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Balloon Fest



Patrick has always been a bit of a homebody. I have never minded too much because Patrick and I always enjoy each other's company, so having an evening watching our favorite shows together is usually what we are doing when I am not at work. But because of the stroke, Patrick is watching way too much tv. He changes the channel to MacGiver at 2:00pm. This is scaring the hell out of me..


All of the hobbies he had pre-stroke he has not been able to do. He spent alot of time downloading music, making cds, the labels and jewel case cards for his compilations. He has alot of difficulty reading (although it is improving) and to be honest, I think is very intimidated by his old pal, the computer.


All of this has left me with the challenge of getting him out of the house and back into having some fun. I have taken this challenge seriously. I took him to a hobby shop to see if he could find a new hobby- models. puzzles, model race cars/tracks, model trains- nothing appealed to him. So I got a visitors guide to our town and printed up all the info I could find on events in our area. I found several things that I thought was appropriate, one of which was the Balloon Festival.


I didn't really tell him too much about it before hand, I didn't want him to become uptight or worry about it. I had never been to the Balloon fest before so there wasn't really much I knew about it anyway.


We waited until about 6 pm to head out to the park. We got there just as they were filling up all the balloons for their launch. It was very cool to see all these big, colorful balloons so close up.


We set up our chairs right between all the food vendors and the launching area. We sipped on our lemon shake ups as one by one the balloons quickly made their escape into the sky. After they were out of sight, I sent the boys to get "Round 1" of their "dinner". They both came back with funnel cakes. While they were eating their dinner, Patrick and I walked around the vendor area, checking out the traditional carnival type garbage that no body needs. I love my new light-up personal fan that changes patterns as the blade spins.


We continued on, signing up to win a vacation to Florida, which I am sure I won't because they will discover I have no credit cards so no time share for me!!! Oh well, signed up anyway. We headed back to our chairs to sit for a while. A little while later I went and got us OUR dinner, a pizza slice for Patrick, and a pulled pork sandwich for me. We ate as the darkness started to creep in, along with the balloons. Apparently, the hot air balloons can only move in one direction- which ever the way the wind blows- and therefore they have a team of people follow them in trucks and pick them up where they land.


As all the balloons started arriving back at the festival, they began to set up again. This time, instead of launching, they would fill up the balloon just enough to keep it full, but still on the ground. As they would fire up the propane, it would cause the balloon to light up in the night like a lightning bug. Patrick and I shared an elephant ear as we watched all the balloons take their turns glowing. I got some good pictures of it on my cell phone (hey, use what you got).


After the balloon glow, they had a fireworks show. This was really nice for me, because I had to work on the fourth, so Patrick had been stuck at home. The show was really very good, more fireworks than I had expected, and the finale was right there with the best of them.


All in all, it was a spectacular few hours out of the house. For the most part, I think we were all able to escape the stroke for a bit. I hope we can spend more time like that as a family soon.


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An elephant ear is a large piece of fried dough (about the size of a dinner plate) that is brushed with butter then sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar. It is in the basic shape of an elephant ear. They are YUMMIE (and nutritious too, lol)-


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