Land of Enchantment
I'm excited to finally share my road trip to Albuquerque, New Mexico! Honestly, this trip couldn't have came at a better time. I was mentally ready to have a little getaway. I was invited by one of my best friends Sara and I immediately said "yes"....actually, it was more like "hell yea!" The trip from OKC to Albuquerque, New Mexico would take us about 7 hours and 45 minutes. We wanted to fit in as much as possible since we would only be staying for two full days. The main thing that we wanted to go to was the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta. So here's a little info on the whole fiesta: It is the largest hot air ballooning event in the world and is said to be the most photographed event on earth! Each October, hundreds of balloonists and thousands of tourists from around the world come to witness nine days of amazing hot air ballooning events. Events include the mass ascension of hundreds of balloons, a gas balloon race, balloon glows, balloon competitions, and more.
--F R I D A Y--
We all started off to New Mexico around noon and actually, the car ride was so quick. I guess it was all the great jam sessions that made everything go by so fast. We checked into our hotel around 8:30 and went to explore what was around us. Of course, we had to stop by the two story Target. #noshame. We ended up going to bed pretty "late" because we had to get up 3 AM the next morning to head to the balloon fiesta.
--S A T U R D A Y--
Saturday...the best day ever. Seriously if you're asking yourself, what so cool about balloons floating in the air...think again. This was such a cool experience. So like I said, we had to get early but instead of getting up at 3, we woke up around 2:45.
We decided to take a shuttle to the event instead of driving there because we knew parking would be ridiculous. From our hotel, the drive was about 20 minutes. Not bad. As soon as we unloaded from the shuttle, we found the nearest breakfast burrito stand. I mean, they were invented here so it was must. The weather was supposed to be super cold but it actually didn't feel bad...at that moment. After we ate, we made our way to the field where all the balloons would be.
For not knowing where the heck we were going, we did an excellent job. We ended up getting a "front row" viewing of the whole process of blowing up the balloon. Let me tell you, these things are gigantic and it was really cool to see how these things inflate in the first place. They basically lay it down flat, use a huge fan to get the balloon going and then use fire to inflate the whole thing. Around 6 AM, the laser show started. It just a short show that let's people know that the conditions were cleared by the "Dawn Patrol" and that the "morning glow" was about to start. Morning glow is where a few balloons will line up and use their propane burners to light up in the morning before sunrise while still tethered to the ground. The pilots will do synchronised burns and the balloons will look like colourful lanterns. Next was "mass ascension", this is where hundreds of balloons all launch in the same morning, generally over a 1.5 to 2 hour period. It really is an experience to see these giant balloons launch into the sky.
After the balloons launched, we headed back to our hotel to nap. I mean, we had to. We headed back to the fiesta grounds around 3 to experience all the vendors and food trucks before the evening show. When night finally fell, all of the balloons were once again blown up all together. There was balloons as far as you eyes could see. It was beautiful and i'm so glad that we came back to see them all light up at once!
--S U N D A Y--
We really wanted to explore the town while we were in Albuquerque. We decided to spend the day going to brunch, visiting a winery and shopping around Old Town. We thought about going to the fiesta again but we wanted to see other things as well and I'm glad that we did. That morning we stopped by Grove Cafe & Market to grab some brunch before the rest of our day's activities. After brunch, we made our way to Casa Rondena Winery: a Tuscan-inspired vineyard. We loved our experience their and even made some amazing new friends along the way! After enjoying a glass of wine, we decided to head into Old Town to do some shopping and grab dinner. The historic town is so charming with it's colourful Adobe style shops. We ended the day by grabbing some gelato and a shop near our hotel and shared our favorite moments together.
Brunch: Grove Cafe & Market
Casa Rondena Winery
--M O N D A Y--
We started our drive back around 1 and I was dying from lack of sleep. I maybe got 4 hours of sleep each night. But, it was totally worth it. While driving back through Amarillo,Texas, we decided to stop by Cadillac Ranch: a public art installation that you can spray paint.
In conclusion, everything couldn't have gone any better! Seriously. For not ever going before, we sure did KILL this trip. I loved going with both old and new friends and we all had such a great time. I can't wait for out next adventure!