Sunday, August 26, 2012

My Inner Child Had a Playful Evening at a Hot Air Balloon Festival

Play! What a wonderful word! Sure, I participate in a variety of fun activities but I would not describe them as playful.

Yesterday afternoon some of my dance friends piled into the van with the anticipation of children and headed to the Lincoln Illinois Hot Air Balloon Festival. We had a few gripes about the long line of traffic and how far away we had to park but then we saw beautiful kites floating in the air. Suddenly it wasn't such a long walk after all.

Ah, the excitement of the crowds. Children running and playing and asking to go on carnival rides. The adult children, hooked on a an invisible fishing line were reeled in toward the tantalizing smells of the food. The waft of grilled onions was more than I could resist and I knew they would lay atop a hot dog.

I never heard of ribbon potatoes, but I was delighted when Alvin, who stood in line for almost 20 minutes brought them to the picnic table to share. As we ate we enjoyed the gentle breeze, but we, along with thousands of others were a wee bit anxious when the announcement came that the winds might be too strong for the hot air balloons to be inflated.

About 1/2 hour later the announcement came that the balloons would be inflated for a short time and they would attempt to have the balloon glow. We made our way to the staging area and watched one balloon after another being inflated. They would be laying on a side and bam, with an explosion of fire, it would pop up while the ground crew had to use valiant force to keep the basket on the ground because of the wind. 

The balloon glow and flicker was beautiful even if didn't
last very long. There is something about watching these beautiful balloons that stir my imagination. I have always loved watching them float across the sky. 

We were all in agreement that the outing had been a success and how much fun we had. This kind event does not happen often so felt we had shared something very special together.

We piled back into the van to come back to Springfield. We were driving and all of a sudden the van seemed to have a mind of its own and turned into the Dairy Queen parking lot. A chocolate dipped ice cream cone was the perfect ending to a playful day.

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