Monday, April 20, 2009

Hot Air Balloons and Banana Bread

So this last week has really gone by fast.
This coming Thursday is the last day before grading and then off to see David Sedaris at the Hult Center.

Over the last weekend I was able to enjoy the last of my birthday gifts...

I headed up to Portland on Friday evening to meet up with Cassandra before embarking on my latest adventure.
We visited a local patisserie and made a wonderful garden vegetable pizza from scratch before settling down in front of the TV to watch a few episodes of Dexter... A lovely little series about a crime investigator that is actually a serial killer in his free time.

Then off to bed in preparation for our 5:00 a.m. alarm.
In the morning we headed out to a little town called Newberg that is a 45 min. drive from Portland.
For this outing we had the added joy of an internal GPS unit to remove any anxiety about getting lost...
And yet, we still did... But just a little.

We arrived at the field at around 6:30 as planned and retrieved our name tags and balloon assignment.
After standing around and pretending to help for a while, we were ready to take off...
Climbing over the walls of a historic looking wicker basket built to hold no more than seven people.

Before heading out into the valley we practiced our emergency landings (as if it really mattered) and got a quick apology from our pilot who explained that the balloon came first and not to be offended when mid-conversation he would pull the lever on the torches and drown out the voice of the rider who was asking questions.

The ride went by quickly and took us over many interesting sights; fields, rivers, businesses, and finally the row of homes that we landed next to.

It seemed like a strange sight to find three giant hot air balloons landing among a residential neighborhood, but I assumed the neighbors were used to the spectacle.

I noticed one woman wandering out of her home and taking photos of the entire event.
I joked to my fellow riders that the woman had obviously had enough and was documenting the scenario to hand over to the police...

After the flight, which was much smoother than I expected, we caravaned back to the landing strip where a champagne brunch was standing by.

All in all it was a fun experience and I am glad I get to check that off my list of things to do...

This week I have gotten back into the swing of things by baking 180 cookies in two days and am now waiting for the latest round of banana break to work it's magic.

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