Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta

 For the past 12 days we have had the time of our lives getting up at dawn and falling into bed by 9 pm! We get up at 5 am, arrive at the launch field by 6 am, ready the balloon to fly, watch it lift off into the sky with 500 other balloons of all sizes & shapes,  load into chase vehicles and try to follow the flight on city streets until the pilot finds a suitable landing field, load up the balloon, return to the launch field for some celebration and then home usually by noon for rest, happy hour and return to the field about 5:30 pm for evening activities that range from fireworks, balloon glows and dinner.  We get home about 8:30 pm and fall into bed after setting the alarm to rise again at 5 am and do it all over again!

So many balloons

Paul helps to raise the envelope (balloon)

Dawn Patrol

Dawn Patrol starts the morning flights

Over 500 balloons participated this year

Zebra's are like refs; they are incharge of sending the balloons into the air

 Thursday morning I took a break from the early morning festivites and got to sleep in until 7 am when I heard the burners overhead and had to look outside to see what was happening.  The sky was full of balloons.  It was the shapes rodeo and they were all flying our way with a lot of them landing in our field. 

The bumblebees had a baby this year!

The Wicked Witch- my personal favorite

The lighthouse passed right over our RV

Character Balloons landing in my yard

Between launching balloons and partying we did get out a little to see Old Town Albuquerque and a few wineries.  In Old Town we ate in a mexican restaurant that had one of the best chili releno’s I have ever had.  I also spent one afternoon wine tasting and found some very good Cab and Port.  They were too expensive to buy, $45 for the Cab and $41 for the Port – maybe someday when we hit the lottery!  The view of the Sandia Mountains from the Corrales Winery “Almost” reminded me of Napa Valley.  The Cab here was spectacular for only $25.  Bought only one bottle and drank it!  We are out of good wine.  Can’t wait to get to CA and restock!

Corrales Winery

Paul’s sister and her kids, Sarah & Eric came down for the last weekend of the fiesta.  They tried to crew for a balloon on Sunday but the balloon they were assigned had a crash on Saturday, landing in trees and destroying their balloon so they didn’t get to crew but saw a lot of balloons fly.

Balloons over my House

A fine landing for the Kangaroo

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