National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Glenn Research Center

Week 4 Summary

By: Tom and Kristin

Sunday, June 15th, 2008
After an exciting day at Cedar Point waiting in lines, awesome coasters, three-point shoot-outs, over-priced food, and getting sheep to look at cameras, Sunday was going to be an easy day for the Glenn Academy RAs. In fact, Mehran was happy to say that he was easy all day, but we all understood what he meant… we think.

Sabrina and Ephraim went to church early in the morning and so did Kristin and Tom. After church Tom and Kristin came back to see if anyone wanted to get brunch. Jay, Mehran, and Kimberly were still catching up on some Zs so we didn’t want to wake them. Sabrina and Ephraim were still gone from the morning and Mary Beth ended up not coming back to the Stud Sunday because she had to help her brother do calculus homework.

Jay spent a good portion of the day watching a bunch of cars go around in a circle 200 hundred times. Somehow he managed to convince Tom to come and watch the cars go around the circle with him. This phenomenon is better known as NASCAR.

Jay, Mehran and Tom all went on a Giant Eagle Run. It of course set new records for all Giant Eagle Runs of the Academy by getting out two minutes earlier than the agreed meeting time. Some of the other Academy members might want to take a few pointers… hahaha just kidding…but not really… be late again and the air conditioning goes.

After the Giant Eagle Run, Kristin, Mehran, Tom and Jay went on a timed Run… less than 15 minutes for the group for a mile and a half, not bad.

Kristin and Tom cut up half of Kristin’s watermelon and shared it around, which was an adventure due to the difficulty of safely cutting a watermelon. Kim and Sabrina made plans to go to Cleveland to try to find a beauty store that would carry specialty hair products and enlisted Tom for a trip on Monday to do so. The last bit of the day was spent watching the second episode of "When We Left Earth". The same running group met up in Jay’s room and watched in awe as we relived the experiences of NASA and landing on the moon.

Ephraim was down to business working on the "group" project, by himself, a good portion of the day. He did not mess around, not even one bathroom adventure occurred that day until he was completed. In all seriousness though, Ephraim did a great job. Thanks Ephraim for your hard work.

Monday, June 16th, 2008
Well, 7:15 comes around and Tom and Mehran are standing in the hallway waiting for everyone else. Mary Beth’s mom stops in after dropping her off and we all have a little chat with her. After everyone is ready, we headed up to GRC to get some breakfast. Kimberly got some hot water. As this was the first time everyone was together again after various weekend activities, much was discussed about the Cedar Point trip and Shooters, and we all discussed the liquids restrictions for plane flights. Jay was all for simply trying to by toiletries in Florida so we could all take carry-ons, and he swore that he would only need his backpack for the trip and wouldn’t take a suitcase. Mary Beth and Kristin were disappointed that they wouldn’t be able to wear skirts at the different touring sites and would need long pants. Everyone headed off to their offices for the morning.

After work, Kim and Sabrina set off for Cleveland with TVo and Mary Beth to try to find the beauty store. However, said beauty store did not exist. In the end, Kimberly, Sabrina, Tom and Mary Beth were able to spend some great quality time together. Jay and Kristin went for a run, a slow-paced double-loop, and Jay was disappointed that he didn’t get any wolf whistles as he did on last Monday’s run with Tom.

After everyone ate dinner, we headed up to the conference room for our weekly laugh-in session that for some reason is called a RAP session instead. Except, the room was locked and our key cards wouldn’t open it. There was some frantic scurrying back and forth between the first floor and the second as we waited for the session to start. Mary Beth and Sabrina read the weekly summary and Sabrina was surprised that Mary Beth had made edits to some of the sections. There were some in-depth discussions on the Florida trip. There was a big group "discussion" about what we would do with our two free afternoons in Florida, and an anonymous written ballot was conducted, even over loud protests due to the hanging-chad problems with the last academy written ballot. Suggestions were clubbing in Miami, Epcot, Universal, and driving to Key West, while Mehran, ever the over-achiever, wanted to head all the way to Mexico, but we voted for Universal. Jay informed us that both teams had done equally well on the Cleveland challenge, even though the RockStar team was obviously superior for actually reading the directions, and that we would all prepare a meal for each other the following Tuesday.

