Sunday, October 26, 2014

Honor Flight

Oct. 26, 2014
Casa Grande, AZ

We were back in Casa Grande for about few days when I accompanied my dad on a three day trip to
Washington DC. The trip was sponsored by the nonprofit organization, Honor Flight Arizona.  Their goal is to fly as many World War II veterans as possible to Washington DC.  All during the trip veterans are reminded how grateful succeeding generations are for their service.  It is impossible to explain how important and emotional this experience is for the veterans.  We met many wonderful people and will forever have fond memories of the trip.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Up, Up and Away

October 13, 2014
Balloon Fiesta Grounds
Albuquerque, New Mexico

We have been here since the first of the month but have been so busy I haven't had time to add to our blog.  We get up at 4:30 am each day to crew for one of the pilots and if there is an evening glow, we don't get back to the camper until about 8:30 pm.  Each day our bodies remind us that we are a year older than last year.

The weather has been much warmer than last year, making this a great Fiesta.  We have been crewing for a Brazilian team who speak very little English.  It has been a challenge to understand each other but somehow we managed. They have several balloons -  Orca (whale), Frog, Scuba diver, shark and a baby dinosaur coming out of an egg.
The special shape balloons are interesting but a lot more work than the traditional shape.  The whale, frog and baby dinosaur are brand new and had their maiden flights during the Fiesta.

The best thing about crewing for the Brazilian team is being included in the "Brazilian Drinking Party".

Cachaca, the national spirit of Brazil, is distilled from sugar cane and aged in barrels.  It was served with limes and pineapple but that didn't dilute the taste.  I am surprised it didn't eat the bottom out of the pitcher.  I thought the food was much better than the drink.

Last weekend was the best night time glow I have seen.  I shot photos like I was making a Hollywood film and I was sure they were the best photos yet.  Unfortunately when we got back to the camper I found out that I had forgotten the memory card so you will just have to take my word that the photos were excellent.

Most of the week we crewed for the frog balloon.  It is hard to explain the size of this balloon.  Notice how small the basket looks compared to the balloon.

This balloon festival is unique because the public is encouraged to get a close up look at the balloons.  Large crowds wander right up to the balloons while inflation is in progress.

These people are standing directly under the frog foot.

"Going hot!"

The Yoda balloon uses a unique system of controlling the crowds.

Storm Troopers keep the crowds at bay.

The costumed crew for the Darth Vader balloon march on the field in formation.  It is kind of creepy when it is dark.

The stork balloon is owned by a local obstetrician.  The crew's shirts say "We Deliver!"

The local police were on duty.