curious-me's Diaryland Diary


A story about a HOT AIR BALLOON RIDE!

One word: WOW!

That was the best b-day gift I have ever received! It was everything I thought it would be - and more. Although the anticipation nearly killed me.

After work I biked home, got changed (back into my fancy schmancy new work clothes cause I was feeling saucy) and headed over to Keith's.

We had a nice dinner of steak, baked potatoes and broccoli. We headed down to the park around 6:30. We were early but as I told Keith, he's lucky I just didn't bike to the park after work! It was pretty informal - you hand in your waivers to someone wearing a red shirt and they tell you what pilot you'll be going with in what balloon. I got freaked out cause there were 9 people (including us) standing around in seperate clusters waiting for our balloon to blow up (it only held 7 plus the pilot). I was so sure they had over booked and we weren't going to get on. I was thisclose to panicking. Finally the pilot asked who was going and it turns out that in one of the clusters of 3 people only the guy was going - whew! Then Keith and I got chosen to sit in the basket when the pilot told us it was time so when it tipped upright it would have weight to hold it down (pays to be a little heavy!). The whole time the pilot was giving us instructions about what would happen etc. he was looking at the group but he seemed to be mostly talking/staring at me. It was a little unnerving. At first I thought I had imagined it but when I brought it up to Keith when we were home and tucked in bed he said he had noticed it too). I decided he was probably staring at the mega zits that seemed to have sprung out like I'm a 13 year old teenager (I'm pissed to say the least - seriously - I'm not going through puberty - again!).

Okay back to the balloon - small rant over. After the instructions and when it was time Keith and I climbed into the basket and waited...and waited....and waited. Yah our pilot seemed to be having technical difficulties. It took him 3 tries before he successfully got the balloon blown up and risen. The basket tipped upright and all systems were a go. Poor Keith had an older woman fall into him - she had a bit of problem getting in the basket. I'm thankful that I didn't have to climb in it while it was upright - I would have probably been way clumsier than her!

The ride was awesome, amazing, spectacular! We floated up so gradually and then floated along so smoothly that you never felt any kind of motion sickness or diziness - nothing. And the view? The view was breathtaking. So much green! And the sunset? Well I have half a roll of film of that alone! I couldn't stop snapping. I went through a new roll - changed film and took a few more on that one. We floated for about an hour and the pilot was great. He answered any questions we had and was great at making small talk. We watched the first balloon touch down and deflate; we also got to hear how upset the farmer was in who's field they landed in. He was pissed. Needless to say we didn't land there! We were about to touch down in another field when our chase vehicle (the vehicle that picks everyone up afterwards along with the balloon) informed us that it was also a no-go. The farmers weren't too friendly in that area apparently. Finally we found another field - across the 401! that was balloon friendly. It was a farmer, his wife and 4 small children who even came out to greet us and participated in the champagne toast they have at the end of the ride. We didn't get back to Victoria Park to our cars until almost 10:30. Later than they had anticipated. Our pilot apologized for getting us off to a late start and said it was his worst take off in his 20 years of flying! I told him I was just glad we got off the ground! Lying in that basket, I was so worried that he would call it off. My chant in my head over and over was "please let us go up, please let us go up".

And up did we go! Wow! I so can't wait to get my film developed. I really gotta upgrade my membership someday and get a scanner and someday post a whole bunch of pictures that would be soooo cool! One of these days!

Keith and I walked through my door and were in bed within 10 minutes - 2 minutes later and we were dead to the world. We both slept soundly till the alarm went off - which definately suprised Keith cause he didn't think he was gonna stay the whole night.

After some procrastinating and 'other' stuff we finally got out of bed and showered. Keith made us breakfast while I got my poop in a group. We walked a bit and then once we got to the lights I rode off on my bike. It was either that or be late. He didn't take my car cause of our stupid parking ticket last week. We're pretty sure it's the stupid new markets fault. So we're gonna have to be especially careful on Wednesday's and Saturday's. Have I mentioned how stupid the market is?

But I will overlook the stupidness for now cause I'm still in the afterglow of the balloon ride. Wouldn't it be cool to get married in one? Hmmmmmm..... :)

Again...the best b-day present ever!!! The best present ever. Period.

It's nice when dreams come true AND they live up to your expectations. Very nice.

Floatin' away now.......

10:37am - 2004-06-16


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