Tuesday, June 17th, 2008
7:15 rolls by and of course not everyone is ready yet. The Academy looks pretty tired this morning for some reason. Everyone gets breakfast as usual and some people get fresh made eggs, not bad Glenn Cafeteria. Anyways, we all sit down and Ephraim talks to us about the group project and rightfully so. We definitely dropped the ball the night before. We were too easily broken.

In general, Tuesday was not all that interesting since everyone was anxious and stressed about things they had to do before the Florida Trip, like packing for instance. The academyites do lunch as usual and get back to work. On the way back from lunch, Jay, Kristin and Tom see a landscape worker at the Stud messing around. The worker somehow managed to flip the stand on lawn-mower he was riding over a curb!After verifying that he was okay they all have a laugh and go back to GRC.

On the agenda for the night was a Target/Wal-mart trip to get a few travel sized, air travel-safe products. At target, Tom dropped of the underwater camera to be developed and got coffee from StarSchmucks. Mary Beth, Kristin, and Kimberly go there own ways in the store. Jay drops off Mehran and Sabrina at target and headed over to Walmart. Some how most of us ended up in the travel size aisle at the same time. After a while, Kristin called Tom and told him that she and Kimberly were finished and waiting at the front. Tom was shocked, Kimberly was finished before him! He ran to the front to pay as fast as he could but it turned out that his efforts were in vain. Mary Beth was no where to be found. Kristin, Tom and Kimberly started a search party for M.B. splitting up into all areas of Target. To make it more complicated Mary Beth decided to turn off her phone in case anyone wanted to reach her. She then chose to hide in the fitting room, but luckily Kimberly pulled out the old trick of going to the service desk to have Mary Beth paged. Kristin finally tracked down M.B. and we were all relieved. By this time, Jay and the other car had already returned back to the Stud. While the three of us waited on Mary Beth finishing up, we looked at sunglasses Well, M.B. came out from hiding and we were ready to head back to the Stud for packing.

Mary Beth called for a group project meeting at 9 but packing turns out to be more involved than everyone realizes. Except Jay of course, he was able to pack everything he needed in his back-pack. One could probably say that Jay is an experienced back-packer. Well Tuesday was a really late night for some of the academyites, but they go to bed anxious for there trip tomorrow to Florida.

Wednesday, June 18th, 2008
Jay was actually earlier than everyone else today! 7:15 rolled around and everyone met up and headed over to the Cafe from the Stud for the Holy Grail of breakfasts. It was group picture day, so the Academy was dressed to the nines in their best business attire. Jay was even wearing a three-piece suit. One wonders how much time and hair product was collectively spent on hair-styling that morning. Kim woke up around 5 a.m. to do a "wet style" and hoped it wouldn’t rain later, as it would ruin her new shoes. At the cafe, there was still no bottled water and no oatmeal. Jay only ate half his bagel. We had only an hour and a half working on our individual projects until we headed over to the Graduate Forum, where Dr. Kankam, Dr. Deidre-Paris Michael, Dr. Girgory Adamovsky, Dr. Sheila Bailey, and Dr. Felix Miranda all spoke about the importance of gaining a PhD, and how important a true mentor will be in the graduate school process. Dr. Bailey told the interns about how she got where she is today and gave us some useful information about relative salaries and the pursuit of knowledge. Sabrina made a special connection with Dr. Michael, as she also attended Georgia Tech.

Following the talk, the different groups filed out the doors of the admin building and started lining up for official pictures. The rest of the Glennterns were regularly dressed in business casual, but the Academy was a group of showstoppers. Following the official picture, we took some photos around the Meatball logo and then over by the hangar and the rocket at the main entrance. Mehran showed off his modeling skills, and Kim was christened "Princess Kim" for walking on sidewalks instead of on the grass. We head back to the stud to finish packing for the trip. Jay stayed dressed up as he had a meeting at OAI with a former Air Force Colonel. We all thought it would be cool if he found out his Top Gun status there, but no such luck. On the way back from lunch, we saw two bikers, a guy and a girl, riding gangbusters down Lorain. Jay speculated that they were his friends from Maine, which, to no-one else’s surprise, they were not.

