06 July, 2012

Up!

Remember when my brother won Fantasy Five a few years ago?  He gave us each a little spending cash to blow on something fun.  Eric and I decided to save ours until the right adventure came our way.

And it did.

In the form of a buy-one-get-one-free hot air balloon rides Groupon in Asheville, North Carolina!  I have wanted to go on a balloon ride since I was little and they used to take off in our back yard.

Well, the Groupon buy was really exciting until we read the fine print....no pregnant ladies allowed.  Boo!  So we had to wait over a year to take our balloon trip, but it was worth the wait.  Eric and I were craving a long weekend get away and my in-laws were gracious to keep Evie for us.

Friday night we had dinner at LAB and walked over to the drum circle.







It was so nice to have a quiet dinner, with an appetizer! and drinks! and dessert! Even better, just to stroll hand in hand.  Don't get me wrong, we love our Little Bit, but it was nice to have some time alone without a stroller, diaper bag, bottles or hair pulling.

Katie and Sam rolled into town around 10pm and we all fell asleep to some Friends reruns. (Even with "free" cable, we still watch Friends)

Saturday morning we woke up at 5am...which seemed so early, so Eric and Katie demanded we wake up and yell "Hot Air Balloon, Bitches!" when the alarm clock went off.  We did.

The hotel packed brown paper bag to-go breakfasts for us (Hooray, Hampton Inns!) and we drove downtown to meet the bus to catch the balloon.





Our balloon was the largest in the state of North Carolina, piloted by a third generation commercial balloon pilot!  Twelve of us plus the pilot were supposed to miraculous float above the earth in this.

Admittedly, I was terrified of the take off and landing....and birds popping our balloon.  (I can thank my dad for my myriad of irrational fears...haha).  But honestly, after knowing two couples who died in freak accidents, I was honestly nervous about leaving Evie an orphan.

Okay, on to a lighter note.  Once we got in the air and things were smooth (and there were no birds near by), all the nerves left and I could enjoy the duration of our flight.


 Yes, Eric and Sam are wearing the same shirt in different colors. Aren't they cute?





It was so beautiful and peaceful 1500 feet above the air.  The sun was rising and the mist was breaking.


 We landed in someone's back yard.  As in, they came out to talk to us.  So did all the neighbors. We were an instant sensation.

 The crew worked hard to navigate our precise landing, to avoid a backyard garden. They stayed late to pack up the balloon while we caught the bus back downtown Asheville.




 After our balloon ride we went back to the hotel for a real breakfast, shower, and to pack.  Then we headed to the Biltmore Estate for a quick house tour.  Sam had never been.  Eric and I like to go every year or so to see any new rooms they've restored.

Let's talk about how much cooler the Estate is after watching Downton Abbey.  It's 10x cooler.  Even though they're about 20 years different in their prime, it's still fun to visualize the lifestyle of Downton alive at Biltmore.


We had lunch together in downtown Asheville before parting ways for the afternoon.  Eric and I stopped at Asheville Brewing Company to pick up some growlers and to Brusin' Ales to stock up on beers not distributed in Georgia.

After a long day we drove back to Highlands to spend Saturday night at my grandparent's cabin.  My aunt and uncle and their twins were in town from Houstin-soon-to-be-Chicago.  I hadn't seen the twins since our wedding, if that even counts, so it was great to spend the night with them.



My in laws were gracious to drive Evie up to the cabin for us so they could spend time with my family. Evie had too much fun with them.  She came home with a sack full of new clothes, shoes, and hats!  Nothing like a weekend with the grandparents for a little spoiling :)

Thank you to Alex for a great weekend - the treat money was much appreciated - dinner, hotel, and hot air balloon ride!!!

And yay!! I can cross something off my 30x30 list...which opportunity to finish is rapidly dwindling.

3 comments:

  1. Crystal HeithausJuly 6, 2012 at 6:15 PM

    My heart was pounding just looking at your pictures. I didn't realize I was scared of  hot air balloon rides but I now know that I am! Glad you guys enjoyed it! The pictures look great!

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  2. This looked like SOO much fun! I'm so glad you two had time to be adults and in love ;-)

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  3. that sounds like such a fun getaway! how nice of your brother to give some of his prize money to each of his siblings - wow! 

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