Sunday, October 4, 2009

Albuquerque: Day 3

Alarm clock goes off at 3:30 am.. And I ask myself, do I really want to do this?

And within two hours, I have my answer..

So we arrive at the fairgrounds at 5 am. Fortunately, Robert knew where to go and we had no traffic to deal with. Just the yawns and a strong thirst for some coffee.

And so did everyone else. But one hot chocolate and 2 doughnuts later, I was ready for this festival of balloons.

It was still pretty cold out, the grass wet with morning dew, but there was an excitement in the air and everyone was so friendly and happy with anticipation it was electric.

All the balloonists had their trucks pulled in and were unloading while us spectators stood and shivered with our little cups of Joe. Off in the distance you could hear a lot of cheering and the first 'dawn patrol' balloon was on its way.. Everyone began to cheer as this was the equivalent to "Gentlemen, start your engines".

Soon you heard burners frantically trying to get their balloons up, up, and away!

Now did I just 'know' all this information..? No. Our new friend Shelly (in the black and grey) was telling us all about the festival, the process of flying balloons, and other folklore and tidbits about the event.

Once we saw this balloon we immediately thought of Aunt Terry and Uncle Alex, as I believe they are high rollers at this casino. (The cozey jackets we borrowed were from there!)

So we could not get Olive up out of her slumber, so I had Eddie Rouge stand in instead.

This was probably taken about 40 minutes after the first balloon went up.

As incredible as these photos are, you must remember that this was happening all around us..! Burners and cheering and car horns and giant, bright balloons flying right over our heads.

We took so many photos as everything kept changing right before our eyes. Each new balloon creating great, vibrant compositions against the blue sky.

One of the festival favorites are "the bees". And we happen to be standing right at there launch site! At one point the wind blew them to face each other and after thousands of people cheering, they came together and 'kissed'. The crowd went crazy!

Things were starting to warm up so we brought the little one out. But she decided to sleep this one off. Guess we'll have to come back next year.

Karate and Balloons. Kind of a bizarre weekend itinerary, but a great one indeed!

It was one of those mornings that you will never forget. So unique and alive and exciting. We are so glad we were able to be a participant in all of this.

Thanks Robert for going with us!

So as the last balloons were lifting off, probably around 8 am, we decided to head back for breakfast at Aunt Terry's.

But first, I wanted to pick up some souvenirs, as I really wanted some balloon pins.

Unfortunately, every pin I found was a 'collectors' item and started $10. And those were the ugly ones. All the pins I picked out were $35 - $50! So I came to the conclusion that I really do not need a pins after all.

And although I did not get any souvenirs, I did find this gem of a sign.. I guess Albuquerque has a different 'brewing' process than Im familiar with.

It seemed so long ago that we arrived here in the cold and stumbled our way down to the airfield. What a morning.. And we had yet to eat breakfast...

So we hustled our way back to the house and started helping out with the meal.


Robert had Olive duty,

and Olive told Kev all about her morning with all the giant colorful UFO's she saw..

We had some delicious waffels and recharged our batteries, and soon we were off to the local craft fair.

Uncle Alex volunteered to stay back at the house and make sure the recliner still worked. He also volunteered watching the football game as well.

Such a nice guy..

Across town we arrived at a massive art show full of New Mexico's finest crafts. And after hours of scrutinous shopping, Rebecca and I left with a little homemade christmas ornament, that was tailor made for us:

Soooo cute!

And speaking of cute, while we were taking a break, we sat next to what looked like Olive's big sister. They checked each other out and it was a fun little moment. This little girl is 8 months old, and it was amazing to think of all that will have happened by then.

We made it back and Uncle Kev and Auntie Catherine watched Olive, while Rebecca and I caught our breadth.

I brought back a little souvenir as well. This was O's first exposure to puppets. She was pretty intrigued for a bout 4 seconds, then went back to drooling..

Uncle Alex got some Olive time as well.

And with the afternoon dwindling, we all stepped outside for some family pics.

Not often you get four generations on the ranch, which means it was a great time for a group shot.

We couldnt let the girls have all the fun, so we showed em our 'gun' collection.

Such a gorgeous day and such beautiful scenery..

So thank you again for your patience! I know I havent been very timely with this post, but Ill try and get the others out sooner.

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