** This post is only about Balloon Festival, as it deserves its own post ***
This is one of my bucket list items and am so excited.
Having Jessica come from Denver and Sister Sue and Dave from Austin makes it that much better.
October 6th arrived at The Premium RV parking site for the Balloon Festival.
The line of RVs to get in was crazy, but very organized. We paid $ 75.00 per night, with a three night minimum. Must make reservations one year in advance as they sell out within hours. We had water/electric. You can pay for pump out service if needed. There is free shuttle to Fiesta Park or you can walk about 1/2 mile. The views we will come to find out from the RV park are outstanding.
Friday night the day of arrival we head to the Chinese Lantern Festival in downtown Albuquerque.
It is $15.00 per adult or $12.00 military. The different lanterns at night are beautiful and they also put on a dancing show and have food vendors. Also charge $5.00 for parking. It was very pretty, but I don’t think it was worth the price of admission.
Saturday the 7th is the first day of the balloon festival and we are up at 4:00 a.m., well worth it as we see the 600 plus mass accession balloon launch.
There are hundreds of thousand people here. This is must see once in a lifetime thing to do. We go back and nap,in the evening, thanks to my sister and David, off to
Gondola Club. The tickets will cost you a $100.00 per person. You will receive parking pass, session pass, souvenir pin and a gift. It also includes a very nice buffet dinner, open bar, coffee, and special seating overlooking the launch field.
The evening session had a competition flight,there were 8 special designed balloons that will fly as far and long as they can. In the past one went as far as Pennsylvania and one to Canada. Once those balloons launched, was the Balloon Glow, where all the balloons stay on the ground but light up.
Very beautiful and you can walk right up to them. Afterwards was a fireworks show. Great day and unforgettable.
Sunday morning we didn’t buy a session ticket ($10.00 per person) and thought we would just sit at RV park. So at 7:00 a.m. we took our cup of coffee ☕️ and sat on top of the RV.
This was almost better than yesterday.
The views were amazing, balloons were landing in the RV lot and as they flew over our heads we were talking to them.
This Bucket List item of mine, has lived up to all I ever heard about it.
It is a must do.
Jessica had to leave to drive back to Denver, so tonight’s Balloon Glow was with sister Sue, again beautiful and great time.
Tomorrow we are off to Gallup, 2 1/2 hour drive from Albuquerque. This will be our last town in New Mexico-Route 66, then onto Arizona.
** BITS OF ADVICE ***
-Dress in layers, the morning session (5:00a.m. Was in the mid 40’s and warmed up to mid 70’s). The evening session (5:00 p.m. Started mid 60’s and went down to 50’s)
-Take shuttle if you can, as buses have their own lanes and car traffic was horrendous
-You can by tickets for sessions at the gate, but if buy ahead don’t have to wait in line.
You can by them at the Fiesta park office or 7-11 stores ahead of time.