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6.09.2014

Day Date - Hot Air Balloon Ride

Before I share the after photos of our freshly painted rooms, I thought I'd share a fun date Bill and I had last Friday. We took the day off of work and went for a hot air balloon ride!!
This was one of Bill's birthday presents to me, but we took our sweet time about booking it. Mostly because we had to be there by 5:00am and we didn't know what to do with the kids. We ended up just doing it on a weekday, and our awesome babysitter let us drop the kids off at 4:30am.

Bill had booked the trip through Arizona Balloon Safaris using a Groupon to get 50% off. First we met up with them at the local Safeway to check-in. Then we loaded into a van (10 in all) and started the hunt for the perfect take-off spot. I assumed they just always took off at the same location, but not so. We went to four different spots before our pilot declared the last a good location. Then they blew up the balloon.
 This thing was enormous. They started with fans blowing into it as they hooked up all the cables and such.
 Then came the hot air, which was loud and fun too watch.
 Finally, the balloon was vertical.
This was the view looking up. I could not believe how huge this thing was.
Finally, we were off. I was amazed at how quiet and still the ride was. I had zero sensation that we were even moving.
We cruised over the desert, with views of the foothills and other balloons. We did not go nearly as high as I was hoping and cruised at around 300 feet up in the air. It was fun to look down and try and spot the local wildlife. We saw lots of jackrabbits, a coyote, and a red-tailed hawk.
Here we are right before take-off. It was such a nice way to spend the morning. The landing was hilarious as we came in hot and ran into a cactus. Afterwards, we enjoyed a champagne breakfast as the crew packed the balloon away.

We decided to make the most of our kid-free day by doing a little shopping, followed by lunch at The White Chocolate Grill, and finally seeing Maleficent. It was so much fun, and in line with our new goal of giving experiences instead of things. I would definitely go hot air ballooning again, and highly recommend it.

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