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Wednesday, November 9, 2016

45th Annual Albuqureque Balloon Fiesta Does Not Disappoint

Along with three other couples and our good friend David, we attended the 45th Annual Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta. The last one that we attended was five years ago - the 40th Annual. As always the event is filled with anticipation and excitement. And, like the last time, we had some "newbies" with us. It is fun to watch first time visitors when they see all the balloons go up for the first time. Since we normally arrive on the last Thursday of the event, that evening there is normally a balloon glow, and this year was no exception. First thing every morning is what is called "Dawn Patrol" This is generally three or four balloons that launch to check the wind currents. The two pictures below are from "Dawn Patrol."

As the sun begins to come up over Sandia Peak and the mountains to the east, more balloons get laid out on the ground, inflated and launched. Of course there are a bunch of people watching. This year the total attendance for the nine day event was around a million people.

 As the sky gets brighter, more and more balloons get filled and sent skyward. Catching the winds and sailing down the valley. All sizes and shapes of balloons. bright colors contrasting with the bright blue sky. A site to be seen for sure.

Where we have stayed for the last three times is right on the grounds near the International Balloon Museum. They turn a large parking area into an RV parking lot.

From this vantage point there is a perfect view of the balloons rising above the launch field and sailing away. Some times it can provide some very exciting moments, if a balloon looses a little altitude as it crosses over.

There are a few other traditions that have developed over the years. These include breakfast one morning at Weck's Restaurant. Weck's is a great place for breakfast. The other is a trip to Old Town Albuquerque. It is amazing what you see around the square - besides the shopping.

So, we finish another Balloon Fiesta - plan for more trips and head for home. We will visit again  in the future - but for now, so long and safe travels.

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