Monday, August 11, 2014

Hot air balloons!

Last week on Twitter I saw details about a hot air balloon festival and I immediately texted Ryan and told him we were going. So Saturday evening we went to the park, sat on our blanket and watched as the first few balloons were set up. I was in the middle of researching on my phone how much hot air balloons cost when we were approached by an event coordinator who asked us if we would like to help one of the pilots. I gave her an enthusiastic YES and jumped up to follow her, pulling Ryan behind me. The lady introduced us to the pilot and her husband. We were given gloves and helped unload the equipment from the trailer. At this point I had no idea what was going on and kind of stood there taking it all in: the equipment and the other hot air balloons that were popping up all over the park.

After everything was unloaded we laid out the balloon and I couldn't believe how big it was! And it was all packed into this bag. I helped hold the balloon open while the fan started to blow it up.

When it was big enough we tip it right-side up and filled it with the hot air from the fire. It was about sunset at this point and all the balloons in the park were starting to glow. It was too dark to fly the balloons so Ryan and I helped hold the balloon down. There were a few times when it tried to take off. Each balloon pilot had a radio and we followed synchronized patterns to make the balloons glow. SO COOL! So we spent the night hanging and leaning on the balloon chatting with the pilot. I learned way more about balloons that I thought possible. Like the type of balloon our pilot had can carry close to 2000 pounds! Crazy! 

At the end of the night we helped tip the balloon on its side, squeeze all the air out of it and fold it back up into the tiny bag.

Definitely a fun experience! Here's to being in the right place at the right time.

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