Sunday, July 28, 2013

Balloon Festival

Who knew there was a balloon festival in our "backyard" all these years and we never went!! I found out about it a few weeks ago and so we decided to check it out. Lovely Santa Paula is just about 40 minutes drive away. The canyon drive alone was exciting for the girls. Then we arrived at the parking area and got to take a SCHOOL BUS to the festival! Score!
 We went late in the afternoon to check out all the activities they had to offer and stay for the evening lighting up the balloons. When we arrived there were no balloons at all. We did see some cool sky diver and plane shows. We took a hay ride through a lemon and avocado ranch, and the girls did a free craft.
 By dusk we had settled in to watch the balloon action and eat some carnival food. You know, very little dinner followed by ice cream all around! This guy was very proud to show off his flames! You can't even see them in the photo because they were so bright. That is why he is sort of lit up looking though.
 As you can see someone was very impressed.
 Someone else, was unimpressed.
As it grew darker more and more balloons were inflated. It was really cool because you were out in a soccer field and they were inflating these huge balloons all around us.
 Then as they lit the flames to add hot air, the balloons began to glow!
 You could get right up near them and even talk to some of the pilots. Are they called pilots?
 This one had no fear. She was ready for a ride.
 This one was a bit distressed. She kept shouting I want to go home, the dragons are scawwwyy!
Little Ben was a trooper. Not sure he knew what the heck was going on but he enjoyed watching it all.
 There were maybe about 15-20 balloons in all.
 Then as darkness fell they did a countdown to light up the balloons. It was really cool to stand in darkness (with thousands of people) and watch the balloons all light the sky.
 Very impressive indeed. The balloons remained grounded but it was very cool.
 We all picked out favorite balloon and shouted along with the count downs.
 They also did twinkle lights and turned the flames on and off.
We had such a great time and even survived the crowds and shuttle ride back to our car. The girls happily displayed their tattoos today! 

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