Friday, December 12, 2008

12 hot air balloons, 9,000 people, 3 kids, and me without my spouse

Our city puts on an annual Christmas party each year, totally free, and we make it a point to attend either the Friday night festivities (which usually includes the lighting of the city Christmas tree, some live music, and other fun stuff), or the Saturday day time activities (which include booths to shop at, face painting, balloon tying, a visit with Santa Clause, elephant rides, and more).



This year, the plan was to try to get to both days, but Saturday just ended up being way too packed.  (Please tell me I'm not the only one to totally overschedule my Saturdays)  Anyway, of course my hubby was at work Friday night, but I very bravely bundled up the kids and took them out for the Friday evening activities near the baseball stadium.



It was one of the coolest things I'd ever experienced with my kids!  I'm so glad we went!  For one, they closed off an entire street to cars and opened it up for pedestrians, so thousands of people were just walking down the street, sitting in the median, eating, visiting, singing along with the live band, etc.  We gathered on bleachers and listened to some 70s music, saw some cute skits from little drama clubs in action, and met our town mayor.  The tree was officially lit, Santa strolled through with the promise of visiting longer on Saturday, and then the real fun started.



The hot air balloons.



Now I've never really been up close to one of these things; they really are huge.  But they are so interesting to watch as they get set up. 



The best was the bright yellow one--not only was it first, but because of it's bright color, the flames really lit it up well. 



The balloons were lined up down the street, and in the parking lots of the library, pool, and stadium.  So very neat!



I was proud of my boys and myself for keeping it together without any help.  Towards the end, Ethan started wandering a bit, and that's when I took my cue that it was time to leave.  But I think they'll always remember this little bit of fun right in the middle of their city.


As you can hear, my kids were really excited.

See?  I told you today's blog would be shiny.  =)


Anonymous said...

Shiny! Thats one of the adjectives used lots in Joss Whedon's series Firefly that takes place in the future. I forgot to lend you the series when you where here last..........


Jesika said...

That looks like it was tons of fun!! I've heard several people that went! I'm sorry we missed it....but there's always next year, right!! :o)

Scrapenabler said...

Looks like a cool activity and a great way to start off the season!

cube said...

Sounds like a blast. Thanks for sharing the pictures.

Randa said...

Looks like fun!! Hubby and I actually rode in a hot air balloon two summers ago. A little nerve wracking, but a LOT of fun!
...of course shortly after that we kept hearing about hot air balloons that caught on fire...
Eh, no matter -- that event is checked off our "Life's To-Do" list ;o)

Lorie said...

How great! There are so many fun things that I hear about AFTEr they happen! Next year I am going to have to be more on the ball!

Cindy said...

how i wish there will be such activity at my hometown...

The Domestic Queen said...

Looks like fun!! Yeah for you braving it. The only thing I have ever really braved on my own with 4kids was church and I think the Surprise Party might be easier.

jinxi~ aka angi said...

Very cool! I wonder if my Dad knew about this..!
Im glad you got out with the boys and managed to keep it together..3 boys+crowds=nerves! hehe