Albuquerque Balloon Festival – Day Four

We have noticed that we are the youngest people on this RV tour, but fortunately, or maybe by design, we are at the edge of the Fantasy RV tour sites. This means we are camped by the general public, which in our case means we are camped next to the Fulltime RV Families. This allows us to hear children running around, playing, laughing, crying, but just generally having fun. We were sitting outside on Thursday night when we heard a loud announcement across the way that “the baby has arrived”!  Earlier in the day we had noticed a very pregnant woman walking around and it was her baby that was born, at 9:00 p.m..  Friday evening, when she was showing off her baby girl, I had to go over for a look. Seriously I was the oldest one there so I think I am the Full Time RV Family grandmother 🙂

Well today was the final day for the balloon fiesta and it was windy this morning, which meant the balloons were not able to go up for a mass assentation. A few balloons did a static display and we did watch it on TV. The few balloons that tried to inflate had trouble staying up in the wind and quickly came back down, so I’m glad we didn’t bother going down to the field. I have more than enough pictures of balloons and I think I have bored you enough with balloon pictures!

But the word “Balloon” is in the title of this blog so there had to be a least one balloon picture 🙂

Part of our package was a trip to Old Town Albuquerque and we really enjoyed it.  Old Town was the first Albuquerque neighborhood in 1706, when a group of Spanish families settled there, not far from the Rio Grande. The settlers organized their new town in the traditional Spanish colonial way, with a central plaza anchored by a church.

The original adobe church collapsed after a long rainy summer in 1792. The families rebuilt the church and in 1793 the San Felipe de Neri church was completed. Today this adobe church, with walls five feet thick, is the oldest in Albuquerque and its white towers mark Old Town from a distance. The church is still a functioning Catholic church and I really wish we had been able to get to Old Town early enough to attend Mass.

The rectory and grounds

 

Also traditional in Spanish towns is the town square, I would love to be here for Christmas. I can just picture the decorations, music, and everyone attending Christmas Eve Mass 🙂

 

Fall is arriving in Albuquerque

The rest of Old Town is comprised of stores and restaurants housed in very old adobe buildings.

  If you were a fan of the show Breaking Bad, which was based and filmed in Albuquerque, you could tour the Breaking Bad motorhome that was used as a drug lab in earlier episodes of the show.

Tonight we had a farewell happy hour and dinner and tomorrow our time wraps up with a farewell breakfast.

We really enjoyed our time at the Balloon Festival and met so many wonderful people. We are grateful to have won this trip but honestly I don’t think we would do another group RV tour. We may feel differently in another ten years, but right now we have no problems travelling on our own and we believe we could have done this trip much cheaper than the $1,200 Fantasy Tours was charging. However the really funny thing is hubby won the Social Hour prize … a $100.00 gift certificate for another tour! We kinda felt bad about winning that since we had won this trip and have no plans for a future trip so we are hoping to give it to someone else who is going on another trip.

Until next time …

 

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Albuquerque Balloon Festival – Day Three

Here is an interesting fact … Schools in Albuquerque close for the balloon festival period and all the school busses are deployed to the campgrounds and festival grounds to move people around.

So moving on to today, we arrived at the festival grounds at 5:45 a.m. and were able to watch the morning Dawn Patrol. The Dawn Patrol is a choreograph event that is set to music and it’s purpose is to check out the wind speeds and conditions for the mass ascension of balloons.

  There was a brief delay in the Mass Assentation due to wind conditions but before long the sky was once again filled with balloons.

 

Dos Equis, Albuquerque, New Mexico … this one’s for you Tom ☺

 

ottie Dottie Chicken, Boitva, Sao Paulo, Brazil

There were some close calls this morning!

True-Lee New Mexico, Gallup, New Mexico

Baby Lente, from Destelbergen, Oost-Vlaaderen, Belgium

Seasons, from Cordele, Georgia

Ham-Let, DeLand, Florida

On the left is Puddles The Penguin from Thatcham, Berkshire, United Kingdom, Tall Steve is in the middle from Breadstone, Gloucestershire, United Kingdom, and on the right is Splash from Wasilla, Alaska.

In The Buff, Lubbock, Texas

The Journey, Rio Rancho, New Mexico

  

Les Monarques, Montreal, Quebec

Tom Cat, Oak Island, North Carolina

Gloria Caeli, Albuquerque, New Mexico

Hyla The Frog, North Muskham, Nottinghamshire, United Kingdom

I love this balloon but I wasn’t able to find any information on it.

 

Smokey The Bear, Albuquerque, New Mexico

Tolfy, Han-sur-Lesse, Belgium

Flying Gator, Boitva, Sao Paulo, Brazil

Nitrofish, Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil

I introduced Joey and Joelly yesterday but I neglected to introduce Lilly Little Bee who is on the right.

