Sunday, July 5, 2015

Eyes to the Skies Hot Air Balloon Festival

One of our favorite questions to ask each other is, "What would make this day perfect for you?" Our answers almost always involve photography, walks, and if you're asking ME, ice cream.

Friday, Chuck had the day off before the Fourth of July weekend, and he had asked what would make our day together perfect. It was a gorgeous summer day, and I wanted to take advantage of it. I told him I'd like to take a long walk with our cameras into Saint Charles, and go get some ice cream at Kimmer's. Sometimes I just don't dream big enough.

While we were running errands, Chuck mentioned he didn't have a lot of energy, but if he got feeling better, he might be up for going to Lisle for the hot air balloon festival.

"Are you serious? There's a hot air balloon festival today? That is so AWESOME! I've always wanted to go to one of those!"

Poor Chuck. He didn't stand a chance. Bless his heart. He mustered up some energy later that afternoon, and drove me to my first balloon festival. Things escalated quickly from there. I'm going to let Chuck tell the next part of this story. This is what he posted on Facebook the next morning:

"So, here I am holding a rope that is tied to a Humpty Dumpty hot air balloon. Well, let me start at the beginning.

"I told my wife Friday morning, 'Honey, I am not sure that I have the energy for this, but there is a hot air balloon festival in Lisle tonight.' 

"Thinking she would say, 'Let's see how the day goes, and how we are feeling,' instead, getting, 'Really?Wonderful! I am so excited!'

"We found a place in the grass to sit near the fence. Some guy came by and asked 'Is anyone interested in volunteering to be on a balloon crew?' 

"One of us says, 'Oh, Honey, let's do it!' 

"So that is how my beautiful bride Denise and I ended up on the
balloon crew and how I ended up at the end of the rope helping keep Humpty Dumpty where he belongs. I can confidently say that his tumble from the wall did not happen on my watch."

When I was asked what would make the day perfect for me, I didn't even know that being part of a hot air balloon festival was in the realm of possibility. We didn't quite make it for our long walk into town, but we did park a long way from the Lisle festival site, so we managed to get our 10,000 steps in for the day. And we didn't go out for ice cream on THAT day, but in the big scheme of things, that element wasn't even missed on this particular day. 

The next time I am asked what I would like to do, I think I will first find out what some of the options are before I answer with my traditional responses. Being part of the balloon festival will be one of those life experiences that will bring me happiness every time I think of it. Never underestimate the value of taking advantage of an opportunity on any given day. Who knows where we'll end up by being open to trying new things? If you've never been to a hot air balloon festival, you might want to consider it. Who knows? You might even get to help one of the crews!

During the glow, each pilot lights up his or her own balloon with the propane fuel.

I couldn't have taken this smile off my face if I'd tried!

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