to become an astronaut. We drove towards Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. We reached there after approximately 15 minutes. At the entrance there was a huge logo of NASA.

At first there was a rocket garden where there were many used rockets. It told me about the various rockets, where had they gone, who sat in them and how small the rocket were etc.

Then I went to meet a retired astronaut Jon McBride. First he gave a pretty long lecture on space, introduced himself to the audience, showed a power-point presentation about him. I also asked him when will the first human beings go to Mars? He said the first human beings will be able to go to Mars when the human Mars rover will be built completely. At last I had a picture with him and took his autograph !!

Then I went in a building where the world's first space shuttle is located which has gone to space 33 times "Atlantis"!!!!!!!!!!!! I saw each and and every part of the Atlantis and also studied on the different parts of a space shuttle. I also played a game on how to fix a space shuttle if any problem occurs while in space.

Then I went to view the real place from where rockets, satellites, space shuttles etc. are launched, where they are assembled and the meeting halls all while sitting inside a bus. I narrowly missed a satellite launch that was supposed to be happening on 21st of June. I was early by 3 weeks !!

Then I went to see the place from where all the moon missions were launched including the world's first manned successful moon landing on 20th of July, 1969.

Me and my sister also played a game where we learned how to protect to space shuttle if it is going to get crashed by a asteroid or a comet !!!!

Then I also took a poster which has the picture of the Kennedy Space Center United States Astronaut Hall of Fame inductees. I then had to go back to my hotel as the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex was going to close at around 5 p.m.

Next day morning I went to Kennedy Space Center United States Astronaut Hall of Fame.

There first place where we went in there was a space simulator in which I literally thought as if I was sitting in a space craft.

I then went to the main hall of fame, there were pictures of people like Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, Micheal Collins etc.Then I also saw various space crafts. There were various games also over there to educate and entertain.

From the Hall of Fame, we drove to nearby Coco Beach. A vacation in Florida is incomplete without a visit to sandy beach. I had fun at beach with my parents and sister.

Then we went to Orlando International Airport.  I had to take Disney's Magic Express ( a bus) to go to Disney World, Orlando.When I reached the airport my father returned the rental car.

Then I formed a queue to enter Disney's Magic Express. I sat in and it took us towards Disney World. I was watching TV which was telling about Walt Disney World.

After about 45 mins I reached Walt Disney World which has 4 theme parks, 2 water parks, 31 hotels resorts  and a downtown !!!!!!!!

Out of the 31 hotel and resorts I was staying in a resort name 'All Star Movie Resorts'. The resort was divided into 5 parts out of which I was living in the Toy Story section. The entry to the toy story section was Andy's door which was more then huge. There were huge models of Andy's toys. I captured many pictures with the toys.

Then I went to my room which was also decorated with Toy Story stuff. After taking a break of about 1 and a half hour I went to discover the whole resort. The 4 categories are 101 Dalmatians, Fantasia, The Love Bug, The Mighty Ducks and Herbie. The resort was awesome !!!
At night we went to the nearest swimming pool from our room 'The Fantasia Pool'. Me and my sister swam a lot,  played a lot, splashed a lot and had lot's and lot's of fun.

The pool was quite big and full of people enjoying the warm water.

Next day when I got up I had to dress up quickly because I wanted to reach the theme park early so I could enjoy more. Today I was going to go to Hollywood studios. It had many rides, shows etc. First I went to a Beauty and the Beast show. It was awesome. The dresses the characters wore were superb. I saw many other shows, did many rides, did shopping etc.

Another great show was 'Light, Motors and Action' wherein there were many cars and bike travelling at high speed. I'm just giving you a glimse of this great show:

After having lot's of fun I went back to my resort. The stores in the resort were about to close. Before they closed I took a Happy Birthday batch as it was my birthday tomorrow. The batch was meant to tell people that it was my birthday

Till the time I reached my room the clock struck 12:00 a.m. It was 2nd June in Orlando, just a day before my birthday !!! I got really excited and kept waiting for the time for my birthday.

Next day morning I woke up around 9:00 a.m. in excitement as I was going to turn 10 years old at 5:00 p.m.!!! I was getting ready as quickly as I could because today I was going to Magic Kingdom the biggest theme park in Walt Disney World. I entered the bus and I received my first birthday wish by the driver of the bus. Everyone in the bus sang birthday song for me.

Inside the Magic Kingdom, we saw Cinderella's castle welcoming all with dance performances by Disney characters like Mickey, Minnie, Cinderella, Snow White, Aurora etc. My sister was extremely excited as her dreams came true to meet these characters.

The Magic Kingdom has six themed 'lands' viz Main Street USA, Tomorrowland, Frontierland, Adventureland, Fantasyland & Liberty Square. All of these sections has various exciting rides and shows.

Some of the shows which I enjoyed were 'Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin', 'It's a small world', 'Peter Pan's flight', 'Seven Dwarfs Mine Train', 'The Barnstormer', etc.

