Tuesday, October 12, 2010

A Love Hate Relationship with the Balloon Fiesta

A blog about life in Albuquerque would be nothing with out a post about the Balloon Fiesta.

The International Balloon Fiesta is the Duke City's largest event of the year. It might also be what puts us on the map. Every year hundreds of balloonists travel from all over the world to participate in 7 full days of ballooning. Along with the balloonists come their chase crew and many, many spectators.

The locals have mixed feelings about this huge event. To some it's a great time to get out and invite their out of town family and friends to visit. To others, it just means more traffic. In the past, I've been among the group that enjoys getting up early, eating breakfast burritos and warm coffee at the park on the weekends. Last year, I even took a friend from Missouri out to the Fiesta. After this year though, I'm not feeling the same love I used to have towards the Balloon Fiesta.

The company I work for partners with a pilot as a way of entertaining our clients. It's fun but five days beginning at 4:00 am plus a full week of work is just a little too much for this momma to be.

Although I would have rather slept in 4 out of the 5 days I was out there, I do have to say that it was quite the adventure. I was able to experience the fiesta from a different angle. From opening the "envelop," (the crew's term for the balloon) to cheering as they took off to trudging through the desert to packing it all up again, each day was a new experience.

As you can imagine, after a week's worth of ballooning, I have a lot to talk about. Too much for one post. So, stay tuned for photos from Matt's first ride in a hot air balloon and a look at what it's like to be a part of a balloon chase crew!

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