After packing and loading the balloon into its snug little trailer, we all packed into the chase vehicles and headed back to the launch site. “Awesome experience!” I was thinking to myself. Little did I know there was still more to come…
Once back, Forrest and I were offered our choice of champagne or sparkling apple cider to celebrate our “first-time balloonists” status. My mom, having been through it before, had conspicuously removed herself from where we were standing, something I didn’t think much of at the time. I must remember to be more aware of this side of her in the future. 😉
Steve, our amazing pilot, then proceeded to “try” to pry the cork from the champagne bottle while we were encouraged to be ready and try to catch it (I think whoever caught the cork was supposed to be granted a wish – but I was too afraid to pay close attention as I had “A Christmas Story” soundtrack “You’ll shoot your eye out!” looping in the background of my mind). The cork, however, had a mind of its own and didn’t want to release.
Cork released and champagne successfully poured, Steve proceeded to share a short history of how hot air ballooning was first discovered, complete with sound effects from the crew. For instance, did you know that the first hot air balloon, sent on a short flight over France in summer of 1783, didn’t carry human passengers but instead a sheep, a duck, and a chicken? Neither did I – but it did – and I’ll always remember the sounds they made as well!
After the fascinating history (I love history, so I could have listened all day!), we were told to get down on our knees for the recitation of the beautiful balloonist’s prayer, which I shared on Monday’s post. Our solo cups of champagne were then placed in front of us on the ground, and we were instructed to put our hands behind our back, pick them up in our mouths, and drink them.
Here’s one time where words just won’t fill in like the pictures do. Suffice it to say, I was never good at drinking games in my “wilder” days (friends of mine who knew me when are now snorting in laughter as I’ve always been so mellow!) and apparently not much has changed as Forrest blew me out of the water, so to speak. I don’t know whether to be proud of him and his champagne-guzzling skills or not! 🙂
What could have been a very depressing day was filled with peace, the beauty of nature, and even laughter, three things my dad loved dearly.