Monday, September 03, 2007

Up, Up and Away

This Labor Day weekend we took Number 2 and his best friend to a hot air balloon festival.

The day was beautiful with a cloudless blue sky, a slight breeze from the west and the aroma of barbecue chicken and cow manure in the air.

This festival was in a rural area some distance from my city. By the end of the day I became a firm believer of the saying, "you can take a girl out of the city but you can't take the city out of the girl."

While I don't live in the city proper, I live in a suburb on the very fringe of it, downtown is about 5 miles away. My zip code is said city. It's not a mega city but it is the 3rd largest city in my state with a metropolitan population of 1,037,831. The lovely little town the festival was held in has a population of about 6,000.
I was surrounded by good 'ol boys in John Deere and deer huntin' tee shirts and other walks of life that I won't go into here.

Around 6 PM the balloon pilots begin to let cool air into the envelope. (the balloon in layman's terms) When it's almost filled they start up the burner to warm the air and the balloon rises. If you remember any basic science, warm air is lighter than cool air and will rise . That's why the upstairs of your house is warmer in the winter and the downstairs is cooler in the summer.

The balloons are so graceful and quiet except when they give a blast from the burner to keep that air warm. We were lucky in the fact the the breeze was blowing west to east so the balloons travelled right over our heads upon lift off.

We weren't sure what to expect being that we had never been to this festival before. The first balloon launch was at 6 AM. For those of you that know me, I'm not a morning person. I'd have to get up about 4 o'clock to see them in the morning launch and there was just no way.

We weren't sure how many balloons we'd see there. I thought maybe 12 - 15. We were pleasantly surprised to see that there were 47 balloons in attendance!

This one is "The Flying Purple People Eater"

It was a beautiful sight to see them aloft and worth the wait. They played a game where they had to find a big bulls eye on the ground, lower down and drop beanbags to see which balloon could get closest. The festival cost only 5 bucks per person to get in but if you wanted a ride in one of these balloons, be prepared to pony up $200.00 per person!

I apologize for the blurry picture, we were in the car and Sean didn't pull over. This pilot and his balloon didn't fare too well. They ended up stuck in the trees. Don't know how that happened. I don't know how they got them out but I'd want my $200.00 back!

Green Acres TV Theme

Green acres is the place for me.
Farm livin' is the life for me.
Land spreadin' out so far and wide.
Keep Manhattan, just give me that countryside.
No, New York is where I'd rather stay.
I get allergic smelling hay.
I just adore a penthouse view.
Dah-ling I love you but give me Park Avenue....
The chores....
The stores....
Fresh air....
Times Square
You are my wife.
Good bye, city life.
Green Acres we are there.


Kitten Herder said...

I LOVE that theme song!

Sounds like an awesomely fun day. Some friends of mine are balloon afficiandos. Here is one of my favorite balloon picks, ever:

Kitten Herder said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kitten Herder said...

the link in my previous post just needs an "l" on the end. I think blogger has a line length issue. :D