Sporadic Trip to The World’s Largest Balloon Festival and El Paso, Texas

When we were at the bat viewing at Carlsbad Caverns National Park, the ranger asked the question, “How many of you are here from the balloon festival in Albuquerque?” After more than half the people in the amphitheater raised their hands, we decided we had to find out what this balloon festival was. We looked it up after we left the bat viewing, and found out it was the world’s largest hot air balloon festival going on in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Well hello, that was only five hours from where we were. We had to go!!

We left Carlsbad Caverns National Park and made the five-hour drive to a Walmart parking lot in Albuquerque. We arrived at 1:30 in the morning, and quickly made our car into a hotel room for the night since we had to get up at 4:30 the next morning to see the morning light show at the balloon festival.

Heading into the balloon festival was like trying to drive out Redwood Highway in Grants Pass during fair week. It was a mess. There were detours left and right and police officers everywhere directing traffic. We made our way into the festival, grabbed a breakfast sandwich, and watched the first morning light show. At around 7:00am the first balloons ascended to determine if it was safe for the first round of the mass ascension to occur. They determined the wind was blowing too hard; therefore they had to hold off the mass ascension until the wind was blowing at a safe speed or not at all.

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5:00 AM Light Show

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The first ascent.. these balloons went up and automatically flew east, making the rest of the balloons not be able to ascend.

We took advantage of this time by walking around the park to see all the balloons laid out on the ground and then made our way to the booths to see what they had to offer. We got sucked into the Progressive booth and were able to take a picture with Flo and we won cards and some camping lanterns. It was great. After walking around for a few hours, the flag changed from yellow to green meaning that the balloons were able to take off.

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Enjoying walking around checking out all the balloons.

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After our picture with Flo, we got some sweet camping lanterns. This worker was a hoot! Super sweet! 

For the next few hours, we watched hundreds and hundreds of balloons ascend into the sky. It was amazing to see all the different colors and designs of balloons, along with all the different shapes of balloons. There was everything from regular balloons to huge cow balloons and everything you can imagine in between. Needless to say, we were so glad we took the detour to enjoy the balloon show.

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YAY.. after two hours the mass ascension began!!

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They let everyone get up close and personal with all the balloons. In this picture, we are surrounded with balloons.

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In the middle of two rows of balloons.

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And they’re off

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Sitting on a hill enjoying the hundreds and hundreds of balloons in the air.

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The elephant balloon from Europe.

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Walking around with our Flo bag 🙂

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Such an amazing thing to experience.

We left the balloon show in the afternoon and made our way to El Paso where we were able to stay with our uncle and aunt for the night. We got to El Paso, and Aunt Kathy and I hugged and hugged until we couldn’t hug anymore. We then walked into the house and saw our honeymoon sweet, caught up on life, and had some fun enjoying the pool while sending pictures to mom to make her a bit jealous we were hanging out.

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Right after our ten minute hug!! So good to see this lady again after way too long!!

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Our “honeymoon” sweet 🙂 One on the bed, one on the air mattress.

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Feet in the pool.. relaxing and catching up on life.

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Only in Texas can you go swimming in the middle of October!

After pool time, we showered and got ready to go out to dinner. Uncle Kirk came home, and we went to an awesome BBQ place, had amazing margaritas, and went back home to enjoy drinks by the pool. We had so much fun catching up and hanging out with them for the day!

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This man has so many great stories to tell!!

In the morning, Aunt Kathy and Uncle Kirk went to work and we got up early to make our way to Tucson, Arizona to hang out with Kevin for a few days.

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