Monday, October 29, 2012

Club tickets

Since I am having such a hard time narrowing down my pictures and deciding how to edit some of them, I thought I would go ahead and give my review of the types of clubs and tickets we purchased while at the Balloon Fiesta.

The fiesta has regular admission tickets that cost $8 each for those 13 and older. General parking is $10. They have a few picnic tables and bleachers out on the edge of the field. There are numerous vendors set up selling anything and everything. We only bought a funnel cake while there but the most interesting thing was a giant burger only instead of on a bun it was sandwiched between two donuts, seriously, heart attack waiting to happen.

John gets kinda snotty when we go to events like this and wants to pay more for the exclusive tickets. The fiesta has two types of club tickets that can be bought. The first is the Gondola club. We had a special parking pass, a special tent area sitting place, complete with fire pits and a buffet. I am pretty sure we drank about $100 worth of hot chocolate. The Gondola club also has golf carts that will take you to the parking lot to get your car or anywhere on the field you want to go. This was a nice perk. We did this Thursday morning and Sunday morning (our first and last sessions). These tickets will run you $120 for each adult and $50 for each child, but then the second session is half price. So both of these sessions for tickets was $510. John says it was definitely worth it. I am probably on board with that though it is a lot of money when we could have just paid $8 each to get in. Of course no telling how much we would have spent on food if we had done that.They also sent us a package before our trip with two bags, two hats for the kids, four pins, and our parking pass.

Friday night we had Chasers club tickets. However it rained and they canceled the event so we got rainchecks to use whenever we wanted. We used them Saturday morning. This club cost $25 per person and you still have to pay $10 for general parking. You get a snack meal and drinks. For the morning we were there we had breakfast burritos, donuts, hot chocolate, and coffee. There is a special seating area for this club with tables and chairs as well. It is not secluded like the Gondola club area but still a nice area. John did think this club was worth it but I think if you are going you might as well get these club tickets because you would spend the difference on food. Like I said it was nice to have the hot chocolate and we drank a lot of that. It is $3 a cup out amongst the vendors.

They have a balloon museum on the fiesta park site that is open year round. During the fiesta the museum has Diamond club tickets. They have an indoors eating/viewing area (which also means indoor bathrooms, a huge plus in my book). We did this club on Saturday night. We had a buffet meal that was pretty good included, got a pin, and got to tour the museum with our admission ticket. We thought we were going to have a balcony view but found out once things got started there was a wedding reception being held upstairs (which would be totally cool by the way) so we could not go up to the balcony. I was highly disappointed and therefore did not think this club was worth it. I can't remember the exact price but I think it was about $180 for all 4 of us. If we were to go back we would not buy diamond club tickets again.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Some special shapes

Thursday morning that we went to the balloon fiesta was mainly for a special shape ascension. Regular balloons still inflate and ascend but there are lots of special shaped ones.There were so many there is no way to narrow down the pictures.

Humpty Dumpty



This ones name was Lindy


Red bird (looks like woody woodpecker but because of copyright laws they can't call it that)

flower (Kaitlyn liked this one)



Zebra (kinda reminds of the zebra in Madagascar)

bumble bee

Simba from the Lion King

the little inspector



Many more to come!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Finally at our Destination

We arrived in Albuquerque on Wednesday and checked in the hotel. Kyle wanted to go to the pool so John took him while Kaitlyn and I put our things away. We stayed in the Barcelona Suites. I was very impressed with the size of the room, there was a living room area, bathroom, kitchenette area and then the bedroom with two queen size beds. However the quality of the room was not much better than Motel 6, mattresses and sheets were blah, towels were small and thin, etc. They did have a free hot breakfast every morning and the indoor pool was nice.
Anyway, while Kyle and John were at the pool they met a balloon pilot and so I went down there to chat with him. Very interesting, and he offered to let us follow him to the balloon park the next morning down the back way.

Thursday morning we got up at 4:15 so that we could get ready and be on our to the park about 4:50. Our hotel was about 20 minutes away from Balloon Fiesta Park. This morning we had Gondola club tickets for this morning. We got to park in a special area, then a golf cart took us over to the tent (which was heated) where we enjoyed a buffet breakfast while waiting for the balloons to inflate. This was also nice because they had an area marked off at the south end of the field with tables and chairs by fire pits for us to watch the balloons lift off.

The park view with the Sandia mountains in the background

First row of balloons starting to inflate, these are the ride balloons that people can go up in. We did not go up in one because it cost $400 a person, maybe one day.

Each morning a balloon is picked to be the 'balloon of the day'. They lift off first and carry the American flag while the national anthem is being played. This morning the little fireman was the chosen balloon.

And we have launched

flying right over our heads

inflating in front of us with the sun coming up over the mountains, WOW!

a few in the sky

I have so many more balloon pictures to share, I am having a hard time narrowing down which ones to post!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Amarillo, TX

We made it to Amarillo in about 4 hours from Pops. We checked in a hotel and then went to eat dinner at the Big Texan. This restaurant is famous for having a 72oz steak that you get for free if you eat it in less than an hour. No one tried that while we were there. There is a lot of good photo ops at this place.

On our way out of town the next morning we stopped to see this cadillac ranch that I had read about. It is just 10 old cars that are stuck in the ground off the side of the interstate. Someone gave the kids some leftover spray paint as they were leaving and they were thrilled. So if you ever go through Amarillo, make sure to stop and see these cars and take some spray paint with you. It was worth the 15 minutes or so that we spent there but would have been more fun if we had our own spray paint.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


On Tuesday morning we left Oklahoma city and drove a little bit out of our way to take a short drive on route 66, you know just to say we did. We stopped and ate lunch at a little gas station restaurant called Pops. It was really neat, they had about 500 flavors of soda you could get. The food was pretty good too.

They have a giant 65 foot tall bottle out front, it glows neon lights at night.

Kyle and Kaitlyn thought these were funny, Kyle got the Zombie Brain juice (of course didn't like it) and Kaitlyn had the Fungal Fruit juice. I had a watermelon flavored drink and a dublin dr. pepper.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Oklahoma City

The first stop on our road trip was Oklahoma City, it took us about 8 hours to get here from Memphis. We arrived about and checked in a hotel in downtown OKC about 2:30. Then we went to the bombing memorial. It was unbelievable. This was a day that I remember, I was a Senior in high school at the time so it was interesting to see things that I remembered being on the news.
We sat in this room set and listened to the actual recording of a court hearing happening across the street, you could hear the explosion at 9:02

The outside was really pretty, two stone wall things on either end showing where the building was. They also had a chair for each victim on the lawn.

This is the survivor tree, this tree withstood the explosion and is still alive and well today.
And here is the Jesus weeping statue that stands across the street.
The memorial was very well done and worth our time to see.

 Then we went to find this go kart racing place called Pole Position, they each did the track once.

We ate at Spaghetti Warehouse (which was blah) then walked around Bricktown. We were going to ride this water taxi down the river that runs through downtown but right as we got there they closed it early. I let them know how disappointing that was for tourist people (but it saved us $35).
And of course all Kyle cared about was swimming in the pool. This hotel had a great indoor pool and he loved the basketball goal.