So this post is a long time coming, but I wanted to make sure I had all our clientsâ€™ sessions sent out before I started editing on our personal work.
This October Ben and I celebrated our second wedding anniversary with a train trip to Albuquerque for their International Hot Air Balloon Festival. Iâ€™ve always had a fascination with trains so as we were planning where to travel for the year, the first decision we made was that it had to be via train. From when I drove Route 66 a few years back, I remembered that the hot air balloon festival fell over our anniversary week, and that got me thinking… perhaps the southwest would be a good destination.
We both loved the train ride; we stayed in a tiny convertible sleeper car called a â€œroometteâ€ which reminded me so much of dreamy old movies like White Christmas and Some Like it Hot. It had two chairs that faced in with a table that folded down between them. At night the two chairs slid down to create a bed, and another bunk dropped from the ceiling. If you know me well, you know I found everything about the quaintness and efficiency appealing. The trip was a little over 24 hours on the Southwest Chief Line with a few stops along the way. We had reservations for each meal in the dining car, which included french toast, mahi mahi, and buffalo burgers, and we spent our free time journaling, playing cards in the observation deck, and of course, taking an absurd amount of pictures. 😉
We did lots of little things in Albuquerque, but there were two main highlights: one was the hot air balloon festival. The morning of our first full day there, we woke up around 3:45 am to make it to the balloon festival grounds to see the Dawn Patrol, which are the first few balloons that rise up during twilight and test the wind and temperature conditions (see above photo in the dark with lit balloons). As the morning turned light, more and more balloons were launched until there were hundreds of all shapes filling the sky. It really was an amazing sight.
The other big highlight came days later on the morning of our anniversary when we took our very own hot air balloon ride. We were both a little nervous knowing how high the balloons went, and that the pilot only had control over moving up and down (not north/south etc, nor control over speed). Part of me expected the ride to feel like capturing wind and being pulled, like how it feels to be on a sailboat or to parasail. Really the sensation was motionlessness. It was incredibly peaceful and the views over the Rio Grande were breathtaking.