Ride in a Hot Air Balloon

I could say that two weeks ago our bucket slip said, “take two weeks off from Sunday Bucket,” but that’s lying. This year, we went on vacation for our anniversary, and blogging fell under our vacation technology embargo. But, we managed to squeeze in an AMAZING adventure, checking an item off our list while we were away.

Of all the potential ways that humans can take to the sky, a hot air balloon seems like the easiest operation to concoct at home. In 10th grade (yes, high school), I unsuccessfully tried to create a flying machine with a helium canister and an inflatable couch. Ridiculous, sure. An obsession with getting airborne? Maybe. And, who can forget the tv-interrupting, awe-inspiring, and ultimately unmanned flight of the weather balloon boy in 2009.


We aspire to fly. Or maybe just I do. Regardless, a hot air balloon ride has been on my bucket list forever, and with so many opportunities in Arizona, we decided to add it to our Sunday Bucket. Unbeknownst to me, Lianne made a solo pick a few weeks back, and surprised me with a hot air balloon ride as a birthday present! Last week, on vacation in Northern California, we cashed in.


For anyone that hasn’t experienced this, the sensation is magical. Our balloon took about 10 minutes to inflate before the ride in a small town just east of Napa, CA. We watched anxiously, and eventually piled in with 16 other passengers (it was the second largest basket in the country!). We soared for about an hour, drifting up and down through orchards, vineyards, and a vast agricultural landscape.


Here’s something we didn’t expect – Hot air balloons don’t land in any specific place. They land where the wind makes them land. So, we spent the last 15 minutes of our ride listening to the pilot negotiate his landing spot with a guy in a pickup truck who went door to door until he found a farmer with some vacant land on our trajectory. Anyway, we made it. A wonderful experience, with some amazing photos to show for it!




For Your Bucket:

Website:  http://www.balloonrides.com/
Cost: $189 per person

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Kathleen Ronzio (4310 days ago)

WOW!!!! The landing sounded a little scary but I bet it was amazing! So happy you did that and landed safe :-)

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