Monday, October 22, 2012

Carolina Balloon Fest

You have seen this list at least half a dozen times now.  Well I am happy and proud to say we scratched another item off.  This weekend we attended the Carolina Balloon Fest at the Statesville Airport.
We linked up with my in-laws for a wonderful fall evening.
We met up in Troutman and took the shuttle to the airport, arriving just in time to see the balloons take off.
I took a million photos.  I just couldn't help myself.  Hot air balloons are so majestic.  I just love their whimsy.  It never ceases to amaze me that these actually exist.  It just seems so surreal!
I've never been up in one before, but now I am absolutely dying to.  I am sure I will be scared beyond my wits.  I am not a huge fan of heights.  I can handle flying.  I don't mind roller coasters.  But this may just trigger something in me.  I really don't like ferris wheels and I imagine this would be a similar if not worse feeling.  All the same, it would be pretty amazing to experience!
As we arrived we parked our chairs in a fun location.  Right in front of the stage and with amazing views of all the balloons.
There was just so much to see all around us!  As we enjoyed the balloon show, we also listened to some pretty funky music.  I never managed to snap a photo of the band, but they were so entertaining!  Full of energy and spunk!
After watching the balloons take off for sometime, I finally turned around to see this view:
Behind us the balloons floated off into the distance for a fun competition.  Later they would return for a night time glow.  While we waited we indulged in delicious fair food.
Alex and I started with a round of Butterfly Fries.  Soon after we also enjoyed Roasted Corn and a Bloomin' Onion.  Definitely not my healthiest dinner ever.  But certainly delicious!

It got cold quick once the sun began to set and we bundled up in blankets waiting for the Balloon Glow. 
In the meantime, they began to set up some of the fun shaped balloons including these two above.
And then we enjoyed these views!  Stunning!
Shortly after they began the glow, we headed up to find a shuttle to take us home.  Unfortunately the shuttle system didn't work leaving as well as it worked arriving.  We proceeded to wait for two hours in line before catching a bus to take us back to our cars.  It could have been terrible.  It was cold and my back was sore from standing for so long.  Even the balloons were down and gone before we were.  But we tried our best to remain positive and finally made it on the bus and to our car, and finally, finally made it home.  

We had such a wonderful evening, I enjoyed being outside in the beautiful Autumn air, and we learned our lesson: pay the extra $2 admission and ditch the shuttle!  I can't wait to bring Eleanor to see the balloons next year!

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