My Flight in a Basket

The cliched “third time’s a charm” comes to mind as I start my blog post off today.  I purchased a trip in a hot air balloon through Groupon last April for my birthday.  If you recall, every weekend in April 2011 was a wash out.  So, along with my bestie, we decided to reschedule for the Fall.  The timing was perfect!  The tree colors were just shy of peak and the forecast was perfect, except for that pesky wind.  Do you recall an especially windy weekend in October last year?  A day when not a cloud was in the sky, but yet Randi Rico couldn’t stop gushing about the very windy forecast?  Yep, another reschedule was in order!  Being the forever photographer, I did NOT want the barren-tree, dried-out landscaping that overcomes Ohio in the Winter, so we went with another Spring attempt… And FINALLY succeeded!

Meeting time was 6:45am, Saturday April 7th at a soccer field in Lebanon, Ohio.  If you happened to have been up, you may remember the moon.

If you were awake and stepped outside to get a better view of that crazy-awesome moon, you may also recall the freezing cold temperature.  27 degrees in Lebanon.  Brrrrrrr!

Now, obviously I did not photograph all of the images posted.  Otherwise, I would be a rather awesome magician.  Any images that include me (the faded red-head, with the burgundy hat and killer camera) or the light blue/dark blue balloon in it’s entirety (and at a distance) were taken by my husband and possibly a few from my brother in law.  So, to be fair, photo credits include: Joseph Driscoll and Clay Driscoll.

Being that I am a forever photographer, most of my flight was seen through the view finder of my camera… duh.  Most of the images were taken with my 24-70L series, 2.8/f lens; though I did brave the lens switch and took a few with my 15mm Fisheye (ultra wide-angle.)  Thank you, Angie for that assistance. 🙂

I posted more of my flight images on my website for anyone that wants to see more!  If you have fallen head over heels with any of my images, they are available for purchase, as well. *wink, wink*

We landed in a parking lot in Monroe, about one hour later.  After packing up the balloon (which, btw weighs over 300lbs,) the basket, etc. we journeyed back to the soccer field and ended the experience with a certificate ceremony and champagne toast. 

It was an amazing experience, that I highly recommend.  I cannot describe why, but I was not THAT aware of the height issue during the flight.  I believe we made it up to 1900 feet above sea level.

I would like to thank Bella Balloons for adding the extra cherries on top.  If you are considering a balloon flight, I highly recommend giving Mike and the gang at Bella a call.  You can also meet them and see their fleet of balloons (they have the Smiley balloon) at the 2012 Balloon Fest in Middletown this July.

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