Thursday, July 7, 2011

Up, Up and Away (in a Hot Air Balloon!)

A few weeks ago Nia and I traveled to DC to visit my parents who live right outside the city. Mr. Love Bird stayed behind,  but Nia's an old pro at Bolt Bus so it was an easy trip.

Such a happy bus rider despite no AC!
My sleeping cutie
My dad had invited us to his company picnic and initially I thought I wasn't going to be able to go but I'm glad it worked out! My brother Michael is at my parents' for the summer and my sister Lauren, who's in NYC for the summer, joined us a day later.

One of the highlights of the company picnic was the hot air balloon. It was the first year having one there and when I read the following on the flier I was a bit concerned: 

"We are expecting 2,000 guests but only have 300 hot air balloon rides available."

Ummmmmm . . . This sounded like a formula for drama and boy was I right!

When we arrived we were greeted by gorgeous views:

Sloan family heading towards the festivities
We found a table under the tent and Nia nestled in with my mom while me and my siblings went to wait in line for the balloon. 

Originally, the plan was for my dad to go up with me and my brother then we were gonna swap out so my mom and sister could go, but a storm started brewing and my dad let me and my siblings take his and my mom's place. Speaking of the storm, that's kinda the beginning of how the drama ensued. . .

There were two balloons and one went down for some reason. There had been thunderstorms in the forecast and the wind was starting to pick up. I'm not sure if this is exactly what caused the mayhem that ensued, but while me and my siblings waited for the operating balloon we were bum rushed by people waiting for the broken balloon. These people were acting like it was their dying wish to ride in a hot air balloon. Mind you, it really wasn't a ride - it just went up and back down! People started pushing in, trying to ditch and getting combative with the staff. All I had to say was, "Told you so!" My siblings and I got a kick out of watching everyone lose it. It kinda reminded me of the angry crowd scenes on Sponge Bob Square Pants!

Yup, that's as high as it went!
Finally, we got our ride:

It's me!
My brother and me up high

My brother acting silly
Although we didn't travel anywhere, after being in the balloon and seeing how loud and jolting it can be I'm unsure if I'd actually like to ride anywhere in it. 

This was a good introduction though!

1 comment:

  1. I've always been interested in hot air balloons. I think they are beautiful, but I'm terrified of heights. There isn't enough structure or protection for me. Thanks for post, I'll live vicariously through your experience!LOL