October 7, 2021-Balloon Fiesta

(click for today's pictures)

Today was the big day-Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. Our morning started at 5:15, but our night didn't go to smoothly last night. As soon as we put Bentley in her kennel she started whining and barking. Robby took her out to potty, and as soon as she was back in her kennel she began again. She carried on enough that Campbell and Keaton tried to figure out how to sneak her back to their bed. 

They didn't have to worry about that, because we are softies too. Trying to get some good sleep last night since it was a short night, we made a decision that we will probably regret later-we let her sleep with us. We slept perfectly well with her all cuddled up to us, but that may mean that tonight she expected to lay in the same spot. 

We started stirring a bit after 5:20. I tried my best to wake up the kids without having to be ugly! Ha! Everyone was pretty excited about heading to see the balloons so we didn't have to work too hard at waking people up. 

Before 6, we had already bought tickets and were headed into the gates. There were about 5 balloons that were blowing up then. It was dark outside so the fire from their balloons caused them to glow. It was really neat to see.

A bit later, a huge cow balloon rose into the sky, and under it was hanging the American flag. The loud speaker played the National Anthem, and afterwards folks cheered. We walked around for a few minutes past all of the vendors, and then headed to find Nonna, Pops, Grannymom and Grandpa in their hospitality tent.

We were able to find them easily so after a bit, they joined us walking through the balloons. Keaton's main task today was collecting trading cards from all of the balloons. She collected 54 different cards today-they say that there are 500 different cards. 

As we were walking through the balloons, they were also taking off. It was kind of neat seeing them float right above our heads. I am not sure how many balloons floated away today-probably 100 or more. It was definitely a site to see.

After a few hours, we left Anderson, Reagan, Campbell and Whitman go back to the camper. Keaton and Graham stayed with us as Robby, Grannymom and I walked around the entire field. We saw some balloons coming back trying to land at a specific spot, but we also did a lot of walking. Robby's watch said that he has walked over 9 miles today, and I have pretty much been with him the entire day so I know that I have walked that much as well. It was almost a Disney walking day.

Once we had made our big loop, we did head back to the camper. There Robby did some work until it was time for our very late breakfast. We made some chocolate chip pancakes along with some bacon for us to eat. Once we cleaned up, we then headed to Petroglyph National Monument.

They are very Covid aware there-everything is outside including the movie. Whitman did snag us a Jr. Ranger badge. We then had to drive to a trail head to walk around the petroglyphs. There it was very easy to see quite a few of them. Though I am not sure how many of them are legitimate. 

Next stop was Albertsons since we had a few coupons, since we needed water and since we needed a snack. Robby came out with ice cream for most folks-the others picked their own candy or snack. We ate on the way to the next stop-PacSun which is a store that Reagan is trying to order a dress from. 

She hasn't been sure of which size to get so she ran in to try on a dress to get an idea of which size to order from their webside. Hopefully the dresses that she tried on were similar enough to help her choose what she needs. Either way though she loved the store and could have stayed in there much longer browsing and shopping. The boys were all in the car so we couldn't stay too long!

Then it was back to the camper to prepare for the evening activities. Robby and I were walking when we saw the first set of skydivers jump out of their plane tonight. A few minutes later, we did gather the kids, buy more tickets and head back to the field.

This time we spent some time watching the chain saw people doing their thing. Then we headed to the row of concession and shopping tents. Eventually Reagan did find herself a sweater that she wanted for Christmas. I had already bought my ornament earlier in the day and had to have Grannymom buy a sticker at one of her stops later in the day.

Campbell, Graham, Keaton and Whitman really enjoyed running under a tarp along with about 50 other kids as they used it as a parachute. Keaton and I worked on getting her more cards tonight. The balloons tonight were all special shapes-no traditional shaped hot air balloons. Once they were blown up, they would light the fire and glow for a bit. It was impressive, however, it was not nearly as impressive as the mass ascension earlier in the morning.

We were out in the middle of the dark field with Graham and Anderson and about 100,000 other folks when another set of sky divers flew down. We happened to be right by their landing strip which was neat to watch. They came in super fast which was neat to see-they actually came in frighteningly fast, but all seemed to land safely.

After the skydivers, we said goodbye to the grandparents and rushed back to our camper to watch the fireworks. They began just as we left the gate. The kids rushed to get Bentley so she could see them-she actually wasn't too terrified tonight. The fireworks lasted a good little bit, but when they were over we started on our suppers. 

Most of the kids had ramen noodles tonight. Robby and I had sandwiches and ate outside. It was nice and quiet outside-well, there was the roar of many generators powering all of these campers. Afterwards, it was time to start getting all of the people in bed and planning the day tomorrow. It was a super long day for all of us.

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