And I’m not talking about Congress. It’s the Hot Air Balloon Fiesta in Albuquerque, New Mexico, of course!
Our campsight is in the Coronado Campground in Bernalillo, New Mexico. It makes sense for us to go to one of the Park-N-Ride lots around Albuquerque and take the shuttle to Balloon Fiesta Park to avoid the massive traffic jams. Anybody who knows me is aware that getting up before 9 a.m. is the exception to the rule for me. I can’t believe I had to get up at 4 a.m. for this event!! Plus, the cold front had the early morning temperatures in the 30s!! Mike coaxed me out of bed with a big cup of coffee and dug out our cold weather clothes. We drove to the shuttle pickup and hopped on the school bus. I think it was a bus for elementary school-aged children. It was defintiely a challenge for Mike to get in the seat with his long legs, but it was fun .. we were relishing this adventure.
Opening day of the annual event was a minute by minute affair this year because of the high winds predominating this week. With fingers crossed, and fair weather forecasts, we braved the cold and headed out to Balloon Fiesta Park. The dawn patrol (early balloons that go up to determine the wind speed and direction for the “mass ascension”) was a bit delayed. We were there to watch the early inflations (after making our investment at the Krispy Creme booth for hot chocolate and donuts).
Then, among all the people, balloons started to inflate, the sun came up, and the Mass Ascension was underway. It was fantastic! We were right in the middle of all this activity. Spectators can walk among the balloons as they are going through the set-up and launch process. It was so fantastic!
Almost 100 of the balloons have special shapes or themes. Such fun!
In the evening, the balloons on the field inflated and “lit up” for the evening “glow”. This was followed by an incredible fireworks show that seemed to go on forever! It was very impressive. We’re so glad we got to experience this special annual event, up close and personal!
Next stop Arizona. Cheers!