Sunday, October 9, 2016

What A Send Off From the Balloon Fiesta!

Ken was up at 5 and began to watch the Balloon Fiesta TV network to see what was happening with the 7:00 AM Mass Balloon Launch.  It was foggy and windy in the area so it appeared the balloons would not fly, but the yellow flag was still flying.  By 7:30 it was less windy on the field and the fog had begun to lift.  So, the green flag was raised and they immediately started inflating the balloons.

Ken and I quickly dressed and went to the open field in the RV Park that was 4 sites from Waldo.  When we got there numerous balloons were already visible and we loved sitting on our chairs and watching the colorful show in the sky! About 30 balloons were flying above us and then it appeared that no more would be taking flight.  Conditions had changed and they were keeping the balloons on the ground.  So, Ken and I went into Waldo to have breakfast and get ready to depart (we had to be out by 11 and there were 2,000 RV's in the Park)!  

So beautiful when you see the flame!

Here they come!
The New Mexico Balloon!

First time we saw Bimpe!

This balloon was right over our heads!

We were all ready to leave by 8:45 and even had the car in tow.  Then we noticed that even more balloons were launching.  So, we went back to the viewing site in the park and enjoyed watching several 100 balloons that were now visible.  It was a beautiful site!   What a way to end our time at the 2016 Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta.

Ken took this photo of the TV screen when the green flag
appeared for the 2nd time this morning.  Inflating the
balloons started again!

So many balloons!

1st time we saw the Carousel Balloons!

This balloon landed right in front of us and it had a somewhat
bumpy landing!

I like this special balloon and never saw it before today!

They were so close to the RV's!

Another new one!

The Missouri Balloon!

Just a few bits of trivia about the Balloon Fiesta. This was its 45th year and there were 550 balloons registered.  Years ago there were up to 1,000 balloons at the Fiesta, but the city of Albuquerque decided that was unsafe and lowered the number that could participate.  The size of the launch area, which is owned by the city, is 10 football fields and over 1 million people went through the entrance gates in the 9 days of the Fiesta.  I found it amazing!

We left the area by 9:30 and were surprised how easily we got out of the park. We thought we would have so much traffic with all the RVer's leaving, but so few people were heading out at that time.  We only had a 60 mile drive and most of it was on a great highway #25.  

We arrived at Rancheros de Santa Fe CG located just southeast of Santa Fe around 11.  It took us sometime to get level, but all went well.  After setting up, we ate lunch, chatted, and watched some football while I downloaded photos and Ken made a list of somethings he thought we should see while in the Santa Fe and Taos area.

At 2:00 we drove to historic downtown Santa Fe and walked a lot of the area. What a quaint and historic place!  

The flowers at this motel in downtown Santa Fe were gorgeous!

I loved this sculpture complete with a mailbox.  That
would look so special in front of your house!

So many old buildings throughout town!

Unique sculpture!

The merchants displayed their wares!

Some interesting music in the town park!

Lots of beautiful jewelry!

Exceptional pottery too!

We enjoyed checking out the shops and then the 2 well-known Catholic Churches - St. Francis Cathedral and the Loretto Chapel.  Both were beautiful and amazing!

The Loretto Chapel construction was started in 1872 and when completed did not have a stairway to the choir loft. The nuns prayed for St. Joseph's intercession for 9 straight days and the day after they finished praying, a shabby looking stranger appeared at their door.  He told the nuns he needed total privacy and locked himself in the chapel for 3 months.  He used a square, saw, hammer and warm water and constructed a spiral staircase of non-native wood.  The identity of the carpenter is unknown, for as soon as the stairway was completed, he was gone! The Sisters of Loretto credited Saint Joseph with its construction.  The original spiral staircase had no railings and was freestanding with no attachments to the wall or a pole.  10 years later a railing was added for safety.  Here are the photos of inside the Loretto Chapel -

A beautiful altar area!

The carving at the base of the altar!

Looking towards the front of the chapel!

Looking towards the back and the beautiful staircase!

How would you have liked to climb this stairway
without the railings????  Rather scary!!

And here are the photos of St. Francis Cathedral - (we were not able to get inside)

We were back to Waldo by 4:45 and the weather was starting to look rather threatening.  We discovered they were predicting some severe storms.  So, Ken decided he needed to start the grilling process quickly before the storm started. The color of the skies looked "scary" and we pulled the outside plug for our electric just to be safe.  Fortunately, the severe weather went around us and all we had was a short period of heavy rain.

We did watch the Presidential Debate and that is all I will say about that!

We are looking forward to driving to Taos tomorrow and then spend Tuesday in the Santa Fe area.  We will be leaving on Wednesday, so we will have to make the most of everyday!

I did talk to Noela today and after a rain in their hometown, they had water on the kitchen counter of their 5th wheel after just having it repaired.  This RVing lifestyle can be so frustrating!  I also had a great conversation with Polly of my Curvette ladies and so enjoyed our chat.  She is a daily follower of our blog and responds with lots of insights since she lived in many of these areas and feels like she is reliving some of her experiences.  Thanks, Polly!

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