Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta

Andrea and I went to the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta on the weekend of October 7-10 in Albuquerque, NM.  On Thursday, October 7, we drove from Denver to Albuquerque.  We went to dinner at Garduños and ended up running into Brad, one of my brother’s friends from Los Alamos, who is a waiter there.  After dinner we headed back to the hotel since we wanted to be at Balloon Fiesta Park by 5:45 am the next morning for the Dawn Patrol.

On October 8, we arrived at Balloon Fiesta Park at 5:45 am.  The Dawn Patrol was a little disappointing because the winds were a little high for the full flight, so only one balloon went up.  We bided our time by grabbing a breakfast burrito and checking out all of the various vendors at the park.  Around 8 am, the winds finally subsided enough for the Mass Ascension which is an incredible sight.  I would guess around 40 balloons took off within about the first 20 minutes with a number of stragglers after that.

Following the Mass Ascension, we left Balloon Fiesta Park for lunch where we met Daniel at Sadie’s.  The food there was wonderful as always.  Sadie’s is always in my top 2 or 3 restaurants anywhere.  Following lunch, we went back to the hotel to take a nap before the Night Glow.

At 6 pm we arrived at Ballon Fiesta Park for the Night Glow.  This was a new experience for me because they didn’t have the glow the last time I went to the Balloon Fiesta.  The glow is really incredible as all of the balloons stay tethered to the ground and then they fire their burners so they light up in the night.  Friday was the “Special Shapes Glowdeo,” so the only balloons there were the ones that had unusual shapes.  My personal favorites included the Space Shuttle, the American Flag, the Orient Express locomotive, and the Flying Pig. 

On Saturday we went to the French Pastry Shop at La Fonda Inn in Santa Fe and then went up to Los Alamos and talked to my Grandma for a couple of hours.  Later we went to Rancho de Chimayo, the only New Mexican restaurant better than Sadie’s, for dinner with my dad. 

Finally on Sunday we returned to Denver.  I’ve posted a number of pictures from the trip on my photo page.  Enjoy!