Hot air ballooning

A couple weeks ago we spent the weekend in Sonoma and went on a hot air balloon ride. This is something we attempted to do last July but couldn’t, due to a series of screw-ups by the tour company that we had to book through (we were stuck dealing with the third-party tour organizers because we had a gift certificate for them). This time around I was sure to book well in advance, confirm, and re-confirm before we even drove up there.

The balloons take off from the small Sonoma County airport, and have to be up and back down early, before the airport opens to normal air traffic at 9:00am. This means arriving at 5:30am in order to have time to inflate the balloons, get up, and back down. We helped inflate the balloons and were in the air for about an hour.

Hot air ballooning over Sonoma

We did have a close call which almost caused us to miss out on the ride this time too, due to a heavy fog forecast. Luckily it cleared up in time, leaving us with a low cloud layer that we were able to get above. This was the most spectacular part of the ride, floating above the clouds with the earth totally invisible to us. The ride felt almost motionless and when the burners weren’t on, it was totally silent. It was peaceful and, with the cloud layer below us, almost dream-like.

Hot air ballooning over Sonoma

There was another balloon in addition to ours. Our pictures in the air are of this other balloon, taken from the one we were in.

As someone with mild acrophobia, I was a little apprehensive about this. Which isn’t to say I didn’t want to go — the whole thing was my idea and I was really looking forward to it — but I had a couple uncomfortable moments in the air. It was nothing severe enough to take away from my enjoyment of the ride though, and I would still like to try skydiving and maybe even getting a pilots license someday.

More pictures


Good.You have taken nice pictures in the sky.Really flying in the sky is a joyful journey.