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!