Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Balloon Festival

This weekend was the Balloon Festival (BF) over in our former home base, Quechee, and with my in-laws visiting, we thought it would be nice to go and check it out. It was also a good chance to re-connect with my Mentor and his girlfriend, JB, who are back in town for the season. It’s always nice to see them, they’re a great pair.

We thought we’d start the day with a trip over to the Norwich Farmer’s Market, which is a destination for many people, though we’d only been there once in the past. The plan was for half of us to go to Home Depot to get plumbing supplies, then head over to the cobbler’s to get some pieces to fix N’s shoes. Then we’d all meet in Norwich. The traffic in W. Leb, which is always bad, was exceptionally bad that day. I’m not sure what was going on, but it was stop and go for about a half mile, and consequently, we got to Norwich late. In fact, by the time we’d arrived, A&R and her folks were ready to leave. Our half of the party decided to hang a bit and wander and then we’d meet back at home.

Now I hadn’t been to the market in at least a year, maybe two. It was a beautiful day so that made it nice, but the market seemed a little slow, and at some point, you’ve seen it all. The kids got a bite to eat, we wandered to see friends, and after about a half hour, we were ready to roll. Plus, we were getting hungry. We returned home and had a bite, then the Amazing PR went to work fixing our plumbing issue. The guy is truly amazing. After he fixed it, we had some lunch, and I headed over to see my Mentor for a pre-Balloon Fest rendezvous. It was nice chatting with them and catching up, though we owe him a coconut cream pie, and we can’t flake on that.

We returned home, came up with a plan, then headed out to the BF. Now we’ve been to the BF every year since we moved here, and at some point you’ve kind of been there, done that. It’s a great event, and you can’t beat seeing all the balloons taking off, but after we’ve dropped a load of dough and eaten all sorts of awful, greasy food, we decided that we were kinda over it. This year was different because R’s parents were visiting, and again, it’s quite a spectacle seeing the balloons taking off.

The usual location is still recovering from the hurricane, so they changed the location and held it at the Quechee Inn. It’s actually a great spot, there’s plenty of space, but you can’t beat the Quechee Green for convenience. They put the parking lot over on the Polo Field, so it wasn’t as convenient as the Green, but what are you going to do? They did a great job despite the complications. Now since the two bridges were washed out by the hurricane, getting in and out of Quechee is a challenge. The two roads in are small and the traffic was terrible. Bad enough to discourage me from going, but we persevered. It was stop and go for most of the drive, we made it through. We anticipated awful traffic, but it still gets on my nerves.

The BF was quite the scene, with lots of loud music and crowds of people. I thought the turnout was good, and the balloon flights sold out, which is always a good thing. The weather was beautiful, though windy to the point that they had to cancel the flights. Bummer, but that’s life. It was still a nice time, and again, we got to hang with my Mentor and his lovely partner, JB. We also saw several old friends, some of whom we haven’t seen in years. We were also really hungry, but in the spirit of our healthy eating plan, we resisted the urge to get fried or sugary foods. It wasn’t easy, I live for corn dogs, and it’s tough when everyone around you is eating fried dough, but we persevered. I’m happy we did, because it didn’t look so wholesome, even if smelled good.

It was exciting watching all the balloon teams line up and get ready to fly, but that pesky wind kept kicking up, and at some point the powers that be decided it was too risky, so they called the flights off. What a bummer for everyone involved, especially the pilots, who were ready to go, but had to pack it all in. It was a perfect evening, otherwise.

We left soon thereafter, and the Amazing PR and I stopped to get Pizza Chef pizza for supper. We ended up eating late, but man were we hungry. We polished off those pies, which for the record were fabulous. Then it was time to call it a night.

It was quite a day, but I think everyone had fun. We’ve been lucky because the weather has been beautiful, and I’m grateful for that.

Until the next time, thanks for reading, and thanks to Creativity+ Timothy K Hamilton for the pic.


plumbing supplies said...

At a balloon festival, you can see many balloons taking to the sky, a truly breathtaking sight. At some festivals, you can also see helicopter and airplane fly-bys and hear live jazz, classical and rock music.

phredude said...

Dear Plumbing Supplies,

I agree, balloon festivals are more than just balloons, they're a blast and there is so much going on. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts.