Saturday, October 3, 2009

Albuquerque: Day 2

I was fast asleep, but then Olive got me up to tell me: "Aaaahhhccrrrooolll ahhhhhbb ghheerrrrss aahhh..!"

Which in baby language means: "Dad, wake up!! This was the first morning of the Albuquerque International Balloon Festival. "

So I grabbed the camera and Rebecca ran outside to search the skies. And we saw our first balloon!

Some of the neighborhood kids ran over yelling: "They're coming!!! They're coming!!!"

And they did.

Apparently this was only a fraction of the participants. But it was amazing to see.

And to hear.

As you are looking at all these trees, you would hear great roars of flame, and then these giants just rose up over you.

Sometime they came so close, you could talk with the crew. And as quickly as they arrived, they were gone over the far trees. But thats where the fun begins. These kids grabbed me and said "C'mon lets go find em!" and off we went..

We ran through fields, along dirt roads, and over irrigation ditches, and found a clearing where a couple had landed.

And during this festival, there are no bystanders. The pilots are pretty smart to recruit the local kids in helping to pack such a huge balloon. Here, we flattened and rolled up the balloon like a long sausage, and slowly walked it into a large bag.

And as payment for helping, they often hand out balloon pins and trading cards to the kids.

Its amazing to think those giant airships fit into this little teeny bag. In all of 20 minutes, the balloon was packed, loaded and being trucked back to the launch site.

Uncle Alex and company, headed back as it was only 8:15 am.

So we all had a lovely breakfast and got ready for Robert's regional Karate tournament.

Look at this guy! He's about to step into the ring and spar with other Black Belts, but he was cool as cucumbers and happy to hang with his biggest fans.

This convention center was packed. Kids and Adults of all ages were here to compete and to qualify for the semi-nationals. Every where you looked was a different form of Karate being displayed. It was amazing to be there.

Good looking crowd too..

And before you knew it, Robert's competition began. Here he displayed a new form of Karate that he had been training for.

Afterwords, the judges awarded Robert with fourth place. We were so excited for him. And then he went right into the sparring (fighting) rounds. (And this was 'no holds barred' type stuff.)

But with 'fists of fury' Robert fought his way to third place and another trophy. We were all pretty stoked for him. It was awesome. (And later, I never felt safer walking in a parking lot, as Robert can really pack a punch).

So you're probably asking "well where are the photos?!" Well I was shooting video for the other rounds so just think of Bruce Lee x 10 and you should have the right idea.

Check out the hardware! (Kevin was later telling me how he never wins trophies like this in tennis. Well thats ok Kev, Im sure Robert will loan you one of his.)

(just joking Kev)

And after the tournament, we all joined the champion for a little walk down the road. It was a beautiful day and the walk got us all ready for BBQ!

Every meal kept getting better and better. (and our waistlines got bigger and bigger).

And what a great way to end the day. We had a mini party for Grandma Sena's birthday. Ice Cream sandwiches for all!

And as soon as it began, the day was over. We were all pretty exhausted, and Im sure Robert was pretty sore, but we all had smiles and went to bed. Tomorrow is the balloon festival and we'll be heading out there at 4 am, so off to sleep I go.

1 comment:

  1. How did I miss this amazing post?
    Great adventures in the Land of Enchantment. The balloon story was magical. Love all the family photos and New Mexican heritage.