Air Travel

Hot Air Balloons
The city of San Diego recently accused local balloonists of trespassing, environmental damage and parking in undesignated areas.

I can attest to that last one.

While preparing dinner one afternoon I was standing at the sink and heard a ‘whooshing’ sound coming from the backyard. The patio cover blocked my view of the hot air balloon over my house until it landed on the other side of the fence.

Our yard backs up to the Penasquitos Preserve – read: dry brush. When I saw the flames from the burner, I ran out to talk to the people – who, for some reason didn’t want to get out of the gondola! I tried to convince the passengers that by removing their weight, the balloon would lift high enough off the ground to float down into the park below. In the meantime, the dogs were barking, neighbors were ringing the doorbell to let me know that I had a hot air balloon in my backyard, and I continued to have words with the balloon guy.

Finally, a small gust of wind lifted the gondola high enough off the ground so it could be guided it into the park – to great applause from the neighborhood onlookers!

We all watched as they opened the traditional bottle of champagne and toasted the completion of their flight.

Will it happen again? Possibly. After talking with neighbors, I found out it’s happened at least five other times!

Enjoy the balloon clip from the original 1956 movie, Around the World in 80 Days:

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