Hi there! It's just about time to share the list bit of my latest trip to Las Vegas, and I'm sort of saving the best for last. I'll be wrapping the trip with my list of favorite places to stay, eat, shop, and see tomorrow. But today I want to share the big bang of our trip, a hot air balloon ride! This was by far one of the highlights of the trip for me, not to mention it was on our wedding anniversary. Such an incredible way to celebrate our special marriage. We used this Vegas Hot Air Balloon Ride tour, and couldn't have asked for a better experience. Our ride was first thing in the morning as the sun rose, but the early morning wake time was totally worth it!
The tour includes hotel pick up (love this benefit!) for a ride to the office. After arriving at the balloon company's offices, we were split up into groups for each balloon. From there, we were driven to the balloon's launch site where we helped with airing up the balloon. This part was almost just as magical as the ride itself! It is amazing how they handle such a massive balloon. Yes, massive! I never imagined it would be SO big, and the photos don't do the size justice. I think it is one of those things you have to see up close & personal for yourself.
Once the balloon was good to go, we were placed in the basket which is actually sectioned off for each passenger. I imagined having free reign to move around, but it makes so much more sense to have your own "seat" if you will. It keep the balloon balanced, and it really makes things run much smoother as you don't have anyone in your personal space. The couples were placed side by side, so we were still together. Then, the magic happened!
I truly am not sure what I had envisioned. I did anticipate being very nervous. However, I never was! The preparation for take off with simple and easy with such a nice staff, and the take off was smooth sailing. Having such great guides really makes a difference. Anyway, as we got into the air the views were spectacular! In one direction the Las Vegas strip was coming to life with the morning sun, and the mountains were waking in the other. The greatest treat was catching a glimpse of a snow capped mountain, Charleston Peak. We also saw the homes of Penn & Teller, respectively, as well as beautiful parks, golf courses, homes, and wildlife. I also enjoyed watching the other balloons, as several took flight that morning, all going in different directions. It was a fabulous way to see Las Vegas in a different, new-to-us view and an experience that won't soon be forgotten.
As our ride came to a close, our chase van met us below in a field. We had a SUPER smooth landing. I almost hadn't even realized we'd touched down, a sure sign of a fabulous pilot! By the time we climbed out of the basket, it was already getting quite warm, and this is when the work began. Here the balloon had to be taken down, deflated, and packed up. The guides have this down to a science I tell you! It was great for us to get to be apart of it as well. It made the experience even more special. To complete the deflating process, we each laid on the tied up balloon that was on the ground in a long strip. Quite a fun and neat process! Then the balloon was rolled up nice and compact into its bag, and tucked away into the trailer.
After the work was done, the pilot had us all come together for a traditional champagne (and mimosas) toast and a sweet poem:
"The winds have welcomed you with softness
The sun has blessed you with its warm hands
You have flown so high and so well
That God has joined you in your laughter
and set you gently back into the loving arms of mother earth."
It was so lovely! The pilot said this is a tradition after every hot air balloon ride in the world. What a nice thought to be apart of such a tradition! Our experience on this ride was nothing short of spectacular, a sure bucket list item checked off! If you're headed to Vegas I highly recommend taking a few hours to see these amazing views yourself, and you'll love this great tour company. Check out the sunset ride during the summer months as well! Thank you so much for coming on this journey with me. I hope you enjoyed hearing about our experience and browsing our photos. Come back soon!
If you are interested in more ideas for things to do in Las Vegas you can contact me here to book your own vacation in Sin City!