Last week I made a quick trip to Santa Fe.

When I heard that the Albuquerque balloon fiesta would be going on while I was there, I knew it was something I had to see. A couple of friends joined me on the early expedition – up at 4:45 AM and out the door at 5:00AM. Blurry eyed, we made our way down the highway for the forty-five minute drive to the festival in north Albuquerque.

Baloon-2-web-nite800We arrived in time to see the first of the patrol balloons rise up into the still dark sky like brilliant lanterns.

Fire-up-balloon-web800Like beautiful jewels, the colorful balloons slowly rose from the ground with the blast of flame and hot air that shot sideways from the tops of the baskets that initially laid tipped on their sides.

balloons-web1It didn’t take long for me to realize that this was one of those bucket list experiences that I never knew I had.

Joker-ballon-webA ballet of performance art unfolded before my eyes as the balloons inflated with striking colors and sometimes playful shapes. People would quickly clamor into the baskets and with the fire blazing and a cheer from the crowd below, the elegant flying apparatus would float up into the sky.

Tie-dye-baloon_1-web800With the sunrise came some much appreciated warmth and a light that reframed the ethereal and magical sight.

Balloon4_1web800This was an amazing experience that I would highly recommend to everyone. It was surprisingly organized and easy to get to and in and out of. There were food vendors and a fair like atmosphere where we were able to meander amongst the balloons as they were being inflated.

Santa-Fe-breakfastAnd by 8:00AM, we were hungry for big Santa Fe style breakfast and we still had the whole day ahead of us!

Muy bueno!

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