Tag Archives: hot air balloon ride

Birthday Balloon

You may recall that Motor Man and I have a friend, Mark, who is a hot air balloonist. We’ve taken a few rides with him, and have helped with many launches and landings.

I enjoy taking pictures and sharing them later with the passengers.

Saturday, our friend, Donna, had the opportunity to ride. She had been on a short balloon flight several years ago, but this one was probably about an hour long. And the timing was just about perfect: her birthday is next weekend.

As the crew was preparing the balloon for the launch, Donna was ‘hands on’, helping hold the envelope open as it was being filled with cold air.

And, of course, we had to take time for a quick selfie.

The balloon flights are usually VERY early in the morning; sunrise shots are worth the early wake-up call.

And I never tire of taking pictures of the “fire in the balloon”.

Soon it was time for take off. Donna shared the ride with a sweet couple celebrating an anniversary.

Bye!  Have fun!

It was a beautiful morning for a flight, and it was fun to “chase” the balloon. Their flight took them over some of our county’s beautiful cotton fields, just waiting to be picked.

After the flight, Motor Man and I joined Donna and the balloon crew for brunch at a local restaurant.

l-r: crew chief Luke, Donna, pilot Mark, myself and Motor Man

Donna shared with us that, during the flight, Mark and the other passengers sang “Happy Birthday” to her.

I’d say she’s getting this birthday celebration “off” to a good start.

~These Days Of Mine~


“Adventure – Us”

Yes, I know that’s SUCH a corny title. But, we were rather adventurous last week when my niece, Donna, and her son, Connor visited. Today, I’m going to share some photos from our excursions.  Fasten your seat belts: it’s a fast-paced post.

As you may have expected, we made a day trip to the Outer Banks, where we saw 23 horses. As we came over one of the dunes, “Eagle-eye” Connor was the first to spot this little one and his mom.  This is baby Liberty, first discovered on Memorial Day weekend. The name was suggested by Corolla Wild Horse Fund Facebook page followers and became official.  He’s a brownish/gray color now, but I’m told he’ll grow to be a beautiful black stallion like his dad.

(zoom lens and photo was cropped after uploading)

(zoom lens and photo was cropped after uploading)

A few weeks ago, when Donna learned that Motor Man and I had gone on a hot air balloon ride, she and Connor decided they’d like to do that during their visit with us. So… off on another early morning adventure.

Connor and Motor Man helped the crew prepare the balloon for our launch.

fire jr connor 7-7-2016 6-55-10 AM

We flew over a lake…

lake and trees 7-7-2016 7-20-14 AM

…and saw our reflection.

balloon reflection in lake 7-7-2016 7-20-49 AM

And posed for a picture once we landed.

4 of us after ride 7-7-2016 7-42-50 AM

On their last full day with us, we traveled to Virginia’s Eastern Shore to the village of Chincoteague.  We took a boat tour, where we saw more horses, waterfowl and dolphin. Cap’n Fred even scooped up a horseshoe crab to show us – up close and personal.  He told us it was harmless and offered us the opportunity to touch it. Um, yeah.  Donna was the only one brave enough to take him up on that offer.

horseshoe crab 7-10-2016 12-13-31 PM

After a wonderful tour, it was time for yet another photo. Cap’n Fred was kind enough to join us.

4 of us2 7-10-2016 2-09-55 PM

It was nice to stay busy doing fun things, but, as you can imagine, that made the time go by so quickly.  Before we knew it,  it was time for Donna and Connor to head home.  Guess we’ll get to work on ideas for adventures for their next visit.

~These Days Of Mine~



Climb In!

You may recall my post from November of 2013,  Up, Up And Away, where we helped launch a hot air balloon.

Or this post, where the hot air balloon event we recently attended at a local winery had to be cancelled because of wind.

Motor Man and I are in touch quite often with Mark, the owner of the balloon company. I received a message from him last Saturday night, saying that they would be launching early Sunday morning.  He thought I may like to come take pictures. (Now where would he get an idea like that?)

So it was a very early morning for us.  This was taken around 5:30, just as we were heading out the door.

sunrise 6-19-2016 5-23-04 AM

About an hour later, the crew was filling the balloon with air.

filling balloon 6-19-2016 6-27-01 AM

 This is an interesting view from the other end of the balloon.

inside balloon 6-19-2016 6-32-20 AM

Things were definitely heating up.

fire3 6-19-2016 6-35-00 AM

Soon, everyone was in the basket and ready for take off.

ready to ride 6-19-2016 6-38-05 AM

Well….almost.  Just a few seconds later, Mark yelled to Motor Man and me: “Two folks didn’t show up, y’all climb in!”

And that may have been for the best, since I didn’t have time to get nervous.

What an absolutely beautiful morning for a balloon flight.

smfd station bridge windsor castle 6-19-2016 6-47-06 AM

Remember the photo I took last week from the James River Bridge of the recovered helicopter?  In this picture, you can see the bridge (to the far right) where I took the picture.

morning jrb6-19-2016 6-49-38 AM 6-19-2016 6-49-38 AM

We became quick friends with another couple on the flight.  They had misplaced their Go-Pro camera, so Motor Man loaned them ours to use – with a promise that I would send them the images. (Hello? Tech support?)

There was just one small problem with our balloon flight: there was NO wind at all that morning. So our ride, although beautiful, was a short one. I took this of our shadow as we were landing.

shadow1 6-19-2016 7-06-02 AM

It was another fun experience with my Motor Man.

dbjr balloon 6-19-2016 7-31-49 AM

And, yes, I do believe I would do it again.

~These Days Of Mine~