Saturday, July 9, 2011

Hot Air Ballooning over Elora Gorge!!!!

Two Christmases ago, I got a gift from Graham's Mum to go hot airballooning!  Last year, we tried 4 times to get up in the air, but each time, it either rained (when it wasn't calling for it), was too windy, or storms were looming.  Everytime, I felt so frustrated that we couldn't get me up in the air, but they were more than happy to honour my certificate this year.  We ended up getting a huge bonus out of this, as two GREAT friends, gave us instructions in their wedding card to do something fun with their gift!  This meant that now, Graham can come with me too!!!!!!!!  YAY!

So, in May, when we got back from our honeymoon, we booked our day out!  We were told the same old, same old... "as long as the wind is less than 6kms, there aren't any storms or rain called for, and the winds go in the right direction, you will fly on July 9th at 6am"!  We wanted to do the sunrise ride, eventhough it was a two hour drive to Elora to fly.  We called in last night, to confirm we'd fly, being told to call back at 3am, when we got up, as the wind forecast is still questionable!  Argh!  Well, we called and we were FLYING!!!!!!

So we drove the EARLY drive to Elora, met the ballooning company- Upward Bound, and had to wait for 3 other people.  Annoyingly, they didn't answer their phone, so we took off to the launch location and were switched to a smaller balloon.  Annoyingly, because 30 mins into the setup, they called, saying they slept in!  The owner decided to wait for them, thus making us wait, and we were LESS than impressed that WE HAD TO WATCH THE SUNRISE FROM THE GROUND!!!!!!!!!!!!  Graham was so annoyed with the people when they finally came, and their 20 year old attitude of: "oops!  thanks for waiting 1.5 hours for us!  we would have been PISSED if we missed this". I was waiting for him to snap and tell them off for making us wait, but he didn't!  We got over it, and decided to just enjoy the experience, eventhough we missed the sunrise in the air and had to wait 1.5 hours to get in the air in the first place!

As they took so long to get there, we actually got to be involved in a pretty cool experience!  Graham got to help set up the balloon, blow it up with the owner, turn the basket and get the balloon ready to fly!  He was pretty excited about this, as it was just me, him and the owner to experience all of this together!  Trust me, there were a LOT of pictures taken!

We took off once the others arrived, and flew from Elora, to Elmira.  We were in the air for 1.5 hours in total, as the wind, weather and environment were perfect for a longer flight!  It was an amazing experience, and me, who's terrified of heights, did NOT panic, freak out, white knuckle the handles or anything!  I even moved around the balloon, took lots of pictures leaning out/over the balloon base and helped jump up and down to get the balloon finally on the ground flat (in a mennonite farmer's field!).  I would HIGHLY recommend it to ANYONE, as even me, the girl who panicked at the top of Wat Arun, could do it!

I *ALMOST* think that I could sky dive now....almost.

The views from our take off point!!!

As the sun rose, the balloon was being set up...

The balloon itself weighs almost 650 pounds, so they roll it out of the back of the truck and let the truck pull away!

The balloon itself is 90 feet tall when inflated!

Graham helping inflate the balloon!

The inside of the balloon!!!!

Graham was VERY excited at this point!!!

Me with the balloon, all ready to go!

Our relflections!

The gas in on, and we're ready to go!!!

Off we go!!!!!

Not one bit of FREAKING out about heights at all!!!!  So excited!


The view was extremely beautiful from up here!

The Grand River...

Elora farms...

Loving the view!

Sneaking a kiss!

Coming into Elmira!

The balloon over the farmer's field!

Just about to land!!!

Had a LOT of fun, but excited to be on the ground!

The Mennonites that let us use their farm and their beautiful horse and buggy!

Well, there was our FABULOUS morning!!!!



What a cool gift! I always tried to hint to Ed that he should propose to me in a hot air balloon but that didn't happen...I am still waiting for my hot air balloon flight. Glad you had a good time!

Post a Comment