Friday, September 21, 2012

Happy 40th Birthday, Adirondack Balloon Festival!

Look what I happened upon, in the park just a few blocks away from home yesterday!  It was the kickoff celebration of the 40th birthday of the Adirondack Balloon Festival, right in the town where I live.  That's about the biggest birthday cake I have EVER seen (below)!  

Is that man getting sucked into the bottom of the cake?
Look how big those candles are on the deflating cake!

My favorite photo - a view inside the deflating birthday cake

Imagine waking up to the sound of dragon breath (at least that's the way it always sounds to me) and looking out your window to see a hot air balloon floating down the center of your street.  When people ask me why my retired hubby and I don't move away to someplace more exciting, here's at least one good reason.
That's my house above!  Is that balloon about to land on my chimney?!
When I realized the morning winds had blown the balloons my way, (this was, by the way, an unscheduled launch to make up for the fact that yesterday's breeze kept most of the balloons on the ground), I threw some clothes on and grabbed my car keys and followed three balloons as they floated around my neighborhood, looking for a place to land.  If I was still teaching, I would have missed this early morning activity in my neighborhood.  This lovely colorful balloon landed right in the middle of a nearby street.  I think some people were going to be late for school and/or work this morning!  When the balloon crew deflated the balloon, they asked all of us who were watching to help hold it and squash it up tight to fit into its little pack, which was like a large cushy ottoman or beanbag chair when the balloon was all inside!  It was fun getting to help out.
By the way, I wrote about the balloon festival last year too, right here.  Check it out for more photos, and a little more information.

Tomorrow and Sunday morning, weather permitting, there will be major launches of over 100 balloons, with a balloon 'petting zoo' of specialty shaped animal balloons, including them a bumblebee, SpiderPig, a dinosaur, and more.  They challenge is, that to view these launches you need to be in your car to face the traffic to the local airport grounds at a ridiculously early hour - like 4:30 or 5am, as the balloons will all be off and flying before 7:00 if the winds are OK. You dress warm, wear mittens, and drink coca.  The airport is a hive of activity as the balloons begin to inflate absolutely everywhere.  It's a unique experience, just beautiful.

On another note, I am trying to figure out the new blogger format - I had refused to change and had stuck with the old easy format despite its limitations.  But yesterday I opened blogger to find that the old format had finally disappeared.  So far I find it a struggle arranging photos and text the way I want, but hopefully when I get used to it it will be better, right?

Meanwhile, it's been a few days about birthdays!  While the balloon festival celebrates it's 40th, I'm getting ready to celebrate my 60th in a grand way.  My college roomie and I celebrated our 18th birthdays together our freshman year, shortly after we met.  Ever since, she has lived on the opposite coast and we have seen each other only rarely, but have stayed friends.  We decided to celebrate the big 6-0 together and in 2 weeks the two of us will meet in Las Vegas for the first time EVER! As of two days ago, all reservations are made and plane tickets are purchased.  Now, if I could just figure out how to lose 10 pounds in as many days...


  1. What fun, Phyl!!! I'd love to see balloons flying down my street!!

    ALMOST as good (maybe) -- today I was chauffeuring my mother around on errands when the shuttle, Endeavor, started its fly-bys over the Los Angeles area. I was INTENT on seeing it, so I found the nearest wide-open space (a parking lot at the local Federal Building right on Wilshire Blvd.). We turned on the radio to a station that was reporting its location (just about minute-by-minute) and in about 10 minutes, there it was atop its 747 with 2 fighter planes escorting it soaring in right in front of us. It was really pretty thrilling!!!

    About Blogger -- I switched awhile back and, as I remember, it took a week or two before things became automatic, but now all is fine. I don't even remember the old way. Actually I prefer the "new post" page with all its tool easy options. I know you'll adapt quickly:) Have a good week-end.

    1. Christie, how exciting! In my younger days I aspired to be an astronaut - even applied for the Teacher in Space back in 1985. Astronauts like Neil Armstrong and John Glenn and Allan Shepard and Sally Ride were my heroes.

      Were you able to take any photos?

    2. You know, I was so excited watching it that I TOTALLY lost sight of the fact that I had stuck my little camera in my bag this morning, just in case I saw it. Alas, no pictures of my own (although I've seen some very good ones today that others took).

  2. Phyl,

    Taking a ride in a hot air balloon is on my bucket list! I just love the colors and shapes and I love your description of their sounds as dragon breath! Love it! I am so excited for your birthday trip to Vegas, too! I got to stay at the Venetian for my 50th birthday, paid for by my best friend ,Susie! What an awesome birthday gift and I will never forget what a great time we had. Can you believe we didn't gamble at all? We were too busy getting spa treatments, seeing shows and fine dining. My friend ,Susie, is quite the chef and she had planned all of our restaurant visits before we got there! If you like really great food, try Renoir at the Bellagio-exquisite! Have a great time!


    1. I don't really have gambling plans either. Now I just have to convince my penny-pinching friend to splurge on some special stuff while we are there. I mean, the big expense is already blown on room and plane tickets, so I don't want to quibble over show tickets costs etc, though she is feeling guilty about the prices.

  3. If you figure out the ten pound loss thing, let me know. jan


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