The 3 of us, college buddies, set out to the beautiful desert of Arizona for some catching up. We drove to Sedona, in the northern Verde Valley to see the beautiful red sandstone formations one day, hiked up the Camelback mountains on another. But the best memory was the day we woke up early one morning before the sun, for a hot air balloon ride in Phoenix over the Sonoran desert land.
The balloon ride was mesmerizing- from the fabric envelope to the vent designs… to the burners that blast out flames controlled skillfully by the pilot as you float.. up up and away… It was so serene floating up in the air watching the flora and fauna from the balloon’s basket. We watched the sun coming up and a few coyotes and jackrabbits from our basket. We saw some giant cacti – the saguaro which is a tree-like cactus species native to the Sonoran Desert in Arizona that can grow to be over 70 feet tall.
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Photo Blog of a hot air balloon ride in Phoenix
Our efforts of waking up early after a long night of chatting away poolside at the beautiful Moroccan inspired Montelucia resort was definitely rewarded. They were a few other balloons along with us, so we opted for the one going towards the middle so that we see them inflate the balloon and also to capture some pictures. You could ask to climb in the basket before the balloon comes up which is what I did, My friends who were not really sure of it in the beginning really enjoyed the ride and the views. We had a champagne breakfast with scones and croissants after our balloon ride.
Bubbles after the balloon ride
There is a long-standing tradition in ballooning that after the flight the passengers and crew have a reception and enjoy some Champagne. If you ever wondered why Champagne, here is why – There is actually a reason behind this that dates back to the 1780s, when the first balloon flights were staged. On one of the first successful manned balloon flights, the pilots carried along a bottle of champagne to enjoy on the flight but instead of actually drinking it, they had to use it as an offer to goodwill to the farmers whose field their balloon had landed in. The champagne convinced the farmers that they were not in fact demons and acted as an apology for disturbing the land and animals grazing in the field. The tradition still stands to this day, where the crew and passengers will toast champagne after the flight is over! Who can say no to hot air balloon rides and bubbles!! Not me!
Soaring up and above the Sonoran desert in a hot air balloon in Phoenix catching the sunrise was one of the best mornings ever! Now I have a wish list of places to go on a hot air balloon with the family and will share it soon here!
Our hot air balloon ride was with a company called Hot Air Expeditions. It was about $150 for the 1-hour sunrise hot air balloon including the post-flight breakfast, hors d’oeuvres and a glass of Champagne.
The Deer Valley Airport
704 E. Deer Valley Rd.
Phoenix, Arizona 85027
Have you been on a hot air balloon ride? Is it on your bucketlist?
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