I want many, many things in life, even the most random stuff and going on a hot air balloon happens to be one of them.
There's something extremely tantalizing about seeing little specks of colorful balloons gliding in the air.
Why are balloons so magical?
It always puts a smile on peoples faces, no matter if you're 5 or 50 years old.
Are you one of those people who will keep your eye on a balloon floating into the distant sky until you lose sight of it? I know I am.
Once again, I reckon this has something to do with my desire to be closer to a world completely unexplored..
Much like the deep blue ocean, there's something appealing about being way up in the sky and amongst the clouds.
Everybody wants to feel like they can fly.
We got picked up from our hotel by Bob's Balloons in the wee hours of the morning so that we could be the first to catch a glimpse of a beautiful sunrise.
I'm wearing the same coat over and over again coz it was the warmest clothing I had @__@
I wasn't expecting such cold temperatures... We had flurries of snow in Las Vegas the previous time I was there, and it wasn't even this cold.
First they bring out the huge lump of a balloon, and the accompanying basket plus a strong fan to blow air into the deflated balloon..
Taking a pic with it while it's being inflated!
It was still 5+am when we were preparing for take off so it was still pitch dark.
Sam had to help them with the setting up but I was too busy taking pics :P
You're supposed to hold the sides of the deflated balloon firmly so enough air can get in the right way.
Once they have enough air in, they use their... erm... dragon fire breathing device to heat up the air. Remember primary school science? Hot air rises!
Hence the name Hot Air Balloon. *feels smart*
Breaking dawn! And no, not the stupid book.
Busy taking pictures again... I always use two different cameras, so the pictures may appear to be very different.
O hai balloon, you're filling up quite nicely!
It was quite a mad rush because one minute I'm just standing around taking pictures, waiting for everything to be done and the next moment they were like "Ok we're good to go, quick, get in!!!"
Managing a hot air balloon is different from flying a plane. You don't really get to control take off and landing, or sometimes even the course of your route. You just flow wherever and whenever the wind takes you.
And that's the beauty of it all, isn't it?
You hop into an oversized balloon for a ride, sitting in a basket, letting nature take its course and not really knowing what to expect or which path you'll end up on.
Kinda just like life.
And we're off!!!!!!
Up, up and away we go!
Every time I look at hot air balloons, they always seem to be gliding really smoothly in the sky, so I definitely wasn't expecting a shaky take off!
It didn't just magically levitate itself into the sky as I thought it would lol.
We moved inch by inch, imagine someone tugging at us from one side of the basket with a rope.. That invisible rope, would be the wind itself.
Sometimes it tipped over at one side so much, our pilot had to throw his entire weight on the other side to make sure we didn't completely fall out of the basket!
It wasn't dangerous or anything, but it certainly was thrilling.
When we were high enough up in the air, everything stabilized... and the experience was quite surreal.
Even though we couldn't choose our exact route, our pilot could manoeuver the balloon so that..
We were skimming over lakes one moment
And gliding over tree tops the next
He asked if we wanted to go really high or really low.. we decided to stay quite low so we could see everything we never would have on a plane cuz planes fly too high!
Plus it was fun yelling to people below :)
Candid excited me!
I get really excited every time we fly really low, at one point it was so low while we were flying over tree tops that some branches kinda broke off LOL
He's been going "zomg hot air balloon!!!" for like a month before we even went on it hehe.
I think I was being a bit of a wuss cuz I insisted that the pilot and Sam stand on the left and right side respectively so the basket wouldn't be tipped over to one side and I wouldn't have to feel like I'm going to fall out!
The pilot kept laughing at me and teasing me, sometimes purposely tipping the basket over so much I felt my heart drop T_T
♥ a moment to remember ♥
I've been dying to do this for so long!! ^.^
Flying in a hot air balloon is really different from parasailing, or flying in an aeroplane, etc...
When you're in a plane, pretty much all you can see are clouds. When you're parasailing, all that's below you is water..
I'm amazed by how many different experiences one can get.
For some reason, when I think of hot air ballooning, I think that if there was a god, this would be his view of the world he created.
It's like taking a step back to admire his work.
I can't decide whether I prefer the sunrise or sunset.. They both paint beautiful colours into the sky.
Isn't it absolutely stunning?
We had other people flying with us that day, check out the cute little specks in the background!
BEST way to catch a sunrise, EVER.
The whole experience lasted for about an hour, so I had plenty of time to take in the sights and sounds... and think about what a great start it is to my morning.
That's my "deep in thought" face, and that's our pilot being goofy. LOL. I told you he likes to tease me!
Looking at Orlando from a whole new perspective
It was funny to see the cars slow down when we were hovering really near them. They look like toy cars godzilla would pick up and eat hehe
Typical streets of Orlando
....Good morning to you too, Florida!
That's us in the water reflection!!! ♥
I really do miss Orlando.. It was the perfect holiday :')
An hour passed sooner than we thought, and then it was time for us to land.
Our pilot had to pick a big enough grassland for us to land on, and I couldn't help but wonder what would happen if the winds suddenly picked up and we found ourselves landing in the middle of a road or on top of a building.
But of course none of that happened, Bob's Balloons are veterans in their field and we had a perfectly smooth landing.
....Ok I lied about perfect landing.
I wanted to take a video to show you guys how rough it actually was (landing) but my pilot strictly said I should bend my knees a little and hold on to the hand rails the whole time, until the balloon comes to a complete stop.
Once we hit the ground, we bounced up and down a couple of times before skidding a few metres across the field.
Let's just say, landing was a lot rougher than take off.
And this time we REALLY almost tipped out.
Well, the pilot did lol.
He fell out then he used all his strength to try and hold the balloon back. It was an interesting situation. First the Sea Screamer on Clearwater Beach, now this.
Why is it whatever we are on is always tipping over?!
I also then half-wondered what would've happen if the balloon continued flying into the sky, with just me and Sam without the pilot?
But I'm not complaining.
It's the unexpected things that happen in a holiday that makes it so memorable and unique ♥
I loved every moment of it.
Sam definitely seemed to agree ;)
The moment we landed, he started singing and doing YMCA actions... I don't even know why LOL but when Sam starts breaking into song, you can be sure he's in a good mood!
Here's a showcase of his silly antics just for laughs:
...Hehehe silly billy!!! :>
The only thing I miss more than Orlando is my boyfriend.
We tend to act like little children whenever we get really excited or when we're extremely happy.. We're different, yet alike in so many ways. I think I found my soul mate :D
We celebrated our first hot air balloon flight, the start of a great day and life itself with a complimentary champagne toast by Bob's Balloons
They also offered chips with salsa / pastries and other yummy goodies, which I wasted no time in wolfing down ^.^
Finally, we wrapped up the experience by helping them put away the ginormous balloon.
"Come and help us, don't worry we won't charge you extra!"
Deflating this balloon is no easy feat, it took 5 grown men and a young girl plus a lot of effort to get everything done.
....Thank you Bob's Balloons for making our first hot air balloon experience a wonderful one.
Gliding around in the air on a basket attached to a colorful balloon while overlooking one of America's most beautiful states?