Sunday, October 14, 2012

Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta Day 2 afternoon

After an amazing morning seeing all the balloons lift off, we headed back to the hotel for a quick nap.

We met up just after noon and I guess that Schlotzsky's balloon marketing really worked on me, because I chose it for lunch.

Our original plan was to go to the Sandia Peak Tramway.  We drove outside the city to the base of the mountain and at the entrance one of the greeters told us the wait times.  150 minute wait at the base of the mountain, 120 minute wait at the top.  Um, no thanks...

Instead we drove over to Petroglyph National Park.  Lacey becoming a Junior Ranger.

These petroglyphs were carved by Native Americans 800 years ago in volcanic rock.

Theresa always there with a smile.

T thought this guy might be making peace symbols.

I like his funky headdress.

A lizard holding a lollypop, obviously.

A Frankenstein monster?

Afterwards, we headed back to the hotel to watch the Mizzou game.  

Well JB watched the Mizzou game while me, T, and Lacey read our Kindles.

We were resigned to skipping the Balloon glow that night because all day long we had seen high winds forecast.  But right around 5:45pm, I happened to be checking the BalloonFiesta twitter and they said they were good to go!  We hopped online, bought tickets, and jumped in the car.

 Off to the Fiesta!

Once again, you can get super close as the fill up the balloons.

This heart balloon was really having problems with the wind.  It was rocking back and forth a lot while they were trying to get it up.

Theresa in front of Humpty Dumpty.

As it got darker, every minute or so over the loud speakers, an announcer would count down from 10, and then most of the balloons would light up.

 It was all really awesome to see!

We jumped back in line for the bus and headed back to the lot.  
We headed over to a yummy wood fire pizza place for dinner.
T and I were thinking we'd go to the final ascent on Sunday morning, but we were just too tired.  Looks like everything went off well though, because we saw balloons floating by from our 11th story window.
Which is surprising because we are staying at the airport hotel, which means we're not that far off the flight path.
Yeah, I wonder if the turbulence affects the balloons...
A few minutes later, Theresa yells to look out the window and we see a balloon floating right by.
We ran to the staircase to try to see more.  That blacktop at the bottom is the hotel parking lot, and just a few hundred yards behind that is the airport tarmac.
I tried running down the stairs, while Theresa said she'd take the elevator.  When I got to the bottom floor, unfortunately the door had an alarm on it, so I had to go back to the 2nd floor and wait for the elevator anyway.  
Theresa made it out a couple minutes before I got there and was able to take a few shots as the balloon was deflating.
 Squeezing the air out of the balloon and getting ready to pack it back up.
The Bakers must have been tired too, because they slept in until 11am. We all headed out to lunch at Which Wich.  It's a tasty sandwich shop that looks like it also has a shop in El Segundo.  New place to eat! We returned the rental car then headed to the airport.
Mr. Baker always has seems to run into issues when he travels by plane, but so far we were doing well.  Should have known it wouldn't last.  When we all got our tickets for Southwest, me, T and Lacey all got group A.  Jonathan got group B, so he'd have families boarding in between us.  The three of us boarded and Jonathan should have been 10-15 people after us.  The plane kept filling up and still no Jonathan.  After they were completely full and he still hadn't boarded, they called Lacey over the speaker and said there was a problem with JBs ticket.  Apparently the companion pass we were using for him wasn't valid since I didn't pay for my ticket, and Southwest cancelled his ticket while we were waiting in line.  T ran off the plane to talk to the gate agent, but didn't have any luck.  A few minutes later, they shut the cabin door and we were on our way to LA.  Jonathan ended up having to buy another ticket that took him to Oakland and got in at 8:30pm, instead of 3:30pm like us.  Guess that's just standard fare for Jonathan though...

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