For our 15 year wedding anniversary in August 2011, Dave surprised me with the best gift ever – a hot air balloon ride over the Amish countryside!!!
We went to Bird-in-Hand, PA for our hot air balloon ride. Bird-in-Hand is a quiet little Amish town and is simply gorgeous!
The Bird-in-Hand Village Inn & Suites
Upon arriving to Bird-in-Hand, PA, we stayed in the Keener Suite in the Ressler House at the Bird-in-Hand Village Inn & Suites.
It was so beautiful. I loved the jacuzzi tub in the room and the color scheme. This romantic location does not dissapoint.
There was a little kitchenette and, if I remember right, it included a meal voucher.
Bird-in-Hand transports you back in time to another day and age
Bird-in-hand takes you back in time. As we drove, we passed some honest to goodness covered bridges which the Amish still use with their horse and buggy. I was reminded of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow as we drove by.
The United States Hot Air Balloon Team
Because we arrived the night before, Dave booked a sunrise hot air balloon ride through The United States Hot Air Balloon Team. When we arrived at the location, the Hot Air Balloon Team was already filling up the balloons.
First of all, due to my fear of heights, I wasn’t sure how I would fare. That said, I decided to be brave. After signing some waivers, we climbed inside our balloon with our guide and one other couple. We watched the flames as they finished filling up the balloon with hot air.
Suddenly we started to rise in the air. Goodbye earth, hello sky!!!
Into the sky and my nerves were gone!
While lifting off, I thought I would be scared. Shockingly, it was completely the opposite.
As much as I felt initially nervous, since I was able to hold onto something and see my feet on “solid ground,” I was totally fine. In fact, I LOVED it!
Morning fog created a romantically beautiful mood for our sunrise hot air balloon ride
There was this intense morning fog covering the Amish countryside, hence the amazingly mystical atmosphere. It was incredible.
Another thing I loved seeing was all the green lush gardens and trees!
While floating up into the sky, farms and barns slid beneath our view as we rose into the sky.
Two balloons lifted off at the same time, and as a result I was able to take photos of the other balloon, which I loved. The lighting was poor and we were moving, making photography difficult, but the memory made it all worth it!
The world looks differently from a hot air balloon! Look how meticulous these fields were maintained!
While waiting for the sun to rise, Dave and I had the guide take our photo
Can you see how happy we were?
Watching the sun rise was a magical part of our hot air balloon ride
Finally, it happened! Sunrise!
We were having the time of our lives!
Playing around with Adobe Lightroom
I played around with Adobe Lightroom for these photographs to increase the yellow. The result was spectacular!
The descent into the clouds
About an hour or so later, our ride came to a close. Probably the most striking moment was seeing our hot air balloon’s shadow on the misty clouds as we slowly descended.
When we landed, we actually encountered a fence. Thankfully it didn’t break and we were able to get out safely with no casualty. We accidentally landed in the yard of an Amish schoolhouse. Imagine the surprise of the children as they approached to clean their schoolhouse only to find a large hot air balloon in their school yard. Out of respect for them, I didn’t take their photograph.
Finally, Dave helped the Hot Air Balloon Team put the balloon away. It was a four man job! As we left, the sun was out in all its glory and the mist was slowly fading away into the atmosphere. I will never forget this anniversary! Here’s to many more adventures together:)
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