On Saturday morning, at 7am, we gracefully floated up through the sky with a sea of colors above our heads. As the sun made its first appearance for the day, the golden rays warmed the sky and our world was brighter. We were floating above Atlanta in a basket build for four below a gigantic balloon built for the sky. What a way to experience a sun rise! We booked our journey with Great American Days and flew with Balloon Atlanta creating another unforgettable bucket list adventure. Life is more beautiful when you are in the sky.
Great American Days offers more than 6000 amazing experience gifts for every budget, taste, and occasion. From riding in a race car to relaxing at a day spa, their experience gifts create memories that last a lifetime. You just select an experience, receive the gift certificate, book your experience online, and have the time of your life. There is no better site for adventure seekers like Darren and I. When I’m trying to think of a gift for an occasion or just a special treat, I always start at Great American Days. Even when I’m in a new state or city, I browse their site for ideas and inspiration.
Stuart, our pilot, is at ease in the air. He has over 2400 hours in hot air balloons, more than 200 in gas balloons, 500+ in airplanes, and 80+ parachute jumps; he’s my kind of guy. His relaxed personality and easy-going demeanor added to the serenity of the flight. We soared away from the traffic and stresses of daily life to a more peaceful place where your neighbors are birds and other balloons.
As the sun rays burst into the sky, the massive orange and yellow glow rose to meet us. We were rising with the sun and equally beautiful in color and grandeur.
Surprisingly, left and right can’t be controlled during flight in a hot air balloon, making landing an interesting part of the adventure as well. One hour of flying was followed by a cul-de-sac landing in an unsuspecting community. Two young men, Austin Lacey and Hunter Wilkey, were awaken by the sounds of a beast in their yard. (The forceful flames of the burner have an uncanny resemblance to the sounds of a dragon.)
We dropped into the neighborhood and radioed our location to the chase crew. At 8am, it must have been quite the surprise for Austin when he looked out his front window only to be greeted by a hot air balloon on his lawn. He and his friend, along with other community members, crowded around to ask questions. We were the highlight of their day and their inquisitive nature heightened the awareness of our “Great American” adventure.
The flight ended with a toast to us, ballooning, and life. Stuart’s heartfelt words were a reflection of his passion for flight. We sipped champagne with a couple that just got engaged during their flight and Darren and I looked at each other in appreciation and loving acknowledgement. We are living the life of our dreams with beauty and new experiences around every corner.
It can be difficult at times to find a new adventure, something that neither Darren or I have experienced, but with inspiration from Great American Days and unique ventures like ballooning over Atlanta, we manage to continuing adding life to our list.