THE BALLOON FIESTA

2 Jun

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

JUDY

   

Have you ever seen a hot-air balloon floating overhead?  Really neat, huh?  We’ve been enraptured with them for quite a while.  The sister of a friend and her new husband “escaped” from their outdoor wedding reception in a hot-air balloon.  How neat is that?

 We had heard about the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta for years, but had never attended one.  It was started after we married and moved away from Albuquerque.   In talking with Fred’s parents, we all decided to head to New Mexico for that great event that year, 2001.  It was the 30th anniversary of the Fiesta.  Fred’s youngest sister and her husband thought it would be fun to join us, as well.  So we made our hotel reservations, airplane reservations, and were getting quite excited.

And then….September 11, 2001 happened.

We were scheduled to fly out in early October, 2001.  After September 11, all flights in the U.S. were grounded.  We were afraid that our flight had been cancelled, as well.  But the grounding was lifted, and we were able to fly out as scheduled.  I’ve heard so many people say they have stopped flying after September 11 – they were just too afraid.  And my thought is…where is your faith?!  Much safer than traveling long distances in a car…etc.

In any case, we flew out as planned and arrived quite safely in Albuquerque, city of my heart.  We connected with the rest of the family, and began our Balloon Fiesta adventure.  It was absolutely wonderful!   Completely fascinating to watch the balloons go from flat on the ground, to upright, to up in the air in a matter of short minutes!  Breathtaking!

But the best day was the day of the Mass Ascension.  If I recall correctly, there were over 800 balloons going up that day.  They were laid out in a pattern, and went up in planned sequence.  But they did all go up.  And that was the day they had the different “shapes” to the balloons, as well.  A cow (Creamland Dairy)…

 

1

a Wells Fargo stage coach (as well as a piggy bank)…

 

2

 

 

 

 

 

 

3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

a beer stein…

 

 4

 

 

 

Mr. Potato Head

 

Mr Potato Head

Mr Potato Head

 

Smokey the Bear…

 

 

Smokey the Bear

Smokey the Bear

 

 

a Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Cone…

 

 

Ben and Jerry Ice Cream Cone

Ben and Jerry Ice Cream Cone

 

 

Tony the Tiger cereal….

 

 

Tony the Tiger

Tony the Tiger

 

 

a shoe (Famous Footwear)…

 

 

Famous Footwear

Famous Footwear

 

and a birthday cake congratulating the Fiesta on their 30th anniversary.

 

 

Happy 30th Birthday!

Happy 30th Birthday!

 

We were able to get down close to one of the balloons and watch as they readied it for take off.  Fascinating.

 

 

Getting Ready

Getting Ready

Fred has an aversion to large crowds, so it surprised him greatly to find how “uncrowded” this all felt.  As we recall, there were probably well over 100,000 people there!  Of course, it was held on one of the valley floors in Albuquerque, so that helped – lots of room to spare.

That evening, we went to one of the Indian casinos in town, and were able to watch a night-time ascension.  Really beautiful.

 

12

 

 

 

14

 

 

 

Rising Flag

But it is one of our fondest memories – one we recall and treasure.  One year, our oldest daughter and her husband gave us a 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle of that event, and we had a great deal of fun putting it together.  Brought back great memories.

 

 

 

15

 

3 Responses to “THE BALLOON FIESTA”

  1. onisha Ellis June 2, 2013 at 6:33 pm #

    Judy, that must have been incredible, especially at night. I love how your family gets together to travel.

    Like

  2. itsrebekahlyn June 2, 2013 at 4:52 pm #

    This is one of the things on my bucket list. I’d like to take a ride in one too.

    Like

  3. Louise Gib son June 2, 2013 at 9:21 am #

    What a delightful experience! Judy, you described it so beautifully, I felt I was truly sharing in your adventure..

    Like

Thank you for stopping by and reading our posts. Your comments are welcomed.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: