One evening, we headed to Indianola for the annual balloon festival.
We are from Arizona. In Arizona, nothing is ever cancelled due to something as insignificant as the weather. So, when we saw the weather report with a chance of rain and wind, we still loaded up and headed to the festival. Even though as we sat at the festival, these clouds loomed over us. I'm kind of embarrassed now at our naivety.
But to our credit, all of the native Iowans did the same! The festival was packed with impatient people as we waited around to see if the balloons would actually be cleared for take-off. I was probably the most impatient because once again, we were unprepared so we didn't pack any chairs or even a blanket. I guess we were just so excited to the balloons? But we sat and sat in that scratchy grass.
Finally, after probably 45 minutes of waiting, they announced the wind speeds were too high so the balloons were a no-go. Cue the frustration.
Fortunately, this story has a happy ending as we went back the next evening. The skies were clear and the balloons were beautiful.
My childhood sense of awe and wonder was awakened as each balloon lifted off and gracefully floated away. You better believe my bucket list includes a hot-air balloon ride.
As each balloon took off, an announcer told us where the pilot was from. Nearly all were from the midwest, let alone one from Japan and this yellow & red one that was from, of all places, Tempe, AZ!
While the balloons were entertaining, these triplets that sat in front of us were possibly even more entertaining than the balloons. I unabashedly gawked at their cuteness the whole time. Apparently I wasn't the only one who thought they were cute, because this old man started taking pictures of them with a polaroid camera. YES!
It was magical. All of it.*
*okay, except for the humidity ;)