Adventure · California · kids · mom & me · Summertime

{hot air balloon}


This year we talked about celebrating birthday’s a little differently.  Bay has had her fair share of BIG ass parties.  If only I could tell you the BIG ass money I’ve dropped on those BIG ass parties, you’d have a heart attack.

How about experiences?  Instead of the BIG ass parties.  Instead of the BIG ass gifts.  How about experience something?  Go on an adventure.  Something she’ll remember forever.  Don’t get me wrong, Bay is 11 years old.  Clearly homegirl likes a gift and toys.  Without having a clue as to what the experience would be, Bay was game for it.  Let’s try something new!  She’s always up for an adventure!

The weekend before Bay’s 11th birthday I surprised her.

We got up early.  I’m talking on the road by 5am.  Bay is not a morning person.  AT ALL!  For some weird reason, she popped out of bed.  Without a fight.  To be honest, I don’t think Bay has ever been up at 5am before.  It was almost like she knew what I had up my sleeve.  She didn’t.

We drove to Winters.

She told me on the way that she knew what we were doing.  Riding horses!


Then she was clueless.

As soon as we pulled up, right there in front of us was the hot air balloon basket.

Bay freaked!  She didn’t believe it.

“We’re going on a hot air balloon?”

We met our pilot and group at Turkovich tasting room downtown Winters.  Once eveyone was gathered and release forms were signed, we set off to the launching spot.

I have to give a huge shout out to Yolo Ballooning Adventures!  They sure know how to make you comfortable and excited!  From ages 11 – 35!


We watched the sunrise.  Bay’s never seen the sunrise before.

Anddd, we can cross that off the Summer To-Do’s 🙂


Our basket was an 8 passenger.  You can see the squared off areas.  Each pair had their own little cubbie.  Then the pilot stood in the center of the basket.

I was so worried some weirdo would touch me or something.  Ha!  Totally not the case.


Bay helping spread out our balloon.


Bay inside the balloon.  Swear!

So, so cool!


She’s saying “coolest thing ever” here 🙂


Balloon Boom!



We had the company of 12 other balloons.  Which they say is rare.

Beautiful sight to see!


Watch this video.  It’s my favorite!

Just an idea at how massive these balloons really are.





Below you’ll see all the cables that help with the landing.  At the end, I posted another video showing how they work.  Pretty damn cool!



Going up!







The one question I get asked…..

I bet it so windy and rough?

NOT at all.  It’s so relaxing.  You can hardly feel that you’re even moving.  NO wind.  At all.   Everything feels completley still.  Silent.

Crazy peacefull!





The most beautiful views.

Our flight was 1 hour 26 minutes.  We got up to 4,200 feet.  We’d go from almost skimming the ground then right back up again.  I always thought the balloons just went all the way up, then back down the land.  Not the case.  Our pilot, Mike would get us close to see all the surroundings.  We almost touched a tree as we lowered to get a good look at Putah Creek.  When you see the map of our flight, it shows all the increased and decreses.

You’d also be surprise at how hot the balloon ride was.  By the time we landed, everyone had stripped off their layers.




I feared the landing.  Not sure why.  It was simple, soft and quick.  Then we got to watch this!


End of flight toast.  Champs for me.  Sparkling cider for her!

I’m happy to report that Bay has agreed to another adventure for her 12th birthday!  Now how can I top this one?  Hmmm.  I’ve got a year to come up with something GOOD!!


If you’re considering a hot air balloon ride, just do it!  The experience is somthing you’ll never forget!  Yolo Ballooning Adventures is amazing and I promise you will love every minute of it!


Have a good one!!


xoxo stacyb

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