Monday, September 22, 2008

Balloons

While summer is my favorite season, the fall is be a close second. I love the long warm sunny days of summer, going camping, and of course the drive-ins. Fall brings shorter, cooler days but a beautiful foliage in Upstate New York. It also brings thousands and thousands of people to my home town for the annual Adirondack Balloon Festival.


Thirty-five years ago, the first Balloon Fest was hosted at what was once known as the Warren County Airport. My grandmother lived close by, and woke up to the whooosh sound of the burners in the baskets. Not knowing what the noise was she looked out the window to see a hot air balloon above the yard picking leaves off the top of the tree.


I remember her taking me every year, right up until I was a sophomore in college. We'd get up at 4am and have a quick breakfast of muffins and cereal and rush off trying to beat the traffic to the airport. No matter how early we left, we would be backed up in traffic for miles. We'd talk about how smart the bike riders were, as they would get there well ahead of us, but we were much warmer in the car. She pulled me around the airport in a little red wagon for my first few years, buying me hot chocolate which was a special treat since I wasn't allowed caffeine at that age. Winter coats and mittens were necessary; even though it is held in mid September, the early morning is too brutally cold to walk around in.



It had been 8 years since I attended the event, so I found a group of friends including Sister to go bike riding to the evening balloon launch on Saturday. Though it was uphill both ways, we beat the traffic both in and out of what is now called the Floyd D Bennett Airport. It appeared as though the balloons were not going to launch, possibly due to the wind, but finally one crew inflated their balloon and many more were quick to follow. We returned to where we locked up our bikes to find that someone had cut our locks. Fortunately, our bikes and helmets were not taken. Lesson learned - you can't chain a bike to a fence at an airport apparently. Here is a video I created to summarize the event. Hope you like music from the Cold War era! This is the English version of Nena's "99 Red Balloons," with a video from the festival including the bike ride.




Check out my photo set on Flickr.

13 comments:

J. Leigh Designz said...

We have a balloon festival around here that I used to go to all the time when I was younger! You reminded me of it! I am going to look it up now so I can bring my sons! Hopefully I haven't missed it...its always Sept.-Oct every year!

roseworksjewelry said...

LoVED the video :)

Lily - Tulip's Talking from the said...

So absolutely funtastic! Love how you put the video and music together. Never heard that song before...I like it.

I am still smiling. Thank you...

~Lily

TNT2008 said...

My husband loves the balloon festival in New Mexico. He is making plans for us to go next year!

There was undeveloped land behind my first house and people would set up from there. It was so amazing.

agoodwitchtoo said...

I bet that is a beautiful sight to behold! Watching the video was so much fun... I've always loved that song!

maryeb said...

Those balloons are gorgeous and so mesmerizing.
Glad to hear your bikes were safe. Who knew?

SpottedCow said...

What a great video. I was wondering what the heck was up with that bike chain...Aha!!!

diane said...

Great photos of balloons & the Biker Chix.

Can't believe they cut your locks - what was the point?

storybeader said...

great video! I've love hot air balloons, and always wanted to go up in one, but never have. Did you get to go up? looks like you all were pretty close to some. But aren't you "afraid" of heights?

Can't believe someone cut your locks! That's weird, they didn't even take a bike or helmet - what!? Have to say you're lucky, but you probably didn't feel it!

A Keeper's Jackpot said...

We think airport officials cut them. There were already 15 or so bikes chained when we got there so we figured it was ok. There was a gate on the fence but it was already opened.

We figured they were worried about the gate, or you just can't chain things in airports these days, even at tiny little non-commercial Floyd D Bennett airport.

Lily - it was originally written in German, then she released an English Version as "99 Luftballoons" (99 Air Balloons) or "99 Red Balloons". It's a political song pertaining to the Cold War I think.

LazyTcrochet said...

Gorgeous pictures. I must admit that I'm not a fan of hot air balloons. We once lived in a suburb of Pittsburgh where ballons would go over very low and early in the morning. They were so loud and scared my dogs something fierce. My poor huskies would howl like they were injured. They were terrified.
I did love the song though!

Jen said...

that was AWESOME! loved the video and all the amazing pictures. I'm absolutely jealous that you got to see this -- my son is in a huge hot air balloon phase and would love to see something like this. Thank you so much for sharing!

Grooveycrafts said...

how awful that someone tried to steal your bikes.

Those memories though are priceless and something you can talk about for a long time to come. I've never actually seen a hot air balloon close up but more then anything I'd love to ride in one.