Excited for the takeoff :)
Up, up & away we went!
We had a fun group of people with us and our tour guide, Dar, was quite the entertainer. He had to beat the other balloons (naturally) so we ended up at 6,000 feet in the air! I must have looked nervous for a little while because my sweetheart kept asking me if I was alright. I just had to take it all in!
Everything got so small...
Wouldn't you be a little nervous too in nothing but a wicker basket?
We ended up doing a little tree skimming action, got pretty close to some farm animals (who were not so thrilled by our loud mechanism) and failed at figuring out just how fast we were flying on the guys' smart phones (probably 5-7 mph).
Thankful for a gorgeous day...
So, because hot air balloon flying doesn't have the luxury of a landing strip, we were instructed to crouch down, lean into the basket dividers to our left and hold onto the rope handles inside of the balloon when landing. Naturally, there is always a risk involved in something I do. See, the hot balloon will "skid" along the ground a couple of times before stopping. This means that you run the risk of tipping or, in our case, skidding the ground only to catch a gust of wind and therefore using a 5 foot embankment to stop our balloon. I was ready for the hit against our balloon, but not prepared for my sweetheart's head to slam into the back of mine. Ouch. Balloon Flyer's Beware: follow the guide's directions and stay low (this means you, sweetheart). I still love you!
Down she goes...
Our flying mechanism!
Champagne toast to celebrate!
I highly recommend this experience to anyone! It was quite fun and enjoyable...and I thought it made for a nice anniversary gift :-) Afterwards, we hit up the nearby outlets, had lunch & headed back into the city to visit the local brewery. Nothing like a little hometown brewed beer to end a fabulous day! I have no clue why we decided to go home after that...we realized afterward that we probably should have stayed another night since we were having so much fun. Now I can't wait to go back!
All images courtesy of © 2010 Chateau de Victoria