Hot Air Balloon Rides
None of these pictures are my own.
- •When we lived in a rural county in Florida for 15 years, we had the opportunity to see hot air balloons up close and personal! A field behind our subdivision was often used as a takeoff or landing site by a local hot air balloon ride company. Often we would see them right over our house close enough for us to talk to the people on the ride.
- •Every time we saw them my husband would say what fun it must be to go for a ride, but I was afraid. Basically the only thing you can depend on up there is that operator knows what he's doing. But how I loved watching them. I often heard the sound of the gas and I would run out to see them. It never got old.
- •Once on my drive home from work I was trying to think of a good idea for my husband's birthday. At just that moment a balloon crossed over the road, and I decided I would surprise him with tickets for both of us to go on a balloon ride. He was thrilled.
- •They lift off early in the morning and it's a wonderful feeling because it just floats off the ground. As soon as we got into the basket my fear went away. There was the balloon pilot, my husband and me, and two other couples. We had had a little safety class first and we were told how we would be help fold up the balloon after it landed.
- •There's no motor or engines to listen to, just the sound of the wind and the rustling trees. One minute you're tethered to the ground and then next thing you know floating above the treetops. The pilot operated it so beautifully taking us all the way up and then back down skimming right over the treetops. The hour ride went by very quickly.
- •After the ride we shared a champagne toast that is tradition. Then we got a certificate commemorating the experience was a photo and we all went back to a restaurant and had breakfast. It was so wonderful.
- •We were telling my brother about it when he came to visit and he got so excited that he wanted to go and right then and there he offered to treat us to a second balloon ride. So after the first one we had another opportunity to ride with the same company. The second time 5 or 6 other balloons went up with us. It was another wonderful experience.
- •Nine years ago we moved out west to Colorado. The first spring on my way drive home from the hospital I saw a hot air balloons! I was so thrilled to discover I would get to continue seeing them.
- •A few years after I started working there, the hospital was raising money for a new cancer center. They held a raffle with the prize being a hot air balloon ride for two. There would be two winning tickets so two employees could each win a ride and bring a guest.
- •Tickets were a dollar each. I bought 20 and so did my colleague and friend, another nurse director. When they had the drawing we were shocked to hear our names announced over the intercom. My friend and I each won and we each brought our husbands. The morning of the event there were at least 50 hot air balloons lifting off together!
- •So I had the wonderful privilege of enjoying not one but three hot air balloon rides, each one as enchanting as the others. Now I wouldn't be able to climb in and out of the basket anymore so I'm so glad I overcame my fear and I did this when I was still able. If you ever get a chance, I highly recommend it! Thank you for reading and listening.