The first time I went up in a hot air balloon was almost like magic! I used to help 'crew' at an annual balloon festival and was allowed to hop in for one of the rides. You lift up so smoothly, and when the pilot isn't running the burner, it's extremely peaceful. We did a 'dip down' in the lake we flew over where you dip the bottom of the baket into the water. The landing was... a little more interesting. We came up over a hill and then landed abruptly which turned the basket on its side with me underneath the pilot, my friend, and the camera guy that was filming! After landing and getting out of the basket we had to pack up the balloon. Then we did a 'ceremony' of drinking champagne with no hands. You had to kneel down and hold your hands behind your back while picking up the glass and drinking all with just your mouth. We then drove to the land-owner's home and delivered a bottle of champagne with our gratitude for allowing a landing in their field.
Amazing experience. I've been up a total of 4 times. I would do it again in a heartbeat!
Why were you inspired to do this?
My best friend's dad is a hot air balloon pilot and helped bring an annual balloon festival to my hometown. As soon as I was able I started helping out on the crew side and learning more about the process of getting the balloons ready for flight. It took no time at all for me to have a desire to go up in one.
What were 3 things you did to make this happen?
Connections to the ballooning community.
Strong desire to help and learn.
Being in the right place at the right time!
How did you feel once you had accomplished this?
I was elated! I was the first person in my family to go up in a balloon and I made sure to tell them all they had to go up as soon as they could. We have all since been up in balloons.