Hot Air Balloon Festival//Albuquerque, New Mexico

Hello there!

I hope you all had a Merry Christmas and I hope your upcoming New Year is excellent! Today on the blog is a trip I took back in October to the Hot Air Balloon Fiesta in New Mexico that I am JUST NOW getting to because the past few months have been a little cray cray. I am sharing this trip because of a couple reasons: 1. I got some killer photos from the trip (so you can say it's photography related- ish) and 2. I LOVE travel and it's important in my life so why not share that with you? 

My hubby and I decided to go on this trip August 2014 after we celebrated our 3 year anniversary. We both LOVE hot air balloons and have related our relationship and the way our personalities are to a hot air balloon so it's kind of like a theme in our marriage. David is usually the balloon because he's always dreaming and coming up with ideas and can get carried away. I'm usually the basket because I tend to be more practical and grounded and I want to take things step by step and I want to make a plan.

So we decided we wanted to celebrate our 4 year anniversary in August by going to the festival and riding in a balloon. When we looked into it we saw that the festival was in October so we decided to ride a balloon for our anniversay here in Colorado and then go to the festival for David's birthday in October. We road tripped through Colorado and on the way we hit Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs and then Sand Dunes National Park in Alamosa County. It was so fun but turned our 7hr road trip into a 12hr road trip but it was worth it!

This was our first stop: Garden of the Gods

Then we drove on to Sand Dunes National Park but found the beautiful aspen trees changing color and had to stop to soak it in:

We finally arrived at the dunes. Now remember, it was October so even though it looks like the desert it was pretty cold and really windy and it actually started raining. It was a long run to the car so we were pretty soaked by the time we could get covered but it was all part of the adventure! 

Then after hours of more driving and another 1hr stop helping a lady replace her flat tire we arrived to New Mexico. We got up SUPER early the next morning and drove to the festival and on the way, our car broke down haha. As we were walking into the festival, these Rainbow Ryders balloons were already inflating and were preparing to take off. Let me just tell you that it was magical! The weekend definitely got better but seeing that many balloons together all at once was mind blowing. Also the first day we were there and the third day focused on the special shapes balloons so we got to see some awesome shapes!

Because we were up so early on day one we decided to sleep in on day two and just go to the evening session. During the day, we hung out with some other travelers from Scotland that were staying in the same Airbnb as us and we went to the Sandia Mountains for a tramway tour. It was so fun and so beautiful!

Then as the sun was setting we got to watch the balloons inflate at the Glow:

Then on the last day we woke up early again to catch the launch and as we were approaching we saw Dawn Patrol. Dawn Patrol is a small crew of a few very skilled pilots that can fly when it's dark out. It was seriously so magical and we felt full of wonderment. The balloons rose and filled up the sky with twinkling balloons. Then we went home after the balloons had landed and went home to take a nap. Then we returned in early evening to see the Glow again. Such an amazing weekend!

And then the evening session:

So that's it! If you looked at all of the photos and/or read the whole post then kudos to you! 

P.S. I will be leaving to backpack around Europe for a month in just two short weeks so stay tuned for lots more travel related posts!