Monday, October 15, 2012

Hot Air Balloon Ride


For my 25th birthday I wanted to do something awesome! You don't turn 25 everyday, so I told myself I was going to go on a hot air balloon ride and I did! Let's just say it was more amazing than I ever thought it could be.  

This was my second attempt for the ride.  My friend and I were suppose to go in September, but it was canceled because of weather and I couldn't have been happier because the day we were going to go it was 90 degrees and almost 100% humidity so it would have been miserable and we had PERFECT WEATHER for this ride.

Welcome to Slate Hill, New York.  When we arrived the directions took us to a house and we were a little confused, but he does it from his house.  He has an open area next to it where he sets everything up.  When we arrived they were setting up the balloon and stretching it out.  I couldn't believe how long it was.

Everyone pitched in to help spread out the balloon. It reminded me a playing parachute when I was younger, but this one was much larger and it kept getting bigger and bigger.

While they were getting the balloon ready I didn't want to get too excited because the pilot said that it could still be canceled if the wind was got worse.  They like the wind to be less than 5mph and we had between 7-9mph. 

They had one fan going at this point to open up the balloon. Why they do this I am not sure probably should have asked...

He looked tiny inside the balloon. I wanted to go in there and play.

Getting ready for lift off.  There were three couples and my friend and I, so four all together plus the pilot.  Thankfully I am not claustrophobic and we were the young a lot :) Everyone else was married couples and there is nothing wrong with that, but it was a little weird. 
Once the balloon filled up we all had to hop in at once so that balloon wouldn't fly away without us.
The only part where I got a little apprehensive was when we were taking off.  The basket was rocking back and forth like a teeter toter and I was afraid the basket was going to tip over (it almost did a couple of times) because the balloon kept and swaying back and forth and we were going with it. 

Our pilots name was Dave and he was great! He said that we were going about 15mph.  He also said he has been on between 400-500 balloon rides and this was one of the best ones he has been on because the sky was so clear and he was able to see things he hasn't seen before because we were so far out.

We went about 14 miles for Dave because most of the time you go around five miles away from where you started.
SO GORGEOUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! For an hour I just pretty much looked out and enjoyed the gorgeous trees because in my concrete jungle I don't get to see too many of them. 

You can't tell in the picture, but in the background is NYC and we could see the Freedom Tower very clearly.  I can't believe how tall that building is especially being able to see it this faraway.  We also could see the Hudson River.  I wish I had a legit camera, so I could have taken a pic of the skyline, but I don't...

I was a very happy camper at this point.  Seriously loving it. 

Is this not the one of the most gorgeous pictures you have ever seen!!!!!!!!

We got really high he said about 5,000 feet.  There was a plane that flew over us and it was kind of scary because it was practically on top of us, but of course going a lot faster.

Descending into the trees and yes we hit some coming down. Our pilot told us when were heading back to our cars that the last 20 minutes of the flight he was freaking out because he didn't have his instruments with him and couldn't tell how high we were. He said he has only done that a couple of times and usually when he forgets them that is when he needed them... So good times!

We survived!

This is where our pilot landed.  Literally in this guys (on the right) front yard.  We were running out of fuel and there weren't a lot of open spaces so he landed where he could and this guys house was it! He was very nice and took lots of pics because he said people weren't going to believe him that a hot air balloon landed in his front yard.

YEA!! I want to do it again. 

We were in this guys front yard for a little more than a hour because they had to take the balloon down and wait for someone to pick us up to take us back to our cars.

My friend Nicole who went on this adventure with me her birthday was in September and mine in July and this hot air balloon ride was our present to ourselves, so afterwards we went and had dinner and of course dessert to celebrate our birthdays!

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