We got out of work early to head over to the hangar parking lot so that we could get picked up by the airport shuttle, but we ended up being half an hour early. Someone called security on us because Ephraim and Jay were trying to look in the hangar. Kim and Sabrina decided to try to stay warm in the cars until the shuttle arrived, and Ephraim got some sweet pictures of jets taking off. The shuttle brought us the thousand-mile hike over to the airport, where we checked in and went through security without issue, and found some snacks or light dinner. Kristin was excited that the CNN program on the plane showed British divers on an Olympic bid. Finally, we arrived in Florida and first thing on the agenda was a pit stop at the bathroom. Following that, some of us picked up luggage and others got some food. Tom found Dori the fish in a big fish tank in the middle of the food court. Then Jay and Mehran disappeared, and after some long-distance cell phone calls on the car rental floor, Kim, Sabrina and Ephraim met up with Mary Beth, Kristin, and Tom, but not before Mary Beth showed off some sweet cartwheels for the video camera. Tom impersonated Kristin by putting on her aviators. Tic-tacs were passed along. Tick tock, tick tock. Finally, the drivers turned up with our sweet limousines to escort us to the beach house… I mean, Luxury Hyundai Azeras with moon roofs, and house kind of near the beach. We piled in and made the hour-trip to Palm Bay, where the house really was quite nice, but somewhat lacking in (a) doors, and (b) mirrors. Sabrina immediately chose the master bedroom, and Jay picked a bed in the room with two twins, the rest of us kind of danced around a bit until we decided on rooms. Kim took the other single room, Mary Beth and Kristin took the bunk beds that were very squeaky, and Mehran, Tom, and Ephraim duked it out over the couches and last twin. Tom, as destiny would have it, took the couch bed with the suspicious stain on the mattress. Ephraim got the actual couch, and Mehran took the final twin. Finally, we went to bed. Another day was over, and Jay had still not spilled the beans on our itinerary for the remainder of the trip.

Thursday, June 19th, 2008

Thursday was an early departure before the seven o’clock hour, as we had no food in the house and needed to go out for breakfast. We ended up at Waffle House, a local chain that makes good hash browns and waffles, but surprisingly, no pancakes whatsoever. The Academy was amazed to see that it was possible to make eggs better than the caf’s flavor-blasting ones. Mehran tried grits for the first time, but decided he didn’t like them much as he didn’t eat them after the first taste. As Jay’s table was done first, Ephraim, Jay, Kim and Sabrina filed into their car and Mehran’s car thought they had left. Mehran, Kristin, Mary Beth, and Tom ran to jump in their car to catch up and peeled out of the parking lot, running over a curb, and Kristin grabbed the documents to start heading to Patrick Air Force Base. However, who do they happen to see but the other car cutting them off and taking the lead again. Jay always has to be first, it seems. After an hour long drive we finally ended up at the Air Force Base. After a quick restroom break, the academy students met up with their tour guide Bill, a veteran air force pilot. Jay was about ready to jump out of his pants in anticipation, still not having received his pilot status, yet being so close to all things Air Force. Surprisingly, we are not asked to see our IDs, and we all jumped on a 24-passenger bus that is much roomier for carpooling than tiny 2-door cars that seem to be a majority among our group.

We first headed to a building with the inscription, "Control of the Battlefield begins HERE!", and had to leave our cell phones and cameras with the security guards. A group from KSC NASA working on a satellite were also getting a tour, so our group split into two for a tour of the facility. Our first stop was the weather controls room, where Greg Strong told us about all the monitoring equipment needed for the lightning capital of the world, so that a launch would not cause lightning to strike and blow up the rocket, as happened in the ’80s. He was particularly excited about the opportunities that the weather group gets to go with the Shuttle when it is ferried back from Edwards Air Force Base, as they get treated like rock stars every time that happens. Following the weather briefing, we headed over to the launch control rooms that are used to control takeoffs, where we saw a kickin’ movie with the soundtrack "TNT… Dynamite!" After drooling over the 70’s tech, we saw the radar rooms where all the airplanes and boats in the vicinity are tracked. There were so many planes that Florida was practically covered.

