Gary and Courtney Hot Air Balloon 6

Hot Air Ballooning

In Our Life by Courtney2 Comments

It’s no secret that we love adventure. But what you may not know is that we are both terrible gift-givers. And it doesn’t help that Gary is impossible to buy for.

So instead of buying Gary gifts for holidays and birthdays, I buy him adventures or experiences. There are several reasons why this is awesome:
  1. We don’t need any more stuff nor do we have room for it.
  2. Stuff only lasts so long, but the memories you make adventuring last forever.
  3. Going on an adventure together builds our marriage.
This year for Christmas I got Gary something he’s been wanting to do for a LONG time: Hot Air Ballooning.
I signed us up for a sunset flight in Del Mar. We had no idea what to expect and we were slightly nervous about how old fashioned the technology of it seemed to be. You stand in a basket connected to a ginormous balloon and the only way to control it is with a blow torch that controls the height of the balloon…there is actually no way to steer the thing. They gave us a terrifying schpeal about how to duck under the shield so to not get singed by the flames and how to hold on to the basket in the event that the balloon gets dragged along the ground upon landing.

[we absolutely loved the uniqueness and design of this balloon – so beautiful!!!]

Take-off was kind of a mind bender. We went UP with startling speed and nearly bumped into the other balloons around us, but once we were up in the air it was GORGEOUS. Totally silent (when they weren’t using the blow-torch) and floating super slow through the air. We got a gorgeous day with minimal winds, clear skies and amazing visibility. For an hour and half we floated over beautiful homes while taking in breathtaking coastal views. At one point we were about 3000 feet off the ground but somehow it wasn’t scary at all.

Landing was a little crazy though. Since it’s not an exact science we ended up clipping a tree with the bottom of the basket and landing in the middle of a busy street while annoyed drivers waited patiently for the thing to move to the side of the road out of their way.
Overall, it was a great experience. Just risky enough to be fun, but not enough to be terrifying. The balloon we took up was a limited edition balloon made in Spain with beautiful artwork custom made for Hendrick’s Gin. So naturally we concluded Gary’s Christmas present adventure by stopping to get a bottle of Hendrick’s to enjoy that night.


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