In a short time my parents and my sister took me to a restaurant and gifted me a 'Kindle Paperwhite' as my b'day gift. Since I was in Chicago I was thinking about my this year's b'day gift. I did not get to know when my parents got it for me. As I like reading books, I loved the gift.

We were there in the Magic Kingdom till 11 p.m. and the last attraction was 'Electrical Parade'. It was a fascinating journey of various Disney stories and characters. Almost all of their famous characters were there in the parade.

Next day morning, we woke up, had breakfast and headed towards Orlando Airport to catch flight back to Chicago. In the evening, we reached the same hotel where we stayed earlier and the next day we took our return flight to Delhi.

My longest vacation came to an end with great memories and lots of fun.

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

My trip to Chicago (Illinois, U.S.A.)

I was in my house waiting for the taxi to come and drop me to Indira Gandhi International Airport. I sat in the taxi and Zoooooooomed towards the airport. After approximately half an hour I reached the airport. It took 2 hours to complete the check-in and other formalities and then  I boarded the plane towards Chicago. As the time in India was 2:00 a.m. I was feeling very sleepy so I felt asleep. When it was around 8:30 a.m. according to Indian Standard time I woke up. I was served with lavish breakfast and a sumptuous chicken as lunch. As I was flying in Air India there was a large variety of Hollywood and Bollywood movies. I watched 3 movies Paddington , Interstellar and Finding Fanny. I watched many videos and cartoons to entertain myself.

After many hours I reached Chicago's O'hare International Airport !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I was very excited as it was my first visit to U.S.A. We quickly collected our luggage and took a cab towards our studio apartment. After 16 minutes we reached the studio apartment. My mother cooked some snacks while my father went to take a rental car. He brought a Altima S of Nissan of dark red colour. As it was a difference of 10 and a half hours I was jet lagged for many days but then slowly I became fine.

On our first morning after sleeping well, I went out of the hotel room and went around with my family. The weather was pleasant, slightly cold in fact. The spring was in full bloom during this time of the year.

My first attraction in Schaumburg  was at Lego Land. It was marvelous at the entrance there was a gigantic giraffe fully made up of thousands of Lego pieces. There also was a whole Lego city that represented the Chicago downtown! I also saw two 5D Lego based movies, they were really superb. I also took a class in which me and my sister were taught how to make a dragon using Lego pieces. At a place there were sloppy racing tracks where I had to make a car using Lego pieces and race it down  in the slope. There were few rides as well which were fun. It was fun at Lego Land.

Next Saturday went to Chicago's Downtown. This Saturday I only went to John G. Shedd Aquarium as we were to visit my father's classmate from college in the evening.

At John G. Shedd Aquarium I saw a large variety of aquatic animals including Eel, Seahorse, Jellyfish, Octopus, Shark etc. I also saw a 4D movie named ''Sea Monsters'' which told a story of a fictional aquatic animal which are supposed to be extinct. I also touched a starfish living inside icy cold water. First time in my life I saw living corals and also learned that living corals came in the category of animals.

Next day I again went to the Downtown and visited Adler Planetarium and Field Museum. At Adler Planetarium first thing that I saw were 2 movies that gave us knowledge about our space. There were several items like space crafts, a piece from moon, a piece from mars etc.

At nearby field Museum I saw the world's largest complete T-Rex skeleton ever found ! I also saw a 3D movie based upon the T-Rex skeleton which gave me more knowledge about where the skeleton was found and how it might have spent it's life. With the T-Rex skeleton it's last meal's skeleton was also found inside it's body. The T-Rex skeleton got it's name Sue from the person who found it.  I also saw variety of ancient culture from countries like America and Africa. I also saw a movie based upon Vikings. It increased my knowledge about Vikings.

Next Saturday we went to Lincoln Park Zoo, Willis Tower and Millennium Park. Lincoln Park Zoo was quite big and I can surely tell that it had all sort of animals like. It took me hours covering the whole zoo. I just didn't want to leave the zoo as it had many cute animals including a baby gorilla, a lion cub etc.

Willis Tower was once the world's largest building in the world with 108 floors. It was earlier known as Sears Tower. I viewed the whole Chicago downtown from the 103rd floor. The view was marvellous from that floor. I had a Rickshaw ride from Willis Tower to Millennium Park.

Next day I went to Industry of Science Museum and Navy Pier. Industry of Science Museum is the world's 2nd largest science museum. There I did many science experiments. I saw various old used aeroplanes including the the Wright Brothers first plane etc.

Then we went to Navy Pier which is a beautiful place on the Michigan lakefront. Since the weather was nice, we went around the place. Then me, my father and my mother had a golf tournament in which my father won. I also sat on a Ferris Wheel which was very big. I also had a boat ride on Michigan Lake.

It was tooooooooo much fun living in Chicago for a month. After a month long stay in Chicago we went to Florida for vacation. I'll write about that trip later.