It is only fitting that we take an astronomy themed vacation during 2009 - the international year of astronomy. Malvika had heard of B&Bs in Arizona run by astronomers where you have access to scopes, the best dark skies around and tons of expert guidance provided by the host. We decided upon "The Shooting Star Inn" near Flagstaff, AZ. Check it out http://www.shootingstarinn.com/. We started today in a rental car (see photo) and plan to spend the whole week there.
Initially, we thought we could do the 12 hour drive from San Francisco to Flagstaff in a single day. Now I know that would have been crazy. We looked up an appropriate mid-point and chose Mojave, CA to spend the night.
As we checked into the Desert Inn in Mojave, we saw a bunch of photographs of the space shuttle in the very modest looking motel office. It suddenly struck us that we must be pretty close to the NASA facility in the California desert. The inn-keeper later confirmed that we were just a couple of miles away from Edwards Airforce base where the space shuttle landed just yesterday!!! What a great and surprise start to this Astro-vacation!