Saturday, November 17, 2012

Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta

I remember hearing about the Balloon Fiesta when we first started full-timing but then I completely forgot about it until our hash friend, Duhhh, mentioned it when I said we were heading there in October. Luckily enough I only had to adjust our "schedule" a few days to attend this little event. Bill and I had a fun experience in a hot air balloon a couple of years before when we celebrated a friend's birthday in Napa with a balloon ride. In reality it was less than exciting, we were up at 6 am to avoid the high heat that May day but it wasn't early enough, it seems, as we never got up very high or went very far. This experience, although it did not include any personal rides up in the balloon, was every bit exceptional! I had posted on Facebook that we were going to be attending and got some good advice from other fellow rvers and also an invite to meet up with another full-timing couple that was in the area.

At dawn we all sang the Star Spangled Banner with this first balloon.

Ms. Annabelle from the rear!

We started out our 4 day adventure with a bike ride over to the Fiesta grounds where we were quickly booted off as they are serious about the security of the vendors stalls while they are closed. But we made fast friends with one of the security guys who loved hearing about our full-timing adventures. We were up early the next day to see the Dawn Patrol in the dark. We had a no-hook-up site across the street from the grounds and were just about to head back for a nap when we were texted from fellow rvers to meet them. Richard and Michelle have been on the road a year or so now and were a fun couple that we invited over for a mid-day drink. They were staying in Santa Fe and this was their second or third trip down to attend the fiesta. We connected right away and told them about the hash and they wanted to attend the Balloon Fiesta hash the Albuquerque Hash House Harriers was having Saturday.

It is always fun for us to introduce people to the hash - we talk about it all the time and everyone always wants to do one but in reality about 1% of the people who say this actually show up when they say they will. Well, Richard and Michelle were one of the 1%! We met them at the start location which was a hasher's home who lived close to the Fiesta grounds and we set off on a short trail to the event. It was a good hash for a non-runner's first hash and our virgins had a great time and an even better time at the end when the hash hosted a big bbq back at the start location. We had a great time and made plans to meet Richard and Michelle in Santa Fe when we headed up that way.

Wherever we go we have our mail forwarded from Tahoe - usually it's to an rv park where we're parked, but often we have to forward it to the US Postal Service General Delivery. I go online to the USPS website and it lists which post offices accept general delivery. I found the one closest to us and used that address....well, I guess the website information is NOT always correct! Confirm, confirm, confirm...please learn from my mistakes - always call and confirm that they do indeed accept general delivery mail - in my case the post office I used no longer accepted it and this caused quite a problem. Not only did I have my mail from Tahoe forwarded to me but my mother mailed me something to this address as did Netflix. The only smart thing I did do was send my mail from Tahoe with delivery confirmation. With delivery confirmation you can go online and see where your mail is in the process. When we went to pick up our mail, after we saw it was delivered online, we were informed it wasn't there and was probably being forwarded to the main post office - over the course of the next few days we made numerous trips to all of the post offices in the neighborhood - no mail, anywhere... We saw online that it was bouncing around between all of the post offices but no one knew anything about it. We were excited when we saw that it was back in Sacramento, then all of sudden it was back in Albuquerque - FINALLY after about 2 weeks it made it back to Tahoe! I never received my Netflix movie and the mail my mom sent came back to her 3 weeks later with a torn envelope and empty of the what she had mailed to me. 

As I am sure you have figured out by now, Bill has Air Force friends all over this country, including Albuquerque! Gary and Clarissa Grant picked us up and took us to a mongolian bbq place for dinner- a great spot for us plant eating-whole foodies, we had a great time and left with some pretty awesome leftovers! We made plans to see them the following week at the Air Force Academy reunion in Colorado Springs. We also hit up our first "vegan" restaurant, Vegan Thai, where we dined for our 3rd anniversary. Not exactly how we had celebrated our other two but it was fun to be able to order anything off the menu!

Bebe at the Balloon Fiesta Mass Acenscion


  1. This is amazing! I really want to go and see it as well! When is the best season to go and see these hot air balloons?

  2. The Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta is in October every year. Here is the link to their website