This is us, up high in the balloon. Isn't it lovely (not that you can see much...)? It's surprisingly serene up there. I think I thought it would feel sort of precarious and dangerous. But actually it's such a smooth ride, so peaceful. Several times we were low enough to see people waving and hear people shouting hello. They were on their back porch, taking pictures of us.
View straight down. Right after this, when we got low enough to graze the tops of the trees (on purpose, to slow us down), Sam plucked a pinecone off the very tippy top of a tree. Boy, was it dripping in sap. After dropping the pinecone, he clapped his sappy hand on my arm and, when I protested, said, "I'm cleaving unto you, see? Isn't that what we're supposed to do? Cleave." At the time, I did not find this amusing. But now, thinking about the pinecone being from the tippy top, it pleases me. It only took a week to get the sap off my watch.
Okay, as odd as it may seem, this was perhaps my favorite part: blowing up the balloons. The had sam and another passenger hold it open like this while they aimed a powerful fan that puffed it up like so. Then they start the hot air part, and that's what gets it to stand up. There were two big yellow ones in the field--ours and another--and it was just incredible to witness these massive, happy-looking objects take shape.
Best birthday present ever? Perhaps. Quite possibly. I'm pretty sure, yes.