Saturday, August 2, 2014

National Balloon Classic

2014 has been a year of many firsts for our family of five. We got to add another one to the list this week: the National Balloon Classic in Indianola, Iowa (for more info about the event, visit: Wednesday evening we packed up the kids and headed down to Indianola. It's a fairly easy drive, but we definitely hit some traffic along the way thanks to road construction and a busy night at the balloon field.

I took advantage of traffic coming to a halt to snap some pictures of the Iowa countryside. The closer we got to the balloon field, the more we started seeing hot air balloons in the sky, and the more the kids got excited.

The first time the kids (and myself!) have seen hot air balloons up close. We actually had better views of the balloons from the road than we did inside the balloon field.

We had to take our usual family selfie.

We managed to skip doing the kid activities (bounce houses, spin art, face painting) when I told the kids we had all of that at home. This was one of the first times EVER that this actually registered with them and there wasn't some sort of meltdown, embarrassing tantrum thrown. We did treat the kids to their first Tropical Snow (one cherry and one pineapple). They loved it.

Since I had never been to the Balloon Classic, I had no idea what to expect. Apparently I should have asked around because I failed to bring a blanket or chairs.

I was trying to have the hubs take a decent picture of me with the balloons in the background. Miss E had to sit on my lap while we tried. After a couple of pictures, she had had enough and exclaimed "get up mom!"

The kids played tag while we waited for the Night Glow Extravaganza to begin.

1-2-3 GLOW!! We stayed to watch them do this a couple of times and then we left so we could beat the traffic (and any sort of overly tired meltdown that was sure to happen at some point).

The view from the parking lot (really a grassy field) as we left. The kids enjoyed seeing the balloons. There were many questions about how hot air balloons work, who drives them, etc. This makes me really thankful for Wikipedia! As we left, the middle mini upped the bar for next summer and requested a balloon ride instead of "just looking at those balloons."