Whatever it is, it just keeps hanging on, so a return to good health for our restaurant reviewer is slow. So we must delay our literary farewell to San Diego a bit more.
The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta is identified as the world’s largest hot air balloon festival, the most photographed event on earth, and the largest annual international event held in the United States.
This is the 38th annual fiesta and was billed as being "back for another year with 600 balloons." From its modest beginnings in 1972 with 13 balloons launching from a shopping mall parking lot, the Balloon Fiesta has grown to multiple launching events year-round at the custom-designed, 365-acre Balloon Fiesta Park.
The Fiesta is one of the only balloon (aviation) events where we are able to walk around the 78-acre launch field and talk to the pilots.
This significant characteristic can be taken for granted because there is so much freedom to walk among the balloons and balloonists. We just had to remember not to walk on the balloon envelop or rope lines to the balloon.
The day was cloudy, so many of our photographs have a white background.
Sometimes the cloudy background provides the ideal canvas for these colorful subjects when the sun breaks out for a few moments.
Balloonists from every state in the US and 50 countries were expected to participate in the 10-day Fiesta.
As we walked around the launch site, we understood why this is reported to be "the most photographed event on earth."
While it was certainly possible to stand in one place and take four photos on the four compass points at ground level and in the air, we kept moving around the launch site--the size of 54 football fields.
The sun caught this balloon just right. This was probably one of the more brilliantly-colored balloons.
But sunny or cloudy, the day was a success--there was nothing that prevented the launching of over 450 balloons.
The last group of balloons will appear tomorrow. As you can tell, we really enjoyed ourselves at the early morning mass ascension.