In between all the chaos, my husband celebrated a milestone birthday. (I’m not going to say how old he is, but that AARP membership should be arriving soon, hehe.) For this special day, I surprised him with something very wine country, touristy, and a little scary (for me!). A hot air balloon ride!
|I surprised him right up until I told him we had to get up at 6am!
What better way to celebrate a birthday and our move to Napa!
Seriously, I’m slightly afraid of heights and have frequent nightmares about vertigo, but I took one for the team, as they say!
Balloons Above the Valley took good care of us. They pick you up at the Marriott in Napa and transport you by van to the starting point in Yountville.
It was a beautiful, crisp spring morning and a lot of other balloons were heading out.
This was our balloon, called ‘Freedom’. The baskets were a lot bigger than I thought, and can fit about 24 people. Luckily, there were not that many people on our flight, about 15 of us.
After I finally let go of the handles with my vulcan death grip, I actually started enjoying the ride and taking pictures!
|Yes! We Were that high!!
This is looking north towards Mt. St. Helena.
And this is floating very low over the vineyards! I was under the mistaken impression that a hot air balloon ride consists of going up, then coming down. But noooooo, we went up and down and up and down. At one point we were only about 20 feet above the vineyards – yikes!
Interesting the things you see from up there. I had no idea that HERDS of jackrabbits that are the size of my large cat run through the vineyards with hawks in tow. It was like watching a steeplechase!
And what an interesting perspective floating by our house on the hill!
That’s our house, right in the middle with the white roof.
|Floating over the empty Copia building
What I also didn’t realize is that the pilot doesn’t know exactly where he is going to land from one flight to the next, the wind chooses it for you. Of course he has to navigate to a clear area.
We ended up landing in the fairgrounds downtown! Quite interesting, to say the least!