My hot air balloon ride adventure began when the van I was in got pulled over for having expired tags.
The cop was in a foul mood and actually yelled at the hot air balloon owner/operator a few times.
Anyway, the error got sorted out and we were on our way, me sitting next to a very chatty driver named Ben.
Once we established that I was indeed taking a romantic hot air balloon ride BY MYSELF, he was all friendly and even told me I looked like Anna Nicole Smith.
Yes, I get that, I told him.
So we drive all the way to Middletown to escape the low laying fog in Sonoma.
You remember Middletown?
It burned to the ground in the Valley Fire of 2015.
So that was our scenery when 30+ of us took off in three separate hot air balloons.
Oh, did I mention the sewage treatment plant? Yes, there was a sewage treatment pond below us as we surveyed the barren, blackened landscape.
Was I freaked out?
A little, but not as bad as I thought I would be.
The sound of the propane jets gave me the willies, but overall it was a nice, floaty, pleasant hour long ride.
My balloon was named Bliss and it was a rainbow which I LOVED.
My pilot was a hot, bearded fellow named Jeff and I loved him too.
Not just because he was a good pilot and a funny guy, but because he handled the CAR FIRE WHICH FOLLOWED SO WELL.
More on that later. . .