I've been talking about going to the Carolina Balloon Fest in Statesville for 2 years now. The closest I got was seeing some balloons floating over I-77 as I returned from the Rack Room Shoe Outlet up in Statesville (somehow shoes HAD to be involved).
The festival was this past Saturday. I went to my workout class, drove all over hell's half acre to find a Planet Smoothie in Charlotte (I prefer them over Smoothie King). Finally got my smoothie and came home. Then my sis called with the news about my grandma. At that point, I just got kind of tired and lost all my energy. I was going to call my friend and tell her that I wasn't coming, but then I changed my mind.
The website indicated that balloon ascension would be between 4:30 and 5:30. I planned to get there around 4:00 or so. Well, you know what they say about the best laid plans! I guess me and everyone else decided to try and get here at that same time. And we ALL followed the directions that said to take Route 70. I literally sat on Route 70 for 45 - 60 minutes! Frustrated, tired, sad, mad...alla that. I called my friend S and told her I was going home because I was sitting in traffic and CLEARLY was not going to make it in. She told me she had turned down a side street, and she could already see a balloon in the air. She was there with her little daughter and her mom, who had come down from MD. I pulled over to a field, where some folks were already parked, and looked around. I couldn't see jack!
Luckily, I remembered passing the street where she had pulled off. I got there in time to see all 34 balloons take off. It was beautiful. I really wanted to get closer, because I wanted to get photos of the different colors up close, but it was still beautiful to watch them taking off and rising into the air. My camera sucks, but here is a little bit of video:
I wish you all could have been there in person with me. Once I saw those balloons, I knew that was right where I was supposed to be. Grandma would've approved. :)