I would like to begin this post with a memory of being a little girl in Doylestown, PA. I must have been 5 or 6 years old, and a hot air balloon accidentally landed in our neighborhood in the yard a few houses away from mine. I don't remember who was in the balloon or why or how it came down there. I do remember it was blue and red and green and yellow. And from that day on, I dreamed of being in a hot air balloon. It just seemed like a completely surreal thing to do.
And so it was last Wednesday morning, when Kristoffer and I woke up at the crack of dawn for a crazy ride with a drunk guide to our launch site. With 14 perfect strangers and 1 Canadian pilot, off we flew for about 50 minutes of pure delight.
These pictures come absolutely nowhere close to capturing how awesome it really was, which is a complete disappoint I must admit. But it is a morning I will never forget. I am so grateful that we could leave the kids with our family so that we could do it together. And here you will get a little glimpse of my dream come true.
4:30 am cup of tea.
Still on the ground, sun rising.
Getting ready to go up - seatbelts on.
I smiled so much my face hurt!
When you climb into the basket it is still laying down, just as it is above. So we were also sort of laying down (but with our legs bent on a "seat" so that when the balloon went upright we were sitting on a little bench in our compartment with 2 other people.).
Then we went up! The following pictures are a variety of shots from the air.
And then we landed - so much more smoothly than expected (3 little hops and we didn't tip over!). I was the last person out of the basket. I just did not want it to end.
We were waiting around for the guides to find us and bring us champagne (there is a very long, cool story about why you drink champagne after a hot air balloon flight).
And the truck found us to collect the basket and balloon.
And then we drove another 20 minutes or so to find our breakfast in the bush. We continued to drink champagne and really enjoyed ourselves (Kristoffer, cough cough, might have even enjoyed that champagne a little more than everyone else!).
Happy early birthday to us - it was a really special gift to give ourselves! We will never forget it!