Thursday, July 05, 2007

Up, Up, and Away


Yesterday I got the opportunity that most people will never have in their lifetime. I went in a hot air balloon - on TV!

Here's the story: like we have done every year for the past six or seven years, my family got up at 5:30am and drove over to the Lisle Eyes to the Skies Balloon Festival. We go to watch the balloons launch or land (depending on the direction of the wind). And it is a ton of fun! Well, when we got there we learned that the ground was too wet for them to do much of anything (the balloons are kind of like tents, except that once the sun is shining the wind picks up so they can't just be left out in the sun to dry before packing away in a bag). But there was a pilot sitting in his basket and he motioned us out on the field (a rare treat). Along with a TV cameraman.

This pilot was a real nice guy and told us all sorts of interesting stuff about ballooning. When he was done he invited anyone who wanted to climb in the basket for a picture. So my kids climbed in. Makes for a good change in my scrapbook pages from the annual shots of huge balloons in the sky and my kids all tiny beneath.

After that we wandered over to another balloon team where they'd actually spread out a balloon (were they going to towel it off after?). There we saw not only a cameraman, but also the local NBC weatherman, Andy Avalos, reporting on the festival. It was fun to listen to him do the weather update in front of a tiny screen showing the weather maps.

Then they put a big fan near the mouth of the balloon and began inflating it with cool air (standard procedure to get it ready for a hot inflation). Once that was done there was suddenly a flurry of activity. They were inviting people to walk into the balloon (not the basket) to give perspective on how huge these things are. So Timid Daughter, Little Miss History and I took off our shoes and walked on in. About twenty of us were in there. And we were on TV!

So there! I've been in a hot air balloon (without ever leaving the ground, thankfully). How about you?

4 musings:

Craver Vii said...

What a treat! We beat the expected thunderstorms, and it turned out to be a great day. I wonder how Andy Avalos explained that one. So, if you had the opportunity to go UP, would you decline?

A Musing Mom said...

Craver - I have a fear of heights, but a love of hot air balloons. Plus I occasionally enjoy a challenge. I've climbed to the top of a bell tower, run the spot light at BHS (which is WAY up at the ceiling), and went on multiple flights in a Cessna Skyhawk, briefly flying it for one trip. So despite my phobia I'd probably accept - especially if the winds were blowing homeward. I'd love to float over my neighborhood and see if from the birds eye view (Google Earth is fine - live would be better).

Craver Vii said...

Back in high school, I used to paint murals. From atop the scaffolding, I would explain to the other muralists that I was not afraid of heights... just afraid of falling. But even falling ain't so bad... it's that sudden stop at the end...

A Bass Pro Shops hot air balloon. Cooool!

L.L. Barkat said...

Hmmm...

I've been in hot water... does that count?