Hot-air balloons are truly a majestic sight. Doesn’t mean I want to jump in and share a tiny basket with blasts of propane gas hurtling me through the skies but the balloons do photograph well and I appreciate them. From a distance. From the ground.
Filling the blue skies as a colorful hurrah to the last days of summer, dozens of rainbow globes rose quickly. Only Mia could get Thom out of bed and in the car before he had his first cup of coffee at 7ish on a Sunday morning. For me, no way. The last day of the Spirit of Boise balloon classic created a sense of urgency to get our lazy asses up and moving to see the awe on our granddaughter’s 3-year old face. Was it worth it? Certainly. For her, anything.
For five days over Labor Day weekend, this annual event delights those who trek to Ann Morrison Park to get up close and personal each morning. If you are not an early riser, you miss them as they take off at around 7 a.m. We actually braved the crowds and shortage of parking on Friday evening to catch the Night Glow Spectacular where some of the balloons light up and stay tethered after dusk but left after we saw the humongous crowd and realized we were unprepared without chairs to gaze at the spectacle. Next year, we will know better and come early in the evening with wine, munchies and blankets to recline on to enjoy the show.
The festival even has a kids day one morning, allowing children to take a short flight in a tethered balloon and pose for photos inside a balloon basket. Since Hannah probably won’t allow Mia to ever go up into the skies in a balloon (wise momma) this will be the only way for her to experience it. I can’t say that I blame Hannah. Thom and I flew the Arizona skies as one of the experiences on a business trip I won and it was f*&king terrifying. Packed into the basket with other company folks, we quickly saw that the driver couldn’t exactly control where we went or how we landed, which was HARD in a random field. The basket carrying us tipped on its side quickly, dragging us through the field with one poor woman screaming as her hair got stuck between the basket and the ground. Yep, she lost part of her ponytail. I just screamed in general but without any painful hair extraction. No more ballooning for me. Thom loved it. Freak.
But, back to Boise. The Spirit of Boise is a wonderful crowd pleaser for all of Boise to enjoy and all activities are free and painless. While parking is limited, it’s an easy stroll from downtown where you can find plentiful parking. Bring your camera! Thom left his good one back in Seattle and was kicking himself. Next year! Boise typically is hot as hell and dry this time of year, allowing the balloons the perfect weather to fire up and have fun.
With balloons inflating all around us, Mia didn’t know which way to look next. In addition to the beautiful rainbow colors, there were specialty ones like Darth Vader, Yoda, Liberty Bell and Owl. Several companies proudly displayed their logos-happy use of marketing dollars seen by thousands of local residents. Walking back to the car after taking in the sights, we were thankful that we made the effort to get up early and enjoy the Spirit of Boise. Can’t wait until next year to make this a family tradition!