Aren’t hot air balloons spectacular? It’s simply breath-taking to see one close-by gently floating across a deep blue sky.
The National Hot Air Balloon Festival was the happening event in Iowa a few days ago…….and I was subconsciously paying attention to the dates, times and wind. Why? Number 1 reason: Little Matthew is FASCINATED by balloons and I wanted to see his excitement, along with his siblings, on this calm summer evening. Mr. Farmer was working and Matthew’s daddy was working, so I headed to Annie’s, had a quick bite to eat, and the 7 of us loaded up, put on our bug spray and sunscreen and headed south to Indianola. Seems everyone else thought it was a perfect night, as well. The traffic moved slowly for a few miles, but we managed to make to our destination before the start time.
One by one they started appearing on the western horizon. We squinted, wore our sunglasses and tried to cover the bright yellow ball going down in the west so that we could see how many dots were emerging in the quiet western sky.
The balloon pilots were involved in a competition. There was a mowed circle of ground to the north of the spectators. In the circle there was a quadrant made with 4 baby swimming pools in each section. The pilot’s objective was to fly over the circle and throw a waited garbage bag into one of the pools. The pilot first had to maneuver the balloon over the circled area, which, of course, was the hardest task of all. Many balloons came close, only a few hovered over the site……for a moment. Many bags were thrown down, and I believe only one made it into a kiddie pool. The audience thoroughly enjoyed the competition, with much hooping and hollering going on all around us., seated on lawn chairs, blankets. The children were, of course, having a blast running around on the grassy hillside, pulling on Dad’s shorts leg to plead for sno-cones and cotton candy. Yes, the carnival scene was directly behind us, enticing the children with food, games and neon necklaces.. (Our children were promised ice cream for the trip home.) 🙂
Last, but certainly not least, Mr. Peg-leg Parrot stood up directly in front of us. The kids laughed at all the details of this magnificent balloon, adorned with a sword, and earring, a patch over one eye, and much more. Yes…..they ran up to check him out, along with the other children.
We ended our day with ice cream and a lively conversation all the way home about all they had seen within the span 2 hours. We are thankful for these remarkable central Iowa events we can easily attend. And I am thankful to attend them with wonderful family members.
What’s next?……………………………………………………………THE IOWA STATE FAIR, OF COURSE!