Here's something you don't think you'll hear: "Hey Jess, you wanna go on a hot air balloon ride?" Answer: Duh. It turns out that it works in my favor that I know my dad [aside from the fact that he's an outstanding guy], because he knows a doctor from work and this doctor knows his brother who flies hot air balloons. I know people who drive cars, people who drive boats, and even someone who flies a plane. But until this very day, I did not know someone who flew hot air balloons. Needless to say, the experience was really cool, and as we soared over the local Wendy's I couldn't help but note the irony that while I have such a fear of airplane flying, put me in a small wicker basket surrounded by combustable fuel tanks with a large flame burning into a very thin sac of fabric with no seat belts, and I'm happy as groupie at a Bon Jovi concert. It was cool seeing the entire city of Boise from a very different perspective...we floated right over people's houses, waving them friendly hellos...although dear citizens of Boise: if you are a large, beer bellied pale man, out of general courtesy to hot air ballooners you should put some clothing on before you exit your house. But you know, I guess you didn't ask us to fly over your property either, so in that case be free!!!
These are some things I found out about hot air ballooning:
1. You should not wear Tom's shoes out in the wee hours of the morning as the grass tends to be very dew-kissed, which sounds very romantic and beautiful I suppose but your feet will be very thoroughly soaked.
2. Boise has far more outdoor swimming pools then one would anticipate.
3. Hot air ballooning is very cool if you ever want to know what people's back yard spaces look like. It turns out people have small forests a.k.a. gardens, and some people desperately need to mow their lawns. There was one neighborhood in particular I wouldn't have minded residing in as it had a pool in one yard and a freaking sweet trampoline right next door. Those kids must be happy.
4. While one might anticipate that it would be a bit breezy up in the air, and one person [a.k.a. me] might layer up and bring an extra sweatshirt, because you would typically equate "high altitude" with "chilly," do not be fooled. It is HOT up there. And not just because I was present...[get it...cuz I'm HOT...just kidding. But it had to be said]
5. "Back in the box" is hot air balloon lingo for "going back to where you originally flew out from." Apparently it doesn't happen too often.
6. Apparently hot air balloons create some sort of a sound that is a higher frequency then human beings can hear and it makes dogs get a little nutty. Thus, we left a wave of barking dogs in our wake.
7. There is a LOT of work that goes into it! You have to have a whole crew of people to help you out, you have to go through all this testing to get your license, I mean it's a whole family affair! I suppose it's just one of those things that you never really think of when you say, "Oh hey! A hot air balloon!"
I would highly suggest hot air ballooning at some point in your life because let me tell you, you will not be disappointed. And you can mark it off that Bucket List!