Here's how it goes in my neck of the woods....
1. watch the local news to see if the impending thunderstorm will stop the launch.
2. Wait until about a minute and a half before lift off, then go outside and take a few practice shots.
3. Watch the shuttle rise into the sky and fly over the ocean.
4. Watch the tiny, orange speck of flame until there's separation and it disappears.
5. Grab some more shots of the shuttle trail.
6. Go back in the AC and cool off again!
This is the view from my front yard of the Endeavor Launch at 6:03, July 15, 2009.