A Bucket List Item We Didn't Even Know We Had

In June, John and I went on a mini-vacation to Windsor, Vermont where we stayed at the Snapdragon Inn. We had pretty minimal plans for the trip: go into town, sit on the porch at the Inn and read a million books, go out to dinner.

About two weeks before we left though, I saw online that The Quechee Hot Air Balloon Festival would run the same weekend we were in town. "Hot air balloons sound fun" I thought, we should probably do that.

On Saturday we accidentally got stuck in a parade while we were in town (apparently it was Homecoming weekend), ate some ice cream and went to the General Store (I know!). Then we got to the Festival and bought tickets for both days because why the heck not. We found a spot on the lawn, got totally excited to see some balloons and two hours later were on our way back to the Inn because it was too windy for them to launch.

We woke up at 5:00 on Sunday morning to get to the site for the 6:30 AM launch, drove all the way there and you guessed it! Turned around to go home because it was still too windy. Later that day we went for a hike at the Quechee Gorge (I use the word "hike" super loosely here), got back in the car and debated for a full 30 minutes about whether or not we should drive back.

"Does it look too windy?" I asked. "I don't know, what do they measure in, knots?" John said. "What does a knot equal anyway?" I asked. In the end, we braved the Balloon Festival traffic, drove over the covered bridge and arrived again in what had become "our" parking spot. We waited for a full 90 minutes and when the launched the tiny black balloon to test the wind, we all looked up and held our breath. "READY FOR LAUNCH" someone yelled and all of a sudden there were pick up trucks speeding across the field and balloons were getting laid out.

John and I both thought that when the rolled the balloons out there would be a lot of rules about how close you could be to the action. But there were NO rules! Ordinarily no rules make me super nervous, but this was so neat!

Here I am with some balloons mid-inflation, look how excited I am!

We were both looking forward to seeing the balloons, but I'm not sure that either of us really realized how incredible the whole thing was going to be. As they inflated and started launching, we just kept staring at each other, beaming and saying over and over again "This is incredible!"

You should know that what's below isn't even a quarter of the balloon pictures I have. But I'm sure there's a super scientific pictures per blog post formula, so here you are...I didn't want to overwhelm you.

Conclusion: John and I love hot air balloons. Like a lot more than we anticipated liking them. I didn't even know that "see hot air balloons" was on my Bucket List until it was over. I kind of love that.

While we love hot air balloons, we are both of the opinion that we don't think we actually want to go in one. Because its literally a tiny basket with a giant flame, and I don't like to be near anything too hot. Stay tuned for further balloon chasing...think I can convince John to take me to New Mexico next Fall to see the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta? I think the answer should be yes because its a Fiesta and John loves Mexican Food!

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