Saturday, August 7, 2010
It's Saturday! Andy and I have been debating on how to spend our weekend. As usual, I consulted my Austin Events Calendar to see what was happening around town. I saw that there was going to be a hot air balloon flyover at Lake Travis early Saturday morning. I love hot air balloons! But that word "early" had me a little anxious. I love to start Saturdays early-ish but I usually want a bowl of cereal, a cup of coffee and a fifteen minute back-to-sleep nap before I face the world on a Saturday.
I checked on the central Texas ballooning website and saw that the balloons were set to launch at 6:53 AM. Andy already had plans to meet up with some friends from his team to travel to Burnet for a fallen soldier's memorial service. He would need to leave around 8, so we decided it was best to forget about the balloons and get a good night's sleep.
When we awoke a little after 7:30, I got up to make coffee and oatmeal. I wanted to get a good look at the morning, so I walked out onto our second story porch. When I got out there, I heard this really loud noise. It sounded like a pressure washer. They've been doing a lot of maintenance on our building lately, so I thought that someone was pressure washing the walls or something. I was looking down, toward the sidewalk, looking for the maintenance person making such a racket, when suddenly the noise sounded again and this time, it sounded like it was coming from somewhere overhead. I turned my gaze upward and found myself staring right at a hot air balloon! It was almost eye-level with me. I could make eye contact with the people in the basket! It looked close enough to touch, but in reality, it was probably about 100 feet away. Still, there was a hot air balloon in my apartment complex! I ran to get Andy and my camera!
When I got back out to the porch the balloon that had been the closest had moved on. I was almost beside myself with excitement as I tried to describe to Andy how close the balloon had been... closer even than the apartment's leasing office, which sits across the parking lot from our building. As I described my experience, I heard the noise again, and looked up in time to see another balloon floating just above us. I snapped some shots, but my lens fogged up, so nothing turned out very well.
Anyway, it was a really exciting way to start the day. I called my mom immediately, because she loves hot air balloons, and wants to go up in one some day. But re-telling the experience doesn't do it justice. Maybe I'm a nerd, ok, I am a nerd, but it's exciting to wake up and see a hot air balloon hovering in your apartment complex parking lot. They were lovely, peaceful, colorful, fun. A great way to start the day! And I still got to have my coffee before going out! :)