Darth Varder, Court-Saint-Etienne, Belguim

Until next time …

Albuquerque Balloon Festival – Day Two

So I could blather on about all the things we did today but other than going through 270 pictures and trying to pick just a few for the blog, and attending the margarita and nacho social this afternoon, there is really not much to say. So once again I will let the pictures tell the story 🙂

Our view as we got off the bus at the festival site.

 

Master Yoda Balloon from Court Space, St. Etienne, Belgium

 

The cop balloon is Keystone Willy from Collins Ville, Oklahoma and the convict balloon is Con Air from Palm Springs, California.

This vampire is Bill The Vampire from Barueri, Sao Paulo, Brazil.

On our left we have Pencil Boy from Reno, Nevada.

Next we have the Armadillo from Sao Paulo, Brazil.

The guy with the teeth is Piko from Saint-Jean-sur-Richeliue, Quebec, Canada.

Kermie from Trois-Rivieres, Quebec. Canada

      

Simba from Lake George, New York

The scarecrow is Smiley Scarecrow from Westfield, Indiana.

And then we have Baby Car from Barueri, Sao Paulo, Brazil.

And last we have Lilly Little Bee from Peoria, Arizona on the right and Joey Little Bee on the left from Jeffersonville, Vermont.

Until next time …

Albuquerque Balloon Festival – Day One

Last year when we were at the Good Sam Rally in Phoenix, AZ I was lucky enough to win the Fantasy Tour grand prize, five nights at the Albuquerque Balloon Festival. Our package includes a premium campsite with power, water and one tank pump out, access to a hospitality room, coffee and snacks every morning, two dinners, a tour of Old Albuquerque, and much more! This is something hubby and I have always wanted to attend but the timing doesn’t really work out as it is held this time each year and we usually don’t head south until the middle of October. However this wasn’t something we could pass up so we headed south earlier and hope that weather will allow us to head home earlier. Even if we can’t get home earlier we are still with in our time frame for BC Medical, which allows us to be out of the province for seven months, and since we complete the IRS 8840 form every year we think we will be okay with the US Government as well.

Still in the Walmart parking lot …. It looks like this balloon is going to land on Maxx’s roof 🙂

Our experience didn’t start off great. The directions provided to our parking spot were basically non-existent and there were no signs. There were many volunteers directing traffic to the various lots but they really had no idea where we were suppose to be, so we ended up in several different lots before finally finding the right place, and all of that involved some fancy maneuvering by hubby!

However once we arrived in the right place everything was awesome. The gentlemen that directed us into our site actually knew how to guide an RV and for the first time ever I didn’t have to get out and direct hubby in. The spaces are tight, but we knew that going in and honestly we have more room than we expected.

We have already met our neighbours, whose unit you can see in the above picture. They are a nice couple from Gilbert, Arizona and so considerate that they were not even going to put out their main slide because they thought we wouldn’t have enough room! We quickly told them we had lots of room, and we do.

Once we were all registered we ran a few errands and then headed back for our orientation at 2:30 p.m. Orientation was followed by happy hour with free drinks, dinner, and then finally balloons!

Tonight was the Glowdeo and Fireworks and I will let the pictures tell the rest 🙂

   

This fellow was from Golden, B.C. so of course we had to stop and have a chat.

     

Flip flops! This was my favorite balloon.

  

 

Until next time …

Hello Albuquerque, New Mexico

Not only did last nights RV Park provide us with a free limo ride to dinner, they also provided us with coffee and pastries for breakfast, which was nice because we wanted an early start today.

We had a long drive today, five hours, and I really don’t have any nice pictures to show for it, but since I read a long time ago that a blog without pictures isn’t very interesting here is what you get 🙂

I didn’t see a single oil pump but I did see field after field of wind turbines, so I’m thinking north Texas has moved from oil to wind power.

New Mexico has the best state entrance signs!

Tonight we are staying at a Walmart near the Balloon Festival grounds. We planned this so that we could be into the grounds early tomorrow as we are only fifteen minutes away.

 Until next time …

Wind = Mega Fuel Usage :-(

Our drive along I-40 from Oklahoma City to Amarillo, Texas was through fields of cotton, abundant yellow wildflowers, red dirt, and along side the old Route 66.

The road you can see in this picture is part of Route 66.


The only real downfall to the day was the strong winds! A north-westerly wind pushed us all over the road and sucked up fuel, but we made it safely to Amarillo.

Along our drive hubby kept seeing signs about the 72oz steak at the Big Texas Steak House in Amarillo. At one point he noticed a billboard that mentioned it was near the Amarillo Ranch RV Park, so guess where we had to stay tonight! Now I don’t think the 72oz steak was ever in hubby’s plan but the fact that the RV Park provided a free limo ride to the steak house was in his plan.   And seriously we spent so much on fuel why not spend more on an RV Park and dinner out 🙂

We had a great dinner and the food was awesome … way better than last night’s steak dinner in Oklahoma and a lot cheaper! We finished it up with a visit to the hot tub … yes we enjoyed our time in Amarillo, Texas!

Until next time …