Following the Control Building, we got our cameras back, and headed over to the launch pad where Alan Shepherd became the first man in space. We took lots of pictures, including taking pictures of people taking pictures. Heading around the rocket garden, we made our way to the Mercury 7 Memorial, where we were delighted to see the orbit velocity equation on one of the plaques. FYI, ‘h’ is definitely not Planck’s constant. Then we made our way to the Horizontal Integration Facility, where we saw the facilities where the Delta rockets are put together. The facility had the flattest floor in the world, and we were all appropriately amazed by the scale of the rockets. However, that was only the preview to touring the Delta IV heavy rocket on launch pad 37. We weren’t able to take our cameras, but Tom snuck his up anyway. The rockets were not completely built, as the main rocket still needed a stage. We stepped out on the catwalk at the topmost level that was supported by beams to the tower but none to the ground, and TVo snuck a picture from his pocket. We went down a few levels and looked at the different mechanisms that fill the tanks and separate from the rockets on liftoff. Flattering orange lights bathed our faces at each entrance to the stair towers. We saw the other NASA group again, who weren’t able to go up and see all the rockets, and then took lots of pictures beyond the gate with the platform in the background. Kim, Kristin, and Mary Beth did a Charlie’s Angels pose, and Mehran, Tom, and Ephraim took a Vanna White picture.

When we were done being models, we headed over to Launch Complex 34, which was where the Apollo 1 astronauts were killed, which was a bit of a somber moment. However, we could see clear blue sky from within the ring. We found three benches dedicated to Grissom, White, and Chaffee. We then drove over to a white structure that gave a great view of the facility, where we could see all the launch platforms from. After some more pictures, including all of us on the stair, we headed back to the bus and the back to the entrance to the base. We then drove to Cocoa beach, where we found a hotel restaurant called Mambo’s. Mary Beth went to the bathroom and then couldn’t find the rest of us because the windows to the restaurant were tinted. The food was interesting. Sabrina didn’t like her sweet potato fries and had to order regular fries. Ephraim and Tom went for a walk on the beach, and we called 411 to find out that there were no half-day tickets to the Orlando amusement parks and it would hit our wallets for another $70+ dollars if we wanted to go. We then headed to an arcade/go-cart racing place. Jay and Sabrina shared a double car, and Sabrina filmed the race. The machines threw up a lot of motor dust and got us all dirty. At the end of the race Ephraim refused to step on the brake, (which he denied), and jolted everyone else in the race pit. Princess Kim wanted to get a henna tattoo, but since she couldn’t verify that the conditions would be Air Conditioned and sterilized, she decided that she wasn’t up for it. We headed to the cars to go to Publix back in Palm Bay, but not before Sabrina and Kim lobbied to switch cars with Kristin and Mary Beth because they were too worried about their hair getting blown around with the moon roof open and the windows down. Mary Beth and Kristin both fell asleep in the car, of which Ephraim captured exquisite footage. Our trip to Publix was adventurous, as we had to decide what to make for the next night’s dinner. Kristin bet that Kim would be the last done, and Jay bet that Ephraim would be the last one out of the store, but Kristin was actually the last herself when we realized that we needed more toilet paper. After we got back to the beach house, we unloaded everything and inspected the grills, finding a black widow spider in the pink grill, but able to light the gas grill. Kristin ran back and got the camera to take some footage, and we determined that there were two egg sacs there as well. Ephraim was all for lighting the grill with tons of lighter fluid and blasting the spiders to the moon, but we figured that it would simply run away before complete ignition. Everyone except Sabrina, who was already asleep, then went out to dinner at Valentino’s, an Italian restaurant, which we did several circles and turn-abouts to get to because we weren’t exactly sure where it was. When we finally got there, Jay called Jenni, and the rest of us ordered food. We discussed how exactly we planned to inform the Marshall Academy about the whereabouts of the spider, and how lethal it would be.

