Kent bought Annette a balloon ride in northwestern NJ for her 35th birthday. They invited Dan and I to come along.
There's our balloon guy Rodger and our balloon basket (it was so small!) on its side.
Using high-powered fans, we inflated the balloon. (Dan and Kent helped hold it open).
It got bigger...
and bigger (that's another balloon that was going up at the same time).
And when the balloon was inflated, we all hopped in and turned the basket and balloon upright.
And off we went!
Do I look terrified? At this point, I relinquished control of the camera because that would mean I would have to let my hands go from the sides. It wasn't so much the height. I was afraid of the complete openness. The baskets only went up to our waists so you could easily fall out.
But eventually I relaxed and enjoyed the scenery.
The trees looked like broccoli from up there.
Rodger would heat up the fuel every few minutes (see behind Dan) and it felt our heads were being torched. Since Dan's so tall, it would be the worst for him.
People would be excited to see the balloon and we waved to many happy kids and people from below. Sometimes we were able to talk to them. We also saw lots of deer and horses.
The sunset was beautiful.
We could not find a place to land for the longest time. Since you can't steer the balloon we missed many an open field on either side of us. Finally, we found a small stretch of open space and landing felt like going down an escalator of trees. It was so fun! We all hopped out of the basket and found out that we were in someone's backyard!
Some neighbor dude came from nowhere to help us reign the balloon in. Thanks neighbor dude! We're sure this is something he'll be telling his friends at work about on Tuesday. Dodger's wife followed the balloon by car, so she picked us up and we went back to their place for some champagne and treats. Yum!