Saturday, October 10, 2009

A day at the Ballon Park

Meet Airabelle. She's 80 ft. tall, 120 ft. long and weighs in at 910 pounds. She requires a crew of 16. Isn't she adorable?

Have you ever heard of or seen a "tipped cow"? Well, now you have!

I call this one "Utterly Delightful".

I last left you with the intent of spending all day Friday at the balloon fiesta from early morning (yawn) till dark. Well, let's just say the best of intentions.... The alarm went off at 4:00 am and Jim and I got out of bed. Looking at him through bleary eyes I said, "Tell me again EXACTLY what we are going to do ALL day at the fiesta?" Activities start around 6:30 am and last till around 8:30 am or so. Then start up again at around 5:00 pm and end with fireworks at 8:30 pm. Since Friday morning was going to be a repeat of the special shaped balloons that we saw the previous day, I asked myself why the heck were we rolling out of bed at such an ungodly hour? Jim was easily convinced to just go to the evening's activities, so we happily turned off the lights and crawled back in bed. Aahhh....

We got to the Balloon Park around 3:30 pm. This evening was the "Glowdeo", where the balloons all fill up with air, then light up with the gas. Since we got there early, we walked around, browsed some more shops, and met this couple.

I struck up a conversation with the woman, who looked familiar to me for some reason. We ended up walking with them for awhile and chatting. They were from Tucson, AZ and very friendly.

It's hard to explain the carnival-like atmosphere in the air. Maybe the different hats that people wore will show you.

Although we didn't buy anything to eat, the food choices were many. Breakfast burritos were a big hit on cold mornings, stuffed with scrambled eggs mixed with sausage, cheese, or peppers, or any combination thereof. Other breakfast fares consisted of mini donuts or apple fritters. Lunch or dinner? Oh my. What to choose? Hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken, gyros, to name a few. It was funny to see a delicate woman chomping down on a huge turkey leg while walking through the crowd. The smell of funnel cakes wafting through the air just made my mouth water, but the lines were so long it detoured us from buying one. These food signs caught my eye.

The Glowdeo officially didn't start till dusk, but the crowds were pouring in. People didn't seem to mind the wait, and amused themselves by flying kites like this large dragon.

Or they sprawled out on the grass waiting for the show. They filled their bellies with delicious food. They drove by in antique cars.

Or they just plain people-watched like me. Get a load of this fella.

Jim and I decided to go out onto the field near some balloon teams to watch the whole process of setting up the balloon. We picked out the "bee" team. Here are the steps (in my eyes) to setting up a hot air balloon.

Step 1 Getting the basket ready. I'm not really sure what this entails. Maybe it's hooking up the hose for gas and securing the pilot's chair. I didn't ask what they were doing here.

Step 2 Tip the basket

Step 3 Get out the balloon bag

Step 4 Unfurl the balloon, first just a little for the next step

Step 5 Attach the ropes

Step 6 Unfurl the balloon the rest of the way

Step 7 Spread out balloon completely

Step 8 Start up fans (there are two)

Step 9 Hold open balloon

Filling with air:

Step 10 Add the gas


The next post with have pictures of the Glowdeo. It was unbelievable. Stay tuned.


Gail said...


Sunny said...

This is so enjoyable, thanks for sharing such great pictures of a really fun event. I would love to see this in person, but the chances of that is slim to none!
Sunny :)

An Open Heart said...

What a great fiesta! I love hot air balloons....your photos are awesome! I read the previous post, too, the shaped balloons are toooooo cool. I can't wait to see the balloons are night!


Cathy said...

Hello Pat
Have been enjoying your travels so much - making me want to be away again.
Loved the photoss of the the different shaped balloons - and the food signs made you wonder just what was in the 'meals' lol
Take care

Delena said...

I came upon your blog through "an open heart". Oh my, I can't wait to sit down and read through your entries. My husband and I are retired and live 6 months in Canada and 6 months in our RV in Yuma Az. It is a lifestyle we just love. We too had to downsize in a big way. I hope you visit my blog also as we definetly have something in common.

Rae said...

Great photos and I would love to have some of that bad ass coffee.

SquirrelQueen said...

Great series of photos, it looks like the crowd watching was almost as much fun as watching the balloons.
Airabelle is utterly adorable.

Betty said...

You just transported me there.
Fabulous picks and shots.
Cow pick is great!
What an amazing fiesta. Thanks for sharing:)
hugs hugs