Weekend review: Up, up, and away

This past July 4th weekend has to be one of the best of the summer (so far). I could tell you about fireworks or being lazy by the pool, but that’s not why this weekend was so special.

On Sunday, BF and I knocked an item off my Before I turn 30 bucket list and went on a hot air balloon adventure over the Shenandoah Valley (that’s in VA). We also took the time to honor a friend lost a year ago, by getting a little closer to heaven.

I’ll warn you there are a lot of pictures, but seriously, I couldn’t help myself. I needed to share them. Sit back, relax, and enjoy.

BF caught snooping on the first balloon. It was just as exciting to see them getting everything ready.

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After they’ve blown air (from giant fans) into the balloon, they fire that baby up. Literally, they use the fire and heat inside the balloon to tilt the basket and balloon into the upright position.

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And they’re off. Check out the sun creeping over the trees. Did I mention it was 6 AM?

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And then came our balloon. I was a little less impressed, namely because of the patch repairs that were quite visible in a few spots. But hey, you get what you’re given. And of course, it was totally safe.

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Inside and all fired up! Fun fact, they have to burst the flames while you’re getting in to keep the basket on the ground. It makes for an awkward experience for a klutz like me. Fire, falling into baskets, yeah you see where I’m going.

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And then we were flying, just past 6 AM.

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And this is what happens when you give your camera to someone else in the basket and try to get a ‘couple’ shot. You may notice a hint of OMFG in my face. That’s because I kind of forgot about my fear of heights.

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My fears diminished significantly after about 10 minutes. It also helped that the pilot kept us at varying altitudes. We were at tree level for some of the time and even said hello to the couple coming out of this house. Their dog went nuts, likely trying to figure out how he could catch that big balloon in the sky.

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In total, we probably spent 45-50 minutes in the air. Plenty of time for BF (and me) to relax. I kind of caught him off guard with this photo, but I know he was thinking about his best friend.

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And then he snatched my camera and took a picture of some cows. Farm boys, eh?

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And then this one, of moi.

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So I had to reciprocate. Isn’t it gorgeous out there? He’s pretty cute, too.

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And last, but not least. If you’ve made it this far, here’s your reward. Hands down, without a doubt, the best photo of the day. That’s the first balloon that took off, probably around 6:30 AM, heading towards the sunrise.

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ps. this was also my July adventure putting the count to 7 of 12! You can see all the others here.

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4 Comments»

  crankypants wrote @

Wow that looks incredible! Glad you got to do this, you’re really knocking them off the ol’ list! good for you. Great shots.

  zigzagmags wrote @

thanks! been trying really hard to knock them off the list, both big and small. slowed down on the reading, but only cos I felt a little burnt out. just now getting back into it. 🙂 suppose there’s always a million and 1 things to do.

  Colleen wrote @

What an awesome experience, M! Totally on my bucket list. And how brave of you to conquer one of your fears. Bravo!

  zigzagmags wrote @

do it, do it!! tons of groupons always floating about (har har, see what i did there?), so no excuse! 🙂


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