The alarm goes off at 5:30 a.m. and I throw the pillow over my head and think ‘maybe it’s too windy; maybe they can’t fly, maybe I can sleep in…’ The 2nd alarm goes off at 5:45 and I lift the blind, peek through the window and see the glow of the 1st balloon. I see them! They’re going up!
Jump out of bed, splash water on my face and brush my teeth. Throw on the pair of jeans and sweater that I wore the morning before, grab our jackets, scarves and gloves, pick up the flashlight, our entry pass AND CAMERA and we’re off!
It’s 6:00 a.m., the dark grounds are a sea of people, you can smell the breakfast burritos and green chile and the Tiny Tom donuts, souvenir booths are open and busy, the hospitality tents are serving breakfast to invited guests, the balloon trailers and chase vehicles are parked on the field – it’s a beehive of activity! Some of these people have been here since 3:30 a.m. and I say out-loud for the hundredth time –
This is the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta. From its modest beginnings in 1972 when 13 pilots launched from a shopping mall, this year’s Fiesta – with over 650 beautiful balloons from 19 countries – has grown into the largest & most photographed balloon event in the world!
We left Halifax heading 190 miles to Yarmouth, NS with a short stop in Lunenburg for some lunch and some ‘quick’ sightseeing. The town, seeped in history and beautiful colonial architecture, was designated a UNESCO world heritage site in 1995. The historic core of the town is also a National Historic Site of Canada. The Lunenburg shipbuilding yards specialized in fishing schooners – the most famous built in 1921 – The Bluenose.
This Maritime trip is what Chuck is calling ‘the reader’s digest version’.
We’re definitely travelling faster through Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia than we’d like – and, sadly, we’re missing PEI and Newfoundland entirely.
We’re on a bit of a tight timeline as we’re scheduled to take the ferry from Yarmouth, NS to Portland, ME on Friday, September 9th. We’ll drive to Boston to spend a couple of days with Shannon, Gabe, Joseph and Celeste. Then we’ll drive to Poplar Bluff, MO to spend a couple of days with Kathryn, Jagger, Molly & Katie before ‘high-tailing’ it across the mid-west to Pueblo, CO for our 3rd annual Newmar International Rally on September 21st. Immediately following the Newmar Rally we’re on to Albuquerque, NM for the Hot Air Balloon Fiesta – my #1 item on my Butterfly List (…and, that’s another story).
Well…we have been on the road all summer but it’s mostly been in Southern Ontario, travelling between Barrie, Grimsby, Oakville and back again. Hardly seems blog worthy but it certainly was good to be home and in familiar surroundings – visiting family, dentist, doctor, hairdresser, favourite grocery stores, dropping unexpectedly into the ‘old’ office and having my laugh recognized and welcomed! We did make it to the Thousand Islands area for 2 weeks with our grandchildren Joseph and Celeste. A big thank-you to Wendy – my girlfriend with a boat and a big heart…
It seems like only yesterday that we sold our house and picked up this Mechanical Marvel in Grand Rapids, MI to set out on our grand adventure and leave behind all that was familiar. At that time our plans were to travel for 2 years! What the heck were we thinking?
Our ‘Mechanical Marvel”…
Now, look at us! Two years later we’ve travelled 26,000 miles, and we’ve just scratched the surface. Once you’ve tasted the adrenaline of travel, it can feel unbearable to sit around, knowing that adventure is out there waiting to be had. We’re so excited for the next couple of years!
If we all had invested $1,000 in BRK.A back in 1964 – our investment today would be worth $10,500,000. Darn!
We’re in Omaha at the Berkshire Hathaway Annual Shareholders Meeting – sometimes referred to as the Woodstock for Capitalists and even Buffettpalooza…
Our drive from Leadville to Denver was just over 3 hours and we spent about one-third of that time with our 4-way flashers on… slow moving vehicle going up…
Leadville, CO to Cherry Creek State Park, Aurora, CO
As with most people you connect with, you try and stay in touch and certainly hope that your paths cross again. And such was the case when we sent Carrie and Barry an e-mail saying… headed your way on our travels through Utah and into Colorado.
Without hesitation, come on over… You can park in our driveway and we have 50 amp hook-up and water.
So, we did – after watching the weather!
Only 9 days in beautiful Utah “UTAH-ful” and we have learned one thing. We definitely have to come back. For at least one month – maybe longer. This short stay just whetted our interest for more…
A is for “Arches”
B is for “Balancing”
C is for “Cairns”
The U.S. National Park Service is 100 hundred years old! And, in celebration of this centennial, entry to National Parks across the country was free this entire week of April 18th to the 24th. We didn’t realize this when we entered the park and we were disappointed not to be able to use our new $10 senior’s pass! Considering the $25 entry fee was waived it wasn’t crowded and we spent 1 1/2 days in this amazing Arches National Park in Moab, Utah.