Sunday, October 11, 2009

Some traditions are meant to be broken

We've tried on three separate occasions to see the balloons at Balloon Fiesta. Every time we've gone, the event has been canceled due to weather. So it's become a family joke that we have a tradition of NOT seeing the balloons every year. Ever the optimist, I wanted to go again this year. Now, for those of you who are not from Albuquerque, this is no minor feat, especially with children. The mass ascension begins at 7:00 am. This means that you should be situated well before then. It's also quite chilly this early on an October morning, so it requires packing and hauling coats, hats, scarves, mittens, and blankets. We're also too cheap to buy breakfast at the fair, so we have to pack breakfast for everyone and hot chocolate. (Interesting fact: the breakfast burrito was invented at Balloon Fiesta.) This means that you have to wake up at 5:30 at the latest. Not so very fun. Once you get to the Balloon Fiesta, you have to haul all this gear around plus chairs, strollers, and children.

Given our history with the Balloon Fiesta, Aaron was understandably reluctant to go through all of this to not watch the balloons. But he indulged me, and I'm sure glad he did. The weather was gorgeous. There was hardly any wind, and it was even warm enough that we didn't need most of the cold weather gear we brought. Friday was the Special Shapes Rodeo, so the had the most fun balloons taking off together. The kids were enthralled and kept changing their mind about which was their favorite. It's really an incredible experience to watch that many balloons take off at once. You are also right there on the ground and nothing is roped off, so you can be right next to the balloons.

After all the shapes ascended, we figured the morning was over and began packing up to go home. Then we noticed a mass of balloons descending on the park. Hundreds of regular balloons were participating in various competitions, and it was so much fun to watch them. They tried to throw things from the balloons to hit targets, and there was also a race to see who could grab one of five poles. It was so amazing to see the control those balloonists had. There were so many times that the balloons were in such close quarters that you just KNEW some were going to collide, but it didn't happen.

I loved the moon in this shot.

Aaron's favorite balloon. This is from Lithuania and it features two famous Lithuanian aviation pioneers.

Someone left the package of bear claws open, and Averi helped herself to about six before we caught her.

Aaron and I have decided that we'll need to take a hot air balloon ride one day. It would just seem wrong to have lived in Albuquerque all this time and never experience that.

This picture of Averi just captures how we all felt when it was over: spent.


Stef and Bry said...

Love it!! We missed this year. SIghhhhhh. Glad you guys got to enjoy!!

Scott and Cindy said...

That's so cool that you guys actually made it this year! Ooh, and the trip looked like such a blast. And yes, that picture of you eating that huge bite is pretty hilarious :)