Monday, October 10, 2011

I lived through Balloon Fiesta



One of the great things about living in Albuquerque (and seriously, I’m so immature that every time I write the name of the city, I think of Weird –Al’s song Albuquerque), is Balloon Fiesta.

It starts early, and by early I mean that in other times in my life I would have simply stayed up to attend the launch at dawn. This year we left the house at 4:45 and made the field by 5:30. Since the action doesn’t actually start until 6, but when it does:









As you can see, hot air balloons in the dark before dawn look rather a lot like lanterns. They actually work on much the same principle, so just imagine that scene from Tangled (and if you haven’t seen Tangled, honestly, do yourself a favor and go watch it, it’s awesome), with all the lanterns.

I have some video of it, but I can't dump it into blogger :-(


Each of those colored bits become full sized balloons.
So they all launch and the rest of us wait on the field freezing our butts off (did I mention it snowed a couple days ago, and we’re standing on the world’s biggest lawn in nothing but jeans and jackets? I have a terrible case of the dumb this year).




After the dawn patrol, the world looks something like this as the balloonists wait for the go ahead to inflate.










 



 Usually they launch something like 800 balloons, but on Sunday they only put 500 up (yeah, I know, only) due largely to conditions on the field. When they do start to inflate, it’s like the world suddenly gets lost in rainbow valleys. No really, Valleys of Rainbows. 

















Then they inflate the cow.





Actually, I have a few pictures of the giant cow, and it looks like she’s—yes, she: her name is Airabell, a take on the dance maneuver she’s doing, the arabesque—a zombie rising from the dead "graaaiiinsssss."







I love all the balloons, 











Yeah, so hearing the imperial march right now.





but my favorite is this one.







I have better pictures from other years, including a bad photo of me standing with a storm trooper a full head shorter than me. It was awesome. This year it was no less awesome.


And does this have anything to do with writing?

Yeah, no, not a thing. Sometimes, I just like the silly gas bags (that's what we cal them here).

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