Monday, 29 April 2013

Why I love hot air balloons

If you come into my house you will see a large lithograph that my talented friend Steph made for me.  You can go to her photography page to see some of her beautiful photos (you'll see some of me and my family in there too!).  Steph made this lithograph of hot air balloons for a very special reason.  My husband proposed to me, 1000 feet in the air, in a hot air balloon.

One day Dave came up to me and asked, "Do you want to go on a hot air balloon ride?"  Of course I said yes, but I wondered what he was up to, since he is not good with heights.  Apparently, hot air balloon rides are popular and the season or rides is short.  We had to wait 2 or 3 months before we got a spot.  We got the tickets and prepared for our ride.

We were to depart from the downtown Kitchener park around 6 on September 5th, so we went out for an early dinner.  It poured rain while we were eating and I was terrified our ride would be cancelled.  It cleared up just as we left the restaurant and was beautiful the rest of the evening.

We arrived at the park and made sure to use the washroom before we went to the open field where our deflated balloon lay.  It was going to be 1 1/2 - 2 hours in the air.  No bathroom breaks in the sky.

We met some of the other passengers and the driver and watched our balloon fill up.

 It was amazing to see the city from that perspective.  I was lost in the view and completely forgot about my previous notions of what might happen on this amazing balloon ride.  We flew over the city and into St. Jacobs' country, over farm land.

Our driver was skilled.  We skimmed the top of these trees with the basket

It was an amazing hour and a half.  It was incredibly quiet, except when our driver pulled the cord for the torch that kept us in the air.  It was a small compartment we were in, in the basket, but we also shared it with a third person.  So when it came time for Dave to do what he planned, he didn't have much room.  Dave got down on one knee anyways and the man beside us got a picture.

Dave was hanging onto the ring very tightly!

He had sewn the ring into his pocket because his worst nightmare would be the ring falling out of his pocket 1000 feet in the air.  When our driver announced we would be landing soon, (our "ground crew" asks the farmers if we are allowed to land in their field) Dave ripped the ring out of his pocket, got down on one knee and said "I thought what better way to end today than to say I love you and I want to spend the rest of my life with you.  Will you marry me?"  Even though I expected it, I still gasped with disbelief when it finally happened.  Of course I said yes.  It was unbelievably romantic and everyone was stunned that it happened, including our driver!  He was so excited for us that we missed the field we were supposed to land in and got an extra 15 minute ride.  We landed in a different field.  The farmer and his children came to watch us land.

The ring was too big so I have my hand clenched so it doesn't fall off.


Dave has such a look of accomplishment in this pic.  Love him!

After landing, we watched the sun set.

I got to go inside the balloon before it completely deflated.  It smelled weird.

The Mennonite children love to roll on the balloon to get the air out.

Successful trip!

When we got back to the park we had a champagne toast.  
So, that's why I love hot air balloons.  Because my dream came true in one.

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