For Georgia and I, the Balloon Fiesta has been an event we’ve grown up attending. Thinking back, I have so many fond memories of waking up before the sun and heading over to the Balloon Fiesta Park to get a breakfast burrito and watch the balloons take off. This year our family decided to try something different. We elected to take our RV’s with us and actually camp out at the park for the entire weekend! Up to this point, I thought that the only people that camped at the park were the actual balloonists and their families. I had no idea that the camp grounds were open to anyone that had a camper and wanted to reserve a spot.
The festivities began on Friday evening. Georgia and I met my Mom and Mike at our reserved lots to set up camp. We were able to get two great spaces facing each other with a beautiful view of the park. By the time Georgia and I arrived, My Mom and Mike had already made friends with some fellow campers. The majority of the people that filled the lot were retired folks who spent their time traveling from state to state attending events like the Balloon Fiesta (what a life)! The first night was “kid free” so we spent the evening grilling, playing UNO and drinking tequila (not the best beverage of choice for a 5am wake-up call)…despite the fun, it was lights out at midnight because we knew we had a big day ahead of us.
That next morning we all managed to pull our lazy bones out of bed and look alive as we made our way to the park. Our first stop was the UOP corporate tent where we enjoyed Garcia’s breakfast burritos and green chile stew (YUM)! From the tent we watched the Dawn Patrol Show, the Morning Glow Opening Ceremonies and finally the Mass Ascension. Thank goodness for Mexican food because it totally pulled me out of my tequila coma and left me feeling ready for day two. This was a good thing because it was Grandpa’s birthday BBQ and we were expecting a lot of company!
Can he be anymore adorable….seriously?!
After a quick trip home to feed the dogs we began the birthday set-up. This year Grandpa turned the big 9-1! He and Grandma Chris came down to celebrate along with some family and friends. I think we’ve all experienced those moments in life when we look around and think to ourselves – wow, this is the good stuff. This birthday party was one of those days. My father-in-law was making his first trip out post surgery, and he looked really good. My nephews were running around playing football with my brother while Georgia grilled. Grace and my Mom were busy being the social butterflies that they are, while my Grandparents visited and relaxed with big smiles on their faces. As the day came to an end, I couldn’t help but give thanks for my Grandparents (well, great Grandparents) and what an important role they have played in my life.
We woke the next morning to our final day camping at Balloon Fiesta Park. While waiting for the shuttle, Grandma Chris had the opportunity to make friends with a horse. I don’t know if it was her 93 years of wisdom that had this horse so enchanted…but he seriously stared into her eyes for what seemed like forever. Our main objective on this particular day was to find Grandma’s favorite balloon – the owl balloon (of course). Luckily we did, so naturally we took about 47 pictures of it. We spent the rest of the day eating and sightseeing. All and all, it was an amazing weekend!
Here’s a few more pics!
|I never get tired of looking at these things!|
|Me and G with Grandpa and Grandma :)|
Rudy and Devin during the firework show! My boys!
Happy birthday Grandpa! You still give the best hugs.