hot air BALLOON

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October 21, 2019

My husbands surprise was to explore the world in a HOT AIR BALLOON! We had such a wonderful Saturday morning, the best surprise! Perfect day for this kind of adventure, he could not have picked a better day, we were so lucky with the weather (it rained yesterday). 

I woke up from a dream around 3 am and could not fall back to sleep, so I was pretty tired, but my excitement over my surprise helped me stay awake:) The alarm went off at 4:30, I jumped into the shower, got ready, Jim took Thor out and then showered. We were out the door at 5:15. It took us about 1 hour 15 minutes to drive to location (somewhere near the Hudson Valley, New York). It was so dark outside, we realized that we are not used to drive in the dark like that. We got to this big field. Some young guy had parked there and he came up to our car asking if we were excited…well…I still didn’t know what we were going to do. More cars pulled up, we stayed warm inside the car. I kept looking out my window at the big field an the sunrise. And then after awhile I looked out J’s side and wow, there was a huge balloon being blown up next to us, hahaha. I kinda figured it was that but since J had told me to not bring a camera I wasn’t sure.

Three older couples were the first group to go up while we had to stay on ground. This balloon company goes up twice a day on weekends when weather allows. The young guy (the assistant) said that it’s better to be the second group to go up and I agree. Not only had the sun come up then and you can see all the colorful trees, but we got to see the balloon go up, chase it around, help the first group to get out and jump in, and then see them pack it all up in the end. The full experience:)

The first group was up for about an hour and we were in the young guys car driving to areas that we saw the balloon. The balloon pilot sent a location pin and we drove there. They had landed in some industrial area (the pilot has no control over where the balloon will take you, just up or down, so they end up in peoples backyards all the time). We had to help the balloon stay down in order for the first group to climb out, and then we started to climb in while the other group tried to hold  us down, but the balloon kinda started to take off a bit too early and we ended up flying right into the barn we were next to (J said that a shingle of the house had come off..oops). And then quite quickly we were up in the air pretty high. 1200 feet start off with. 

Wow! This was amazing! Going up and down over the fields and over big houses and barns. At one point we went up to 1500 feet and we could actually see top of the buildings on Manhattan. So peaceful. Quiet. I filmed and took pictures of course, but I also made sure to just enjoy the view and feel the fresh air. 

In the end the basket was touching trees and then whoops, we went right through a tree hahaha. And then came the landing. We all bent our knees and held on. We hit the ground, up again, bounce. The second bounce I hit my knee in the basket so hard I thought I broke my leg but once we were out standing on ground it wasn’t that bad. Getting out was an adventure itself haha. The men in our group got out and tried to first move the balloon to a better place and then hold it in order for us to get out, but we ended up tipping over. I was in the tipping top (J and I was in the “back”) and I had to just hold on hahah, pretty funny view I’m told but J wasn’t fast enough to take a picture. 
They fold everything up, put it on the wagon behind the car and we drove off. We drove by the farmer who owned the land and he did not look happy that we had been trespassing. The pilot and the assistant had a few stories of when they have been landing on questionable places, for example where they have had a shotgun in their face and been told to get out of their land. But, that’s America for ya 😛
We were about 20 minutes away from where our cars were parked. We said goodbye and then J and I drove to a diner for breakfast. It was about 10am at this point so we were really hungry. Then 1.5 hour drive back home. The lobby people had been watching Thor so we went to pick him up and then all three of us snuggled ourselves under blankets in bed and took a two hour nap. We were so tired! 

What beautiful day! And what an experience! I really have the best husband♥

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