Sundays In My City: Spirit Of Boise Balloon Classic
Hey, y'all! Make sure you link up with Claudya over on her blog today to show off your hometown, so we can travel the world together!
So, here in Boise, Idaho, there is an annual hot air balloon festival, called the Spirit of Boise Balloon Classic.
This year, the event lasted from August 30th (which happened to be Hubs' 45th birthday) through this morning, September 3rd.
On Friday, September 1st, we all woke up at the buttcrack of dawn for the morning balloon launch. Let me tell you what: Team Odette is not a morning family! The kids were all grumbling about being tired, moving poky through their morning-rush routine, barely wanting to go. Meanwhile I, who have an extreme adoration for hot air balloons, was chomping on the bit to just get there already!
When we arrived at 6:45 AM, before the sun was really sure about whether it was even going to be making an appearance that day, there was absolutely no parking to be found at Ann Morrison Park in downtown Boise. I was just about to say f*** it and park illegally somewhere when we finally happened upon a legit spot in Bumfecking Egypt. Let me tell you what else: because of my Lyme Arthritis, or whatever the hell you want to call it, my body does not like to walk that far. I told Rob he'd have to swing by and pick me up after it was all said and done, because I was a hurtin' puppy!
When we arrived at the balloon area of the surprisingly large park, plenty of people were already gathered. Many were standing, like we ended up doing, while others were sitting in chairs or on camp blankets. A family near us even brought a box of Krispy Kreme doughnuts and a gallon of milk! Apparently this was not their first rodeo, and they actually came prepared. Unlike ourselves.
After that first balloon was launched - which, to be honest, we didn't understand because we were so far from the announcer that all his words were a jumbled mess to our ears - we waited and waited a while before anything else fun happened. The kids were still grumbling about being bored and why did we have to get up early for this, and the whole nine. And then... the field around us started showing us billowing colorful fabric everywhere we looked.
Some of the tie-down ropes for the tops of the balloons had an interesting thing here and there, but this one balloon behind us had many countries' flags on there. We could only guess that maybe that was all the places where the balloon had been.
CapEd, a local credit union, was one of the major sponsors of the event. I guess they ran some contests for kids, but all of mine were too old to participate in them so I didn't do much research into those.
As the sun was rising and the balloons joined in, the kids' grumbling waned. They were just as enthralled by what was happening all around us as I was, methinks.
Pretty rapidly, the balloons started filling up with air and then, one by one, filling up the sky.
Behind Rob, there's that balloon with all the flags on it, getting ready for lift-off.
I don't know about you, but I have always been excited by hot air balloons. Looking up in the sky that Friday morning, I was as giddy as a kid in a candy store!
Sigh... They're so beautiful!
No more grumbling on the kids' part by this time. They were as enthralled by the spectacle as I was!
Chloë and her dad ran over to the nearest balloon to ask a few questions, but the basket was up in the air juuuuust before they arrived.
A few interesting characters made an appearance, too. Can you spot them?
It is absolutely on my Bucket List - since before I'd ever heard of a Bucket List - to ride in one of these doohickeys before I die. Maybe next year, we can make plans to do just that. It's a bit spendy, though: these ballooners pay tens of thousands of dollars for their lighter-than-air aircraft and have to pay that off somehow!
C'mon, Darth, get on up there with the rest of them!
My favorite was Yoda. Since I inadvertently speak backward like Yoda, as Hubs frequently points out to me, he's kind of my hero.
Chloë really liked the owl one, and I had to admit, it was pretty cool.
Up, up where the air is clear, up in the atmosphere...
Well, shucky duck, right back at you, Road Runner!
Everywhere you turned, there was beautiful eye candy. It was impossible to capture the whole event in one snap; the field was immense and bursting with color!
Fairly soon, almost all the balloons were up in the air. This one was the last holdout.
None of us could make heads nor tails of this crazy creature. For heaven's sake, who would pay that much for such a fugly thing? What even is that? It had a bloody finger in its "mouth"! Ew. Of course, ugly or no, it warranted a snap from my Nikon.
Chloë, Jack, and Sophia went to check out a gorgeous German Shepherd Dog nearby, but then here they came running back as fast as their little legs would carry them.
So that was our bit of fun on Friday. Jack and Rob went back again this morning, the last day of it, but apparently parking was absolute madness. I'm glad I opted out! It brought me absolute joy to go the one time we all did, and I'm thoroughly pleased we went. What a fun festival!