Thursday, January 28, 2021

Waiting for the launch...again🚀

Bascilica of Our Lady of San Juan Del Valle

We enjoyed the day on Thursday.  We sat overlooking a waterway and the port in Port Isabel,  BUT SpaceX did NOT launch. We, along with quite a few others, waited from 8-4 with high hopes.  South Padre, a popular viewing location is 6 miles from the launch location and we figured we were about the same.

Looking over the port towards the SpaceX Launch Pad.

We know it was 6 miles from South Padre to the SpaceX Launch pad.

The FAA rescinded the air space clearance over Boca Chica that they thought was in place today due to safety concerns.   Early this morning Mary informed Nasa Space Flight, originally founded in 2005 to watch Nasa flights, that she and other residents had been evacuated today.  So we arrived early to pick out our spot and wait. It was in the 60's and a beautiful day.  

It wasn't until noon that we knew the FAA rescinded the air space clearance.  According to the Nasa Space Flight Stream there were several things happening that might indicate there might still be a launch, including the residents evacuation was still in effect.  The best guess was they ended up proceeding with a dry run for a launch, but prepared to go if they got clearance later in the afternoon.  They did not, so tomorrow (and the next day, or the day after that...) we'll check early to see if it looks like it might happen and we'll go back.  A tweet from Elon Musk indicated he might have been a little perturbed with the FAA.

We were excited for a launch.  It was fun watching the other "watchers," watching the shrimp and other boats coming and going, and just enjoying the day with the 3 of us.  We had packed a lunch and snacks and were set for the day.  

Pat checking out the launch pad. Binoculars were helpful.

People were excited about the launch.

Pat said we just needed to buy one of these houses for a good view.

The beautiful Bascilica of our Lady of San Juan Del Valle is located in San Juan, TX.

This is one of the most visited shrines in the U.S.,  with over a million visitors each year.  In 1970 a plane crashed into the shrine during mass causing a fire that destroyed it.  The plane pilot was killed but no one else, including the 50 priests cocelebrating Mass, were injured.  The new shrine was rebuilt near the original and completed in 1980.  At this time they also built a parish church where the old shrine had been.

We were there on 2 different occasions but I didn't get indoor pictures of the shrine either time as Mass was going on.  I did walk in but didn't stay. Sunday morning I expected a Mass, but I didn't check and we returned on a weekday at noon and again Mass.  The shrine was gorgeous in and out and the campus was large.  Some Masses even have a Maiachi band.

The bascillica itself was huge and there was an outdoor prayer spot (I'm sure it has a name) and outdoor stations of the cross.  Also on the grounds were the parish church, nursing home (I assume for priests and nuns), cafeteria, gift shop, parish church, and lots of offices.

Free Holy Water

One of the outdoor Stations of the Cross.

The gift shop was big and had just about every rosary made I think, and a lot of holy cards.  Pat asked if they had Swiss cheese, lol.  They had most everything except that

Our Lady of San Juan Del Valle prayer card

My diamond art painting is going faster than I thought.


  1. Making progress. Interesting photos of the shrine.

    1. After an hour drive to our viewing spot again Fri. the evacuated villagers were allowed to return, launch cancelled and rescheduled for Mon.🙃 Shrine was beautiful and offered such a peaceful feeling.