Sunday, September 7, 2014

Riding High

Yesterday we went on a hot air balloon ride.  I'm not sure how we quite arrived at the decision that this would be our gift to Kendall for her 20th birthday, but arrive at it we did.  She's been sad as of late...a tough breakup...some issues with her throat related to her October surgery...the start of a new school year.  We just wanted to make our normally vibrant, kinda snarky daughter smile.  

We decided it would be best to surprise her.  That's a tricky proposition because she doesn't care much for surprises.  We told her we wanted to go go Phoenix to go to IKEA, our favorite store.  Ok, not Don's favorite.  She asked that we have dinner with uncle Steve, aunt Kea, and her cousins Ryan, Bobbi, Kyle & Mike.  We rarely get to see them so it was quite a treat when they all said yes to dinner right away.  

We met at a Vietnamese place called Angelina's (on Bell Road in Glendale).  So good!  We had the best time catching up with family.

Then to the hotel for a few hours of sleep.  Kendall tried to get us to give away the surprise but we held strong!  At 5 am we gently woke her up & begged her to just trust will be worth it!  I don't know if it was lack of sleep or what but she didn't figure out what we were doing until we walked through the Rainbow Ryders front door.  She was pretty excited when she realized what we were doing!

We loaded into a van & left for the launch site.  They didn't love the first site so we went to another off Daisy Mountain Road.   We watched them pull out the huge balloon & quickly inflate it.  Mesmerizing!

Then we hopped aboard a 12 person gondola.

A little over an hour after we launched we landed in the desert.  It was such a beautiful ride!  I would do it again in a heartbeat!  The landing was a trip!  But the best part was the happiness the exuded from Kendall.  She truly had a wonderful time!

PS I loved the balloon prayer the pilot said as we toasted the successful voyage.  It's printed at the bottom of our flight certificates:

“The winds have welcomed you with softness.

The sun has blessed you with his warm hands.

You have flown so high and so well that

God has joined us together in laughter and set us

gently back into the loving arms of Mother Earth.”

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