When I was a little girl living in Albuquerque I use to go to the balloon fiesta with my grandmother.
We would park on the side of the road and run in the dirt to meet the balloonist. Grandma had an autograph book she kept for years. After the balloons took off we would jump in her car and chase them to wherever they would land, which would be in the mesas, driving down dirt roads.
Grandma told me a story once of her running in the mesas to meet the balloonist and tripping over s lava rock, there are lots out there.
As she fell to her knees the balloonist looked down and grandma looked up and said, "will you marry me?" He laughed heartily. Gotta love a granny with a sense of humor.
I came back a few other times when I lived in California. Still there was dirt, and you could still park on the side if the road. However, there aren't as many mesas open with the building boom that happened here in the 90's.
Then back again a few years later and there was a balloon park with a museum. Now 40 years later, no dirt just beautiful grass and balloons of every size and shape. Finally SB gets to see it first hand.
We got up at 430am, drank coffee and made it down to the field before 530. They have it very organized and there were about 15 balloons already blowing up.
Since it was dark still they glowed in the early morning dark blue sky. I had never seen this part up close.
It was exciting. If you followed my tweets that morning you probably saw many of the pictures below, which included a Darth Vadar balloon with Storm Trooper crew, and yes I was humming the dark side theme of Star Wars.
I will have more to share from our real digital camera, SB got some awesome shots. He got really close, he was determined to get in the belly of the balloons, so much that they had to tell him to back away.