On the way back from the restaurant, a gecko dropped out of a tree onto the roof of Mehran’s car and crawled into the hood. Tom called Kristin, who, through the static-y connection, thought she heard him say that a man had fallen out of a tree and caused an accident. It was all sorted when we arrived back at the not-beach house, where we took some footage of the gecko climbing around the car. Then the academy decided to create a handshake, of which several variations were tried. We heard thunder, so we decided not to try to head to the beach. Kristin began making potato salad for the next day, and enlisted some of the other Academyites to help peel potatoes, while the narcoleptic Mehran fell asleep in an uncomfortable armchair. We discussed how going skydiving would be checking something off the “bucket list,” and talked about what was on each of our own bucket lists. Mehran moved from sleeping on the armchair to sleeping on the carpeted floor and getting in everyone’s way, but somehow sleeping though all the commotion. Tom only soft-boiled the eggs for the potato salad, so another batch had to be cooked for finishing the salad. As we had a big day ahead of us, we went to bed.

Friday, June 20th, 2008

Friday morning was slightly less rushed as we could leave later because we had food already! Mehran was wearing jeans, and tried to convince Tom to wear jeans as well, but did not succeed. We made the drive to Orlando and saw two broken PT cruisers on the side of the road and were glad that that wasn’t us two weeks prior, and then hung out at the parking lot at KSC by the #4 sign, and waited for our tour guide to come find us. We decided to try and see if the gecko was still in Mehran’s car’s hood, but when we opened it up, we found that the gecko had morphed into a frog! Those cars must really be luxury if they could do magic. After following it around with the camera a bit, Sabrina touched it with her finger but then squealed and refused to pick it up. Tom took it back to the jungle of the everglades on the side of the parking lot. We were disappointed to find out that we would not be able to meet the center director, so we headed to the Educational center and used the bathroom, examined fun posters of the upcoming shuttle missions, and checked email. Finally, at a.m., our tour started. We first went to the International Space Station facility, where we saw the clean room and floor where the components were assembled. Here started our valiant attempt to banish flash photography from our cameras, which we were only partially successful with. We then made our way to the museum exhibit, where we walked through various replica components of the space station. Mehran took some pictures with the ISS shower, and Kristin got scared by the Canadian Robotic Arm looping movie more than once because it was so loud. Kristin and Jay tried out a computer program that flew us through the ISS capsules. Unfortunately, the joystick used was rather buggy. After that, our next stop was the shuttle launch pads. We were also able to get a good view of the crawler machine that takes the rockets out to the pad. We weren’t able to get out of the van to take pictures of pad B, but we took some through the bus windows instead. Our guide told us a lot about the different components of the shuttle pad and the surrounding structures, like where water came out from and what fuels were stored where.

Next, we headed around and around the VAB and past the Orbital Processing Facilities, where the three shuttles are housed. The VAB looks like a big building on the outside, but it’s pretty difficult to get a real sense of perspective until you actually get inside it. We headed in, and saw some enormous rocket nozzles and a large nose cone. The ceiling looked enormously high, and we were only under the low bay. As we made our way towards the back of the facility, we could see the height of the high bay and some birds flying around way up top. There were banners for a lot of the missions with thousands of signatures hanging all around the scaffolding. We took a number of posed pictures where we tried to look like a shuttle crew in formation, which turned out pretty cool. We then left the VAB and drove to the countdown clock, where all the TV stations broadcast from, and took some bad-ass pictures with the VAB in the background as well as the barge where the external fuel tanks come from. We continued to add to our nature video shots with the red ant hills that dotted the ground.

It was time for lunch, so we headed over to the Saturn V building, where we saw a movie of the first manned launch and then went to the room where the launch control room was preserved. Jay filmed both movies somewhat covertly. The security guard talked in one of the most monotone voices I have ever heard. Concluding the movie, we walked around the giant Saturn V rocket, which Jay proclaimed as the sexiest machine that man had ever made. We grabbed lunch at the overpriced café. Kim bought a bright orange cake which she said was “among the top three worst cakes” she had ever eaten. We ended up running into Marshall Academy, who was just behind us on our tours. John had some Styrofoam in his hair, which most of us noticed, but were unsure of whether to mention it. Jay spoke to a director who was touring with Marshall, who seemed shocked we had no administrative chaperone. Oh, and there were some moon rocks we could touch.

