I can’t sleep. I toss and turn all night. I am worried. My husband is awakened in the middle of the night by me. I tell him I should have never agreed to go, and he will have to go without me. He says, “don’t worry I will take care of you”. I am going on a Hot Air Balloon ride in the morning. Due to being frightened of heights, this balloon ride scares me. Morning arrives and we set off with our good friends, Jim and Melinda. We drive to the hot air balloon site. Everyone is excited, but I secretly hope the guy does not show up. He does show up and I feel sick. After all the prep-work, we are ready to take off. I begin to cry. We are off and in a few short moments I realize how amazing hot air balloon riding really can be. It is so relaxing and we are just floating over the desert in the cool morning sun rise. What an amazing trip with such good friends. This is one item to cross off the bucket list. Oh yeah, it was never on the bucket list to begin with but it gets added and crossed off. Thumbs up to a great adventure.
On our journey we flew over the LaQuinta, California area. LaQuinta is a resort city located in the Coachella Valley not far from Palm Springs. As we flew over this desert town we could spot the many golf courses, San Andres Fault and in the distance we could see the beautiful Santa Rose Mountains.
Balloons Above has an overall rating of 4 on Trip Advisor. I rated them a 5 for the following reasons: the staff was friendly and for the nervous balloon rider they made you feel comfortable. We started right on time and you could tell from the start how experience they were.
If I would have read more about the skills and experience of the crew at Balloons Above, I think I would have been more comfortable and might not have lost so much sleep the night before. So here is a little more about Balloons Above that really explains why I had such a comfort level.
Balloons Above is owned by Wil LaPointe. Wil shares on his website that he “was in the cellular communications business in the late 1980’s when he saw his first hot air balloon in the Tulsa, Oklahoma area. He immediately realized the potential to draw a crowd, so he purchased a rooftop type to advertise his business. One day, a salesman stopped by who was also a balloon pilot. Although Wil had never been “up” in a balloon, he purchased a red, white and blue passenger balloon, perfect to promote his U.S. Cellular business. The pilot took him for his first ride and he was hooked on the experience.
Wil then trained to be a licensed pilot and became quite successful at competitive racing, eventually being ranked #5 in the entire country. He has been having the time of his life introducing people to the joy of hot air ballooning for the last twenty years.”
The associates at Balloons Above have the following certification:
FAA LTD Commercial Pilots and Flight Instructors
FAA Certified equipment
Liability Insured to California regulations for Balloons and Vehicles
Member of Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association
BFA Nationals Competitor for 15 years
Learn more about Balloons Above at: http://www.balloonabovethedesert.com
Please contact Tina Honkus for California Adventure.
Agent: Tina Honkus
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