This winter, home is the Delmarva peninsula (the wing hanging down east of Washington, DC, aka the Eastern Shore). Mia loves having 11 mowed acres, countless more of salt marsh, and a boat ramp into a creek meandering to the Chesapeake Bay, and I vicariously delight in her joy.
The peninsula is also home to NASA's Wallops Flight Facility
(shout out to their awesome Visitor Center). Since arriving on the peninsula, NASA has had two launches. The first was most likely a test launch that happened while Mia and I were enjoying the beach on Assateague. As the boom reverberated, Mia came racing back to me in confusion and fear, but after a few minutes the sound and surprise faded. We were on the Bay side and although I looked, I didn't see anything. The second was an early morning launch. We were barely out of bed, and I projected calm by slowly getting dressed and missed seeing the rocket.
There's a third launch currently scheduled for tomorrow evening (though it's already been pushed back a week, so it's possible it will be delayed further). This week I discovered a lovely little cove with direct sight of the launch pad less than 7 miles away.
On my own, I wouldn't hesitate to watch the launch from this spot. All I need is a thick coat, a warm drink, and a headlamp. However, I cannot anticipate Mia's reaction and obviously don't want to freak her out. Prior to discovering this hidden gem, I planned to take her to a marina where I could sit in the car with her during the launch, so she would feel safe and protected. I wouldn't see as much, and possibly not see anything at all depending on the angle, but Mia's comfort is a priority.
There are several other options. I could leave her at home. The cottage I'm renting is 12 miles from the launch site, so the launch is loud and tremulous, and I'm uncertain about how she'll react without me present. She calmed quickly last time when I was there. I could watch from our yard, where it's likely I'd see something. Alternatively I could stay in the car where I park a half a mile from the cove (about the same distance from the launch as the marina, with about the same probability of seeing something).
What are your thoughts? Deal with a little panic in order to see something spectacular, or play it safe and risk a third miss?