Monday, July 16, 2012

birthday adventures...

Another year older, another year wiser.
I had an amazing birthday weekend filled with good friends and new adventures.
Friday night I was craving the flower tortillas and honey from Posados. 
I don't think I've made it in that restaurant since high school. 
The entrees were a big processed salt stick, but the flour tortillas did NOT disappoint,
 neither did the waiter that completely wiped out on the greasy floor right next to our table. 
How I didn't laugh in this poor guys face is a sheer miracle.
I seriously thought we might be on Punk'd.
I went to bed early Friday so I could wake up at 5 am Saturday morning
 to meet Pat, the pilot, at Starbucks for my first hot air balloon ride, 
Tison's birthday present to me!
I was immediately nicknamed "Flip-Flops" by Pat, who has 20 years of experience as a balloonist, because I didn't wear sneakers. He wasn't pleased. Whoopsie!  Pat and his crew continually checked the radar for a storm coming up I-49 and they checked the air pattern by releasing a helium balloon and watching it disappear into the sky. After discerning the weather, it was decided that we would start our trek in the Curtis Elementary parking lot in Bossier City. This route can only be taken if the weather is just right and apparently that only happens 4x a year. Lucky me!
Watching this 105,000 cubic foot hot air balloon fill up was awe-inspiring. Can you believe this balloon costs $50,000?! Up-up-and awaaaaaaaay!
When we hopped in the hot air balloon, it lifted up like a feather, floating at about 5-6 miles an hour over the ox-bow.  With five of us in the basket there was no room wiggle room, but the ride was steady and calm as we drifted over the treetops. Besides the loud burner above our heads used to fill the envelope, or balloon, with hot air, it was very peaceful.
We touched down on the river, which filled the lower part of the basket with water; then we flew back up and over the trees. I even got to grab leaves off the top of one of the trees. At one point of the ride I had a panoramic view of Willis Knighton Pierremont, Youree Drive shopping centers, LSU Health, and downtown Shreveport. Unbelievable!
As we approached our landing spot, outside JCPenney and Kohl's, things got a little intense. The wind picked up and we hit the ground hard going 10 mph. Both me and the other female passenger received minor battle wounds as our knees crashed into the side of the wicker basket. At one point I thought we were going to flip over! It was the adrenaline rush I was looking for-ha! The experience was approximately 50 minutes in the air and it's something I will be doing again. I can't believe this group of balloonists goes up 7 days a week. Thanks Pat and Dave for your expertise. Everyone should check out American Escapes Aerosports to set up a hot air balloon ride of their own.


cltison said...

Sounds like an AWESOME birthday present! Glad you made it safely. Again, HAPPY BIRTHDAY! We Love YOU!

tripping tiffies said...

Wow, that sounds like an incredible experience! I think I'd like to ride in a hot air balloon sometime:)

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