Saturday, October 10, 2009
Balloon Fiesta in Qwerky
We left Thursday afternoon to go to the Albuquerque balloon fiesta. We enjoyed it a lot. We tried to get the kids to bed by about 8pm so we could get up at 5:45am to go to the morning session. After a quick breakfast at a close by Waffle House, we headed up to Coronado mall to catch a bus to go out to the Fiesta. That is the best way to go by far. We didn't have to wait but 10 min or so to board the bus and the ride was pretty short to the grounds.
At the Fiesta grounds it was still dark when we got there, but there were thousands of people already there. It is set up really well with lots of picnic tables and large grassy areas to sit down. It was really cold, but not unbearable since the wind was calm. I would guess about 40 degrees or so. The kids didn't seem to mind too much, and if you walked around it was ok. As the sky started lightening up the balloonists started filling their balloons. That was lots of fun to watch, it is amazing how big they are. When they start shooting the hot air in it feels good if you are close enough, and you can get just about as close as you want.
At 7am local time they launch the Fiesta balloon with the flag while somebody sings the national anthem over the P.A. system. Then it is a flurry of activity as the rest of the balloons start launching, starting at one end of the field and working to the other. After the mass ascension as it is called, they have a ballooning event where the balloonists try to maneuver their craft over targets and drop a flag. It is amazing when the wind is so light and variable they can change their direction by changing their altitude. They also have prize envelopes on top of PVC pipes stuck up in the air they try to grab as they go by. It was lots of fun to watch.
We headed back to our hotel room for naps and the kids were sure ready for one. Later that afternoon we headed back once more to the mall to catch our bus again. This time there were a lot more people, which should have been a sign of things to come. Wow, there were even more people there for the evening 'Glowdeo' as it is called. Also there was a long fireworks show. It was neat, but not quite as fantastic as we had hoped for. If we missed it next time it wouldn't hurt, since the crowds were so bad. I was so tired of hauling that big bag of bricks --->Mr. "D" around. There was a much longer wait to board the bus to leave.
The weather was really nice and sunny the whole time we were there, it was a shock to come home today. COLD, cloudy, drizzly.
at 9:21 PM