3 sisters. 2 states. 1 story.


Floating on a Breeze

Friday, October 26, 2012

Last weekend, John and I did something that's been on our bucket list for a while- a Hot Air Balloon ride through the country.  This was actually John's birthday present from last year, but we wanted to wait to schedule it during the peak fall colors of October.  So away we went.  It wasn't scary at all.  We literally floated on a breeze.

Here is how our afternoon unfolded...

If you ever wondered just how big a hot air balloon is, let me just tell you, it's bigger than you could ever imagine.  Here is our balloon unfolded on the ground, ready for inflating.   This particular balloon holds 120,000 cubic feet of air (meaning you could fit 120,000 basketballs inside it!)

 Oh, and I made the scarf I am wearing in this photo.  More about that later.  :)

We weren't the only balloon hitting the sky last weekend.  There were actually four of them going up at the same time.  Here is John watching the space between these two balloons quickly close in on him.

Also pretty nifty was how they employed the use of passengers to help with the various aspects of setting up and taking down the balloon.  The two people pictured here holding the balloon in place as it filled with air were actually our fellow passengers. 

And this was the entire group of us that went up in this balloon, along with our pilot, of course.  It was a pretty tight fit inside the basket, but as you might imagine, you aren't exactly moving around a lot once you are airborne.

And speaking of airborne, here we are just after take off!

And here is what the views looked like from the air.  

This may very well be my favorite photo of them all.  John took it, and I loved the way the shadow of our balloon lays out over this farm. 

After a perfect afternoon of taking in the sights, it was time to settle in for a landing.  The funny part of that was that you really can't predict "where" you will land.  You are literally at the mercy of the wind to some degree.  We landed in the middle of a road!  So funny!  Actually, the balloon you see in the background of the picture above landed right about where they were there- in someone's yard!  How would you like to look out your window and see that!!

As I said, they used the manpower of our passengers throughout the ride.  Here John helping to steer the balloon back down to the street we landed on.  The basket was already on the ground, but they had to still bring the balloon part back down to earth.  Thank goodness they didn't call on me to actually help with anything!  :)

And this was the deflation process...  Again, John was called upon for his skills and talents. 

And finally, we learned that all Hot Air Balloon rides end with a ceremonious champagne toast!  
Don't mind if I do!  It was a perfect ending to this day. 

Oh, and they sent us away with a little momento.  They turned the champagne cork into a hot air balloon for us to remember them by!

 If you ever find yourself in a hot air balloon, here are a couple things to remember:

1.  It gets HOT up there.  They don't call it "hot" air balloon for nothing.  The burners that heat the air are literally right above your head and are on for the majority of the ride.

2.  There is no wind in a hot air balloon.  You are literally floating "with" the wind, so you don't feel a breeze or any rocking at all.   It was fairly breezy the afternoon we went, and we didn't feel any air movement while we were in the air.

3.  And finally, relax and enjoy.  How many times do you get to cross an item off the old bucket list?  Whenever you do, and whatever it is, just soak up every moment and appreciate the memory in the making!

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Misty said...

Awesome! A couple of years ago I thought that would be a good anniversary present. Thanks for reminding me! (I'm sure Howard will thank you later. ;-))

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