A few weeks ago, we headed down to Albuquerque with some good friends of ours to visit some other good friends of ours! Kent and Angie moved last year and we have so missed having them in Cache Valley! When they were visiting a few trips ago they told us about the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta and that made Andy and I decide we had to go visit them and see it! So today's Tuesday Ten is about our experience and trip in New Mexico!
First of all - It's a LONG Drive. We left Thursday after work around 5:30 pm. We drove straight through and made it to their house at about 4:15 am. We jumped in bed and slept until about 9:30 for breakfast! We spend Friday night at the Balloon Fiesta. It was a little windy so we didn't get so see quite as many balloons glow as we'd originally hoped. We got up at 3:30 am on Saturday to head back to the Balloon Fiesta to see their Mass Assenion. I guess the weather was not on our side because it was overcast and windy. They post pone'd for nearly 2 hours before giving the go ahead to launch. Even then only about 50 balloons launched. We were told usually about 500 launch. Yes FIVE HUNDRED! Man we were jipped! JK. We spend Sunday shopping in Old Town Albuquerque and hanging out with friends. Monday we woke up at 6:30 and drove home. It was a quick trip but lots of fun!
**Some of these photos were taken from Balloon Fiesta and Google Search**
1. Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta is in Desert Kaleidoscope New Mexico. It's a HUGE event and runs for 2 weeks! This year marks their 45th Annual Event! Every year during the event hundreds of hot air balloons take flight into the air. Men and Women control or pilot the Hot Air Balloons! More info can be found on their website: http://www.balloonfiesta.com/
2. Balloon Glow / Night Magic Glow - A little History For you. This event started in 1979 on Christmas Eve as a thank you to all local residents. Their website says "The Sight of balloons lite from within at night like giant holiday ornaments is breathtaking" I have to say they hit it right on. This was one of my favorite events we saw! Pictures DO NOT do this justice!
3. Special Shapes - Balloons are typically made the same shape but in 1989 the Special Shape Rodeo began. Since that year they've been continually adding more and more shaped balloons into the event and it's now the Most Popular event at this Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta. We saw all sorts of shapes from Donald Duck, Penguins, to a fire hydrant, and more! They don't always launch the Special Shapes because they are much much harder to control once in the air.
4. Mass Ascension - The Launch of all participating balloons is a feature you have to see! During the Mass Ascension the balloons are launched in two waves to ensure safe and coordinating manner. This event is such a sight to see or so we're told. Like I said above we didn't get to see the vast majority of the balloons but what we did see was still so many huge and amazing hot air balloons! We went to the Saturday Mass Ascension. I was amazed at how close the balloons are on the ground while they are blowing up! It was crazy. Every where you looked another balloon was starting to air up. I can't even imagine what it is like when all the balloon launch! We had talked about riding in a hot air balloon but during Fiesta they charge $500 to $600 a person to ride! Crazy!! In the off season it's only about $100 per person. We'd wait at that price!
My Cell Phone Photos:
5. Pins - Every year the Balloon Fiesta creates about 50 Official pins. I would have never guessed that pins could be so popular at an event like this! Each Pin represents a different aspect from volunteers, field crew, pilots, special shapes, etc. Pin Collectors can now see what pins they are missing and can locate their missing pins online!
6. Dawn Patrol - Dawn Patrol Pilots are balloons that take off in the dark and then fly until it's light enough to see a landing site. The Dawn Patrol Show takes place at about 5:45 AM and includes about a dozen balloons who launch set to music and have a choreographed inflation. Super neat, though I didn't see this in person.
7. AfterGlow Fireworks Show - A fireworks show after the balloon en mass. Spectacular views! Their firework show was in two different spots so we could see them from where we were sitting. A long firework show and actually really fun! I was too busy watching the show and forgot to get my camera out until they were about over.
8. Vending! This reminded me of a state fair or something. Lots and lots of vendors and oh my, the FOOD! We tried Blakes Lotaburger, Pinon Coffee, Tom Thumb Donuts, Funnel Cake, and more. The Tom Thumb Donuts and Funnel Cakes were my fav. Though I'm sure they weren't super healthy they were quite Yummy!
9. Old Town - Alright, on to more adventures outside of the Balloon Fiesta. This is Old Town Albuquerque. Really fun to see some of the history of this town and the shops, church and people.
10. Road Trip - We hadn't been on a road trip in a while, well ok me. (Andy went on one the week before to help a friend out). I forgot how much I hate riding in a car long periods of time. BUT when good company it makes the time fly fast!