Saturday, October 5, 2013

Up up and away....

For the past year I have tried to embrace and make the most of every opportunity to try something new or something I have always wanted to do when presented with the chance.... So after finding out that there was a Balloon festival in Kalamazoo I tried to find someone to go with me. I asked the Bear. Nope! he had a date with his couch... Bear is a napper and nothing gets between him and his couch between 4 and 9pm every night.... None of my other usual friends were available either so I jumped into my car and took myself!

 Going to watch balloons lift off and fly wasn't just an opportunity it was also a life time dream.. something on my bucket list...(if I had one).. So since Im also going through a bit of a relapse with the whole agoraphobia thing.... I had all kinds of excuses rush though my head for the first 20 minutes on the way up the highway.. then I just cranked the music and relaxed singing my heart out..... I was actually one of the first ten people there and got to watch the Ballooners arrive and start to get ready to fly...
 I am a people watcher and it was very obvious that they are like a family. They got out and greeted each other and obviously have people who help and crew for each other to get the balloons pulled out and ready to fill with the hot air.
 The Post people were a father and son. They have the red balloon as well as the Sugar crisp bear balloon. 
 the first two started to fill and a sense of a race was in the air... I wondered why the others were waiting.. there was a bit of wind gusting... 
 Oh a challenger on the other side of the field... 
 people around me were discussing the different colours and voicing their personal choices
 The red Post balloon was well a head filling up... it looked like it would easily be away first.
 Hands down!.. then the wind really started to gust.. it was pulling the handlers around.. more people tried helping ...something was happening but we didn't know what.. A very nice obviously in the know man came over and started telling us a bit about what is required when filling the balloon.
 and there it is deflating again... apparently you have to make sure that when you fill the balloon. Hot air fills it but that the gas doesn't get trapped inside!. It had with the Post balloon so they had to open the baffles at the top and try to vent the built up gas out. Other wise they could take the risk of it igniting.
 So all eyes shifted over here... and then the balloon just behind it but out of view here... came into view....
 and everyones favorite just changed!... All the children standing around me from 4 to 80 years old were ohhh an ahhh over this beauty.... I was so in awe I almost forgot to take a picture until I thought about getting one for my daughter who has always loved giraffes.
 Then all the other animals came in to view.. a little boy standing beside me was really scared of a mascot that looked like a big green chicken walking around... was so struck with this balloon that when the green bird was standing not 4 feet away he didn't even seem to notice him..
 Having three balloons filling the excitement was also growing..

 Then even more visible colour... 
 now we were wondering which balloon would make it away first.
 Post was filling back up and was looking to be a good contender
 Lots of action happening out on the field now...
 Even the ever famous Remax balloon.. This balloon is part of the attraction as a girl growing up in a very small northern British Columbia Canada community... The Remax office had a big balloon front to the building.....
 There goes the first balloon....yes.. everyone clapped and waved and cheered..

 guess which one was next
 Yes Remax was up and away before the Post even.
 There goes the second and third... we were told it was a type of race where they would try to hit targets with bean bags out on the route they were traveling.. As each balloon took off their respective ground crew would also quickly jump into their vehicles and race off after the balloons.
 This balloon was a favorite for a lot of the crowd.
 Finally the Post balloon was up and away..

 Then its neighbouring balloon.... 
 The sky was filling up and I couldn't help wonder what it would look like being somewhere else where you could get a picture of them flying towards me...
 more and more balloons filled the air... 
 people waited and guessed what the patterns would be as they spread them out and started to fill them... waiting for their glory to be reveled 
 do you see the long rope... they have crew members pull on them to try to keep the balloon laying out on the ground as long as they can to fill it with out the gas getting trapped inside.

 I really only had eyes for the balloons but there was also a stage and live entertainment and dancing going on behind me.
 every so often I would try to remember to look and see the ones leaving us...
 a little boy beside me said that they looked like they were walking on the trees!


 I was really wishing that I could go up in one... I do not like heights.. but, flying in a balloon is something I really want to do. Im told that it is very quiet up there. Heres a second Remax balloon getting ready..
 looking at all the pretty balloons... I started thinking about what I would create for my balloon if given an opportunity.. what would you choose? 
 finally among all the colour came the brown one I had been waiting for... I was positive that pretty soon a lot of the kids would be choosing a new favorite.
 It was taking longer to fill this one up. There was a difference in size with the balloons but Im thinking that the ears etc... must take etc air.
 There goes the second Remax balloon...
 with all that colour out there and Im sure that almost all eyes were on the brown one..
 I broke my eyes away to see all this. What variety... what colour...
 up up and away.... and even more being pulled out.. baskets laid on their side and the gas ignited to heat the air that fills the balloon
 I was pretty speechless watching all this... 
 The sun was defiantly setting fast.. I was wondering where they would end up.. I never did find out actually either... 
 finally the long awaited face that all the children had been waiting for... you should of heard the clapping.. as it was being filled the face seemed to be slightly turned away from the crowd as if shy and then as it lifted it turned as if timed just perfectly... the children and parents all clapped! I wondered if there would be an increase in sugar crisp cereal sold that weekend.

 here's a few that had filled up and lifted off and almost missed with watching the sugar crisp balloon...

 There he goes...
 A few last ones filling up....

 Im pretty sure there was not two the same.... except for the Remax balloons that is...
Then it was time to go and take care of the grumbling stomach and get something to drink before I headed back home... I would of liked to of seen them do the night illumination on Saturday but as luck would have it the weather kicked up and they didn't fly on Saturday morning and it rained fairly hard on the Saturday night... I was glad I had bit the bullet and gone on Friday. I will wait till the next time..
I thought this was a great food truck... for all those people out there for who coffee really is a life or death situation.... I was hoping that I would of seen the balloons somewhere along the way home.. It wasn't to be.. apparently we went in opposite directions... I did find out though that there are lots of these balloon flights during the summer here in Michigan.. This was my first... it will not be my last.
I hope you enjoyed the colourful show. 

So although there was not any flowers in this post...it was just as colourful!.
Have a great week.