Finally, however, we made our way to the Orbital Processing Facility, where we saw the same security guard that we saw on Thursday at Patrick. We went into building #1, where the orbiter Endeavour is usually stored, but was currently storing orbiter 104, Atlantis. It was difficult to see much of the body shape of the bird, as our tour guide, Maggie, called it, but we could walk underneath her and see the tiles being inspected and the some of the hatches being tested. The tiles were gray with a sea of streaking from the heat of the re-entries. We got a talk on tiles from one of the technicians, who told us about how they give the RCC moustaches to check the seals between the pieces and about how they replace and treat the individual tiles. It was an experience none of us will ever forget. Lastly, we made our way over to the crane that lifts the orbiter off the back of the 747 if it returns from Edwards, and we saw an Astronaut’s plane parked there as well.

Following our visit to the OPF, we returned to the Educational building where we dropped our tour guide off and then headed to the rocket garden, where we made fools of ourselves getting the “jumping” picture (no, seriously, there were a bunch of tourists that were looking at us as if we were Martians), and then another formation walking picture in front of the NASA sign. Jay was super excited to see yet another astronaut plane on display. We headed into the launch experience ride, where we were subjected to dry ice fog machines and instructions on how to fly our “shuttle”. The ride tipped us nearly 90 degrees! Finally, we headed to the gift shop, where we all left with our wallets significantly lighter, and made our way back to the cars and to head back to the not-beach house. We had blown off the Marshall SRB talk, but we figured that making dinner and cleaning up was more important so that we would have a good time that night.
Upon arrival, the debate over the spiders continued. A call the night before to the owners said that they knew about the spiders but wouldn’t do anything about them. Another spider and her egg sacs were found on the gas grill, so Jay, Kristin, and Tom headed over to the Wal-Mart for a new grill, cups, and some beach toys. When they arrived, the house was in pristine condition and ready for Marshall. Ephraim was confused as to why we had also bought ping-pong balls, as we had no ping-pong table. (We soon disabused him of the notion of their inapplicability.) Kristin and Tom put the new grill together in a strangely deja-vu moment from the camping trip. Mary Beth made a yummy chip dip according to Tom’s recipe. The offending grills were moved to the far side of the porch, and more egg sacs were found on the outdoor furniture, so we decided it was probably a good idea to stay inside for most of the night. As soon as they heard the doorbell, Mary Beth and Kristin scrambled to change into cuter clothes, and Mehran started the grill with a good dousing of lighter fluid, as Marshall arrived.

OK, Glenn kids, here is the A-sides version:
Glenn academy hosted Marshall at the beach house in Palm Beach. The group enjoyed a relaxing evening grilling and learning about one another’s Academy experiences to date… The rest of the story will remain with those present that evening.

Saturday, June 21st, 2008
After a long night, Jay, Mehran, Mary Beth and Tom all get ready to go jump from 18,000 feet, the highest Tandem jump available. Sabrina and Kimberly passed on the jumping experience so they slept in that morning. All the jumpers had some breakfast and they were feeling a little anxious and nervous to be jumping out of a plane. Ephraim kindly volunteered to tag along and video tape and take pictures of us (Thanks Ephraim). We all decided that it was in our best interest to put covers over the "furniture", Mehran was still not 100% in agreement with the idea but he made a compromise anyway and put on some shorts.

So we set off from our beautiful Palm Beach house on another hour trip towards the Skydive Space Center. When we get there we all went inside and started filling out paper work that guaranteed that if anyone of us were to die or lose a limb, that no legal action would be followed. Mary Beth also lost an earring on the way in that she wasn’t to happy about. Ephraim tried to help her find it but without much luck. We agreed to help her look for it after the jump. Mehran decides to get a video of his jump and when it comes time to interview he is somewhat speechless but his words are poetic throughout his jump. We all get fitted with a harness and the guys ensure that straps around their thighs were in proper placement to meet the metaphor of "making sure the furniture was in the living room". Negligence was not covered by the "bust-a-nut" insurance. After watching two plane loads of jumpers do their dives from a measly 15000 feet, we were ready to take the ride of our lives. Maybe not for Jay, he’s probably going to have to keep the "bust-a-nut" insurance the rest of his life. Hopefully, the Air Force offers great benefits and low premiums.

