Monday, June 27, 2016

The Biggest Balloons They Ever Saw

This past weekend was Balloonfest in a town about half hour away from this little place here.  DH and I decided it might be fun to take K3 and Toad to go watch the balloon launch on Saturday evening.

The kids, of course, were excited to be going with Grandpa and Grandma to see balloons.  They are still young enough that any kind of balloon is exciting.  I don't think they totally comprehended that we were going to see hot air balloons until the canopies of said balloons started to get inflated.

When we first arrived, and parked with lots and lots of other cars, then walked probably close to a mile from the parking area to the launch area, K3 asked where the balloons were.  Come to find out, she was thinking of helium balloons, like she'd had at her birthday party back in April.  She was slightly disappointed to find out there were no helium balloons. But, we promised, there would be really, really big balloons, and she would like it.  Then she spotted the stunt kites being flown, and forgot, for a while, about balloons.

We found a spot to sit where we'd be able to see the balloons in all the stages of launch.  So we spread out the blanket I'd brought to sit on, and we waited.  For a long time, all we saw was trucks and vans all lined up, with balloon baskets behind them.

But then, balloon canopies began to be unrolled from their storage bags, and laid out on the ground.

And suddenly, the launch was on.  There were canopies everywhere, and fans and burners going, blowing hot air into the canopies to inflate them.  It was hard to know exactly which one to watch, it seemed like the field was suddenly full of colors.

One after another, and sometimes even two or three at once, the balloons began to stand up.

Once in a while, you could even see the big flame from the burner that was being used to 'blow up' the balloon.

Then they began to lift off, some flying right above where we sat.

In what seemed like just a few minutes, but was actually about an hour from when the canopies had been unpacked onto the ground, all 48 balloons had been inflated, and most had sailed out of sight.  The field was pretty much empty, and it was time to take K3 and Toad home for bedtime.

You know, neither one said a thing about helium balloons.  All they wanted to talk about was the big pretty ones that the people flew away in.  The biggest balloons they ever saw.

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