Our ride had been scheduled the week previously but had been rained out. Turns out not only did we have great weather this time around but our ride coincided with the annual Gatineau Hot Air Balloon Festival and we'd be taking off with 80 other balloons!
We met at the pick up spot at 5:45am. We got there a little early. Old habits die hard. With time to kill, I pulled out the Blackberry and at 5:11 I tweeted:
going got air ballooning Awaiting pickup Should be cool
Who knew you had to spell. At 5:13 I tweeted:
hot hot hot air ballooning
My wife and I, another couple and a family of four hopped into the balloon company's van and off we went to the launch site.
At 6:04, as if anyone else was up and interested, I tweeted:
at the launch site still dark
My next missive was from the air. I was so enthralled with the ride I totally forgot to Tweet until 7:24 when I effused:
in air gorgeous
Back on solid ground, I shared with my Tweeps at 8:24:
we're down...landed smoothly in a soccer field
Ironically, we'd landed about two blocks from our house! Unfortunately, we had to drive back to the pick up site to retrieve our car.
Back at home, bum firmly on couch and laptop firmly in lap I summed up our trip with this Tweet:
home after 1hr hot air balloon ride over Ottawa - part of Gatineau balloon festival - 1 of 80 balloons - one less item on bucket list now
You wouldn't have believed the ride. No words can really describe the majestic beauty of a hot air balloon ride just after sunrise. Lucky for you I took some pictures!
The highest we flew was at about 1100 feet. We left the sun behind us as we drifted west out over the Ottawa River, passing over both the Prime Minister's house and Parliament Hill. We landed within walking distance of where we live.
In French, hot air balloon translates into mongolfiere. While the word has absolutely nothing to do with drivers and four-irons, my warped mind thought it was fitting we almost touched down on a golf course!
It was an uplifting experience.