We all take pictures and wave goodbye to Ephraim filming us from a distance. The smell of fuel burning and the strong current of air coming from the engines meet us as we each board the plane. After each of us get into the plane the pilot almost leaves without Jay, but luckily, Jay still made it. As we to start to ascend, we all feel a little nervous but for some reason we all get a little braver. We got strapped on to complete strangers who we would be shortly depending on with our lives. When we reached our peak altitude of 18000 feet, one by one we all left the plane to free fall and fly. There are no words that could quite capture the feeling, not even amazing does it justice. After a smooth landing for us all we were riding on an adrenaline high, giving each other high fives. After that we watched the videos that Mary Beth, Mehran, and Tom bought laughing and enjoying ourselves the whole time. Ephraim was relieved that we all made it back alive.

After the jump we headed off to look for some food. Tom, Mehran and Kristin were in one car following Jay, Mary Beth and Ephraim in the other. We were all starving which got worse and worse as we drove past plenty of places to eat over a span of an hour. Did we know where we going? Not really… but you could tell that Mehran was ecstatic as we drove by. Luckily both cars had air conditioning capabilities that with proper use would keep all passengers at a good level of comfort. Finally, a Friendly’s Restaurant! Hooray… we sat down and the waitress told us about the meals that had happy-ending desserts. We enjoyed our lunch that we had traveled so far for. For dessert, ironically, it was Jay, Ephraim and Mehran who got the happy-endings but Tom passed. Mary Beth got some "birthday cake" dessert that dyed her mouth blue and Kristin actually got her dessert before lunch started.

After we were done with lunch we tried to figure out where we were and realized how lost we were. Oh geez, the Academyites were a little disappointed when they realized that they were an hour away from home. Mehran was especially disappointed since he was really tired and knew that this only meant that his shorts would have to stay on for at least another hour. Jay had a hard time staying awake listening to classical music but luckily Ephraim was there to keep him awake. We all safely got back to our lovely Palm Beach house. Mehran, Mary Beth, and Kristin all passed out and Jay took Kimberly and Sabrina out for some food.

Ephraim and Tom had an adventure of their own cleaning up the kitchen from the past day activities. Not knowing exactly how to use the dish washer they found one of those rectangle Electrosol bar things and decided the best place to put it was in the circular hole with a cover on it. Kristin told them at a later time, after the fact that the rectangle bar goes in the rectangle hole. Another adventure for Tom and Ephraim was cleaning the grill. It was a, “you had to be there” sort of thing to understand the pain and humor of the event.

Next up, was a trip to the ocean. Mary Beth had two first times this day, the ocean and skydiving. We get to the ocean and check out the water temperature, it’s just right! The view is simply amazing. After a whole day of talking about the beach and nothing but the beach, Kristin finally made it…to the beach. Some of us take a swim and Jay and Sabrina decide to pass since there hair might get messed up. A football is thrown into the water and Mary Beth is struck in the head by Sabrina. Apparently the group has decided that Mary Beth will get struck some where on the head every trip we go on this summer. The group also does some stupid dancing and singing for some questionable video footage. Kristin and Tom dig a hole while everyone watches thinking to themselves that they are pretty lame. We take a quick rinse off in the public shower with water that smelled much worse than at the beach house.

Mehran’s car with Tom and M.B. go back to the house first while Jay, Sabrina and Kristin go to Publix to get us dinner for the night. Mary Beth cooks the noodles and Kristin heats up the sauce. Tom uses up some of the eggs and bread by making eggs in a basket. We all eat the noodles with some bread and it was pretty good dinner for 8 for less than $10. After cleaning up the dishes and eating any other leftovers Tom and Jay start practicing their pong skills. Some how the game gets converted from pong to open hand-pong. Jay and Tom play for quite sometime before Kristin takes over for Jay. It just goes to show how easily amused we can be for an hour by a single ping-pong ball. Anyways, this was followed by a late night of packing just to wake up at the god-forsaken time of 4:00 to make our way back to Cleveland.