Saturday, September 21, 2013

Up, up, and away: Hot Air Balloon Ride

Hello from The Golden State! That's right, I'm in California!

My dear sister is officially a freshie in UC Davis and to celebrate her 18th birthday, we secretly booked a hot air balloon ride from Balloons Above The Valley.

None of us have been on a hot air balloon before so we were extremely thrilled about it, except for waking up at 4am in the morning...

The crew was very professional and organized. The check-in location was at a Marriott hotel. They had us sign agreements regarding the ride and provided us with pastries, muffins, cookies, coffee, and tea before we head off to the balloons.

Getting into the basket was a little "un-glamorous". There were step holes on the side of the basket and we literally need to climb to get in. I've always imagined the basket to be bigger and there's a door or gate that opens for us to get in. 

On second thought, climbing into a hot air balloon basket was pretty fun too.

Photo Credit: Jackie Leonardo

It's not scary. It actually felt like we were floating on air. No, I take that back. We "floated" on air! It's like someone on the ground said "Wingardium Leviosa" and we float up, up, and away! 

However, due to the foggy weather, our initial route over Napa Valley was changed to Winters. A little disappointing but they assured us that it will still be lovely.

And apparently it was pretty colorful!

Doesn't that look just like carpets? Winters has more variety of sights as compared to Napa Valley. We saw rice fields, sunflowers, stone fruit fields, vineyards, empty fields, and greeneries.

The landing was smooth. We only had 2 small bumps, which felt like a thud.

After we landed, the balloon was quickly deflated and re-packaged while we were still in the basket. The pilot opened a small opening to release the air inside the balloon while 2 other men pull down a rope attached to the balloon.

Photo Credit: Jackie Leonardo

After the ride, we had a full champagne brunch!

So that was my first ride, but it definitely won't be my last! 

And by the way, Happy 18th Birthday, Jackie!

No comments:

Post a Comment