Saturday, October 6, 2012

A Little Early

This year will be our fourth experience with the International Balloon Fiesta in Albuquerque.  Every year is so fun and exciting.  This year is extra fun because both my sister, Jessica, and my parents will be here for different portions of the big event.  It's my parents' first time!

For the first time in all the Fiesta's we've attended, I decided it would be an insane fun idea if I woke up in the middle of the night and went down to Fiesta Park by about 4:30am to see the first mass ascension of this year's Fiesta up-close and personal.  No one in my immediate family thought this would be very fun, so I invited my sister, Jessica, to come with me so she could get some awesome morning photos with me.

She was actually game!  Yay!

So we were up at 3-something and drove over to Fiesta Park in the dark.  (I don't know about you, but everything seems more adventurous when it happens in the middle of the night.)  We got good parking and headed in.

I think we were among the first 750 people or something and so we even laid claim on a picnic table instead of shivering on the grass like all those who came later (say, 5:00am).  Two more families joined us (picnic tables at Fiesta Park are not as plentiful as the spectators are) and then if any of us got up to get some food or use the bathrooms, we all politely shooed away other people anxious to steal one of the seemingly empty seats at our table.

It was definitely cold out there on the field.  The longer we sat there, the colder we got.  But it was all worth it to see this mass ascension up close!

While we waited, we played Words with Friends on Jessica's phone.  We also bought a breakfast burrito and Diet Pepsi's (what? isn't that the breakfast drink of champions?).  The burritos were kind of ehhh, but really expensive so that's good, right?!

We were having fun, hanging out in the dark on a lopsided picnic table, eating expensive fair food with thousands of people.  What could be better?

I'll tell you what would have been better.

After a couple hours waiting for the show to begin, it would have been better if the wind had died down enough to allow the balloons to actually set up and fly.

Yes, indeed.  This year the first day of the Fiesta came too early for cooperative weather.  We had arrived so early and missed a lot of needed sleep to see crowds of people anticipating what wouldn't happen.

By around 6:45, Jessica thought to check the Fiesta's Twitter Feed and found that flying events had been canceled due to the weather.  So, so sad.  A little bit later, they started announcing it from the stage and trying to convince people to stick around and watch the wood carving competition that was happening midday.  Hmm.

I mean, I understand why they decided to keep the pilots safe compared with keeping the masses entertained, but still, it was a let down. 

So no balloon pictures today.  But we'll try to go tomorrow evening!  We're not giving up yet.

Also, if any Balloon Pilots ever happen by this blog, I want you to know that our family prays for the Fiesta and the pilots and chase teams each year throughout the event.  Thank you for taking the time to educate and entertain us with your hot air balloons.  The teams are always so kind and have been nothing but nice wherever they land in the community when we've been able to catch up to them and say hello.  The balloonists are one of my favorite parts about living in New Mexico.

If you've never been, be sure to come check out Fiesta.  Just maybe check the weather conditions before you wake up in the middle of the night to catch the morning ascension.


  1. Well, I saw Jessica's picture of Dawn Patrol this morning. So glad the ballons were able to take off today! Maybe Dad and I will be able to get up early one morning while we are visiting.

    Thank you!

  2. I always love Jessica's posts about this. I'm so glad it worked out on Sunday!

  3. Mom, bring warm coats and gloves, if so. :) If you do it on a weekend, I will go again with you (if you want).

    Brenda, me, too!!