Momma Told Me: Bucket List Tuesday: #71 Hot Air Balloon Flight

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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Bucket List Tuesday: #71 Hot Air Balloon Flight

Bucket List Tuesday at Momma Told Me
Bucket List: Hot Air Balloon Ride
Momma Told Me: Life's too short, not to fly!

I'd like to think I was born with a healthy respect for heights, but there is something intoxicating about the dream of being able to fly. And, barring parachuting from a plane (which I'm sure is quite a rush, but is also over in 25 seconds) or paragliding, I suspect a Hot Air Balloon Ride allows for maximum exposure to the experience of sailing among clouds unobstructed. Then there's my natural gravitation towards things that are multicolored; add one rainbow hued 250lb piece of canvas (known as the envelope), and I'm in heaven. Sure, sure, it 'could' be one of those scenarios where I'm holding onto someone terrified during liftoff, but I'm certain a Hot Air Balloon Flight is one experience I have to check off my Bucket List.
Bucket List: Hot Air Balloon Ride
Bucket List: Hot Air Balloon Ride
How does one book themselves a ride on one of these 70' tall monstrosities? You don't just have a network of friends who own them, right? Believe it or not, the majority of the hot air balloons owned and operated are actually by private parties who travel the country attending Hot Air Balloon Festivals and renting out time and rides to cover their journey. You may recall my previous two years of coverage on our local Santa Paula Balloon and Wine Festival. At that event over 40 balloons were fired up and displayed for the general public to photograph and see up close. The event stretched through two giant fields and was surrounded by craft and food vendors as the balloons lit up just before dusk and continued into twilight. Some lucky, and patient, attendees had the option of standing in the baskets while the operator fired up the canvas. Sabrina (11) spend days after in awe, and remarking how 'exciting' the roaring fuel flame was just feet from her head.
Bucket List: Hot Air Balloon Ride
Bucket List: Hot Air Balloon Ride
Believe it or not you can book a Hot Air Balloon ride pretty much anywhere in the country- naturally, you or the owner may have to travel to a suitable lift location (depending on your locale) and this can raise the costs. For those living in Southern California, Colorado, New Mexico, Texas, or Arizona there are several great established organizations that can book you an hour long flight for about $139 a person. It's certainly not your average trip to the theme park, but the price is more than reasonable for a once in a lifetime, intimate, experience with a loved one for a birthday or celebration.
Bucket List: Hot Air Balloon Ride
There are actually several packages typically offered for hot air balloon flight experiences. With the emergence of several online 'Experience Gift' companies, you can often be part of a larger 'bulk' sale of discounted flights and get a great deal. If timing is not important off season flights can also be quite affordable and often include a champagne toast and pre-flight meal! Ideally, someday, I'll be able to take a short drive up to Napa Valley and enjoy a few days wine tasting followed by a romantic balloon flight. I know, I know, I'm lucky to have such a treasure trove of experiences in my backyard.

Would you ever consider, or have you taken, a hot air balloon flight?


What Daughter Says: There are many ways to soar through the clouds, but few as perfect to take it all in.

9 comments:

  1. I'm not sure I would. I have a big fear of heights. But if my hubby bugged me enough I might consider it.

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  2. I've always wanted to go up in a balloon. We saw them fly when we were in New Mexico but didn't have an opportunity to go up in one. They are so pretty and old fashioned.

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  3. That is totally a bucket list thing for me too. I would love to fly in a hot air balloon. When we once traveled to Napa Valley we saw them rising up in the early morning in groups all over the valley with the vineyards in view. It was so beautiful and since then I've wanted try it out!

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  4. I am so afraid of heights that I can't even get up on a chair for long. I will pass on this!

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  5. That is such a great item for a bucket list. It's one of the things I've always wanted to do!

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  6. i hot a ton of hot air ballons land in my back yard and horse arena when I was younger, it was awesome!

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  7. I have a huge fear of heights, so I'm not really sure if I would ever attempt to do this or not. I might have to have a few drinks first! lol I do love watching them in the sky though.

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  8. No, I haven't considered this kind of flight, but I would love to see a pictures of you doing it. It looks so exciting

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  9. I will do it one day! I already checked skydiving off my list, next is hang gliding, then bungee jumping, and then maybe this : )

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