Monday, September 23, 2013

Plano Balloon Festival: 2013

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Yesterday morning we went to the Plano Balloon Festival for the first time as a family. I went (a long time ago) as a kid, but we've never taken the boys. We got them up well before the sun rose, stopped at the donut shop on the way, and made the hike to the launch site. We brought a blanket and made ourselves at home eating our donuts while the balloon trucks made their way onto the field.

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Just as we were starting to clean up, the first balloon was being inflated! It was still sort of dark outside, and obviously it was a little chilly since we all wore warmer clothes. It was about 56 degrees at that point. But no wind...which meant that this morning would be the first launch of the whole festival. (Previous launches were cancelled due to adverse weather conditions.)

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Ethan was thrilled to see these huge, beautiful balloons inflating right in front of us. He was having the best time and kept yelling at us all to come look at one thing or another.

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Logan was really interested in the fire and the noise that it made.

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This balloon was actually being set up for tethered rides. People paid for tickets to ride it, and they would let it hover up in the air for a while and then lower it back down. The blue truck there was one of the tether points for the balloon.

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Logan is far too busy looking at the people in the bucket to look at the camera. He was actually not in a photo-taking mood at all that morning.

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Casey did catch this one of Logan and me with his phone.

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Before long, and just as the sun was starting to rise, the field came awake and balloons started sprouting up everywhere. This was such an exciting thing for the boys to watch.

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It seemed like it took forever for the balloon to get enough air to sit upright. And then when it reached that point, it was mere minutes before they loaded up and actually launched!

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One by one, the balloons started flying away.

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Logan spotted that balloon way up there as it floated by the moon, which was clearly visible that morning.

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Somehow, they stopped to take a photo for a few seconds. Just look at all the color on the field! So fun!

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It's really kind of magical to watch the colorful balloons take off and just float across the sky. The boys were in awe and honestly, Casey and I totally loved it too.

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We lost count of all the balloons, but here's several in various stages of flight...

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Just about the time that the field was cleared of take-offs, some balloons came over the trees from the east and started landing on the field. They were trying to drop a bean bag on a huge "X" on the field to win some prize, I think.

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It was really fun to watch the balloons land too.

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This is probably my favorite shot of balloons that morning. I love how they're all clustered together with all the different colors.

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On one end of the field, they inflated several balloons that were not going to lift off. They were just fun shapes! The butterfly, bee, angry bird, and the Little Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe.

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The boys loved these balloons, of course. After we walked over to see these guys, we started the trek back to the car. We had a fabulous morning and we will definitely be going back to the balloon festival again.

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