Saturday, October 09, 2010

Story #316: International Balloon Fiesta, Albuquerque, New Mexico.

*This is going to be a long post. Mostly because of the pictures :) Read my about my experience and my thoughts too!!

I can't believe it's already been a week since we took the weekend trip to Albuquerque.
Time really does go by faster when you are busy.
Anyways, this trip was planned a year ago when I found out about the annual International Balloon Fiesta in Albuquerque.
I love love love hot air balloons and to have to wait a year to see it was killing me!
So I decided I would go this year. one of my best decisions ever!

To drive 10 hour a day was sort of overwhelming at first and I almost forgo the decision to go.
The whole trip took us about 20 hours round trip. In 3 days. Crazy, right?
Fortunately, both Mr. L and I are the kind of people who do not mind driving long distance.
It was actually really fun because we were stuck with each other and so we got to spend time together and talked.

The journey to Albuquerque wasn't as interesting as our return trip. We just wanted to get to our hotel ASAP so we drove non-stop, except when we had to fill up gas and stuff. I even brought my homework with me! Stupid assignments that were due the day after I got back!
The south west side of Utah was really truly barren. It wasn't a pretty sight.
We had to go through Utah, Colorado, and Arizona to get to Albuquerque.
Of all the remote areas we drove past, I think I like Colorado the best. We drove past some big sunflower farms there. Unfortunately, they had already harvested the sunflower seeds so all the sunflowers were basically dead on the field. Nonetheless it was still pretty amazing to see SO many sunflowers. You do know that my favorite flower is sunflower, right? Just wondering.

When we arrived in one of the smaller cities in New Mexico, I felt like I was no longer in USA.
There were so many Hispanic people and Native Americans. I didn't even see any white people around.
Also, there were trash all over the ground, even on the road.
It was as if everybody just decided that the roads were their garbage cans.
It wasn't the prettiest sight but it did open my eyes to something that I had never seen before. I don't feel so bad throwing stuff on the road now. haha... I never do anyways. You get fined if you littered in Malaysia. Not that it stopped everybody, but it definitely ingrained in me a habit to never throw stuff anywhere other than the trash cans.

Ok, back to the International Balloon Fiesta. It was spectacular. I must say this is definitely the prettiest sight. Imagine more than 100 hot air balloon ascending to the sky all at once.
We were at the field since 5am and it was magnificent to watch the sunrise when the first balloons took off into the sky.
We didn't go on the balloon ride because it was frickin' 350 dollars per person!
I had a lot of fun watching the balloons from the ground. The weather was perfect too!
It was educating to see how the balloons were filled up with air and how by using fire the balloons slowly raised to the air.

At first I was kinda disappointed because I thought all the hot air balloons would bear some kind of advertising banners, like the ones with Krispy Kreme, All State, and Wells Fargo.
But I was pleasantly surprised to see so many cute balloons with different size and shapes.
My favorite was the stork carrying the baby one.
I also love the pigs can fly one, and of course, Darth Vader one as well.
Here are the pictures of the fiesta! So cool, right?? You guys should TOTALLY go see it.
Oh I forgot to mention, they had a glow-in-the-dark-balloons event, which they parked the balloons on the ground but lit the candles so that the balloons looked like they were glowing.
We didn't get to see that one because it was so dang windy and the storm was coming in.
But we stayed and watched the fireworks show.
It was like July 4th all over again.
It was amazing.

As you can tell from this picture, sometimes I look scary when I am excited

To the prisoners of wars and soldiers missing in action, you're not forgotten.

The next morning when we were leaving Albuquerque to go home, this was what we saw.

So much fun. I wish I could be there every year :) Check back later for our Old Town Albuquerque exploration!

1 comment:

Lia said...

So I'm not sure if it's that same big balloon (but how many pig balloons can there be in the world?) but this guy we knew when we were living in Taiwan his family always goes to festivals and stuff and they have a pig balloon and one other balloon and they took my parents up over Utah Valley in it once! (I didn't go because I am too scared of heights, but I kind of regret it)