Let’s Go Fly a Kite

Except let’s switch the kite out for a hot air balloon and let’s not go do that let’s talk about how it’s already been done.

It’s true. I flew in a hot air balloon, and I did not jump out at the last minute out of fear that we would plummet 1,000 feet to the earth below, or, like my beloved Dorothy, to chase my dog. Most of this is probably due to the fact that we had to get up at 5:30 am in order to partake of this ride because it was too windy the night before and the sunset flight was cancelled. My faculties were not functioning at full capacity. After we heard it was cancelled, Carey and Megan said, “You’re the guest! You are leaving! Do you want to skip it or get up!” This decision was left up to me. It was entirely my fault. But get up we did, and fly we did, and drink two very full glasses of champagne at 8:30 am after we landed I did. I definitely did.

The flight itself was fine. My favorite thing about flying, in general, is looking down at the world below and it was nice to do that in the quiet, gentle breeze of just post-sunrise. But I’ll be totally honest, and this is a constant struggle for me and my life and something I am continually working on: I expected more. I feel like my life is just a series of events from which I expected more.

When I was a kid I went to sailing camp. If you’ve met me I have probably told you this because I LOVED it. I was going to initially say that it’s not as WASPy as it sounds, but…yeah, it was pretty WASPy. It was church camp, just to take it that extra step. I mean, it’s not like I spent my summers on a huge boat somewhere off of the coast of New England. It was a week long camp for which I accepted a scholarship to attend and we sailed in little two person Sunfish boats that we had to pack up every morning and evening and drive to a lake thirty miles outside of camp. I ate bagged lunches every day. I mean, come on. (No, but seriously, it was AWESOME and I LOVED it and I want to go sailing again, like, tomorrow.)

The thing that happens when you go sailing, if you catch the wind right, is you literally sail. (Obviously). You FLY. The boat tilts and, particularly in these small ones, if you’re going fast enough, half of the boat dips into the water. Everyone on board (all two of you, or three if you are able) snuggle together on one side of the boat to try to get more weight and to keep from tipping completely. Sometimes the boat is completely vertical, if you have a good day. The wind whips the sail, your hair, you. You speed past the motorized boat sent out with you to tow anyone who can’t quite get it. And it’s amazing and thrilling and the best feeling in the entire world. (A rare instance in which I did NOT think “I expected more.”) This is kind of how I thought it would be to fly in a hot air balloon. I realize now that this is crazy and should that have happened it would have been absolutely terrifying and nobody would have any control over anything and we absolutely, 100%, would have died. But what a way to go!

Just kidding. I never want to die. I’m gonna live forever.

The pilot, on the drive to the launch site, gave us the history of hot air ballooning and if it had not been an ungodly hour of day I could tell you some things, but the only thing I really remember is that it is a French thing and so when we landed he popped the cork of the champagne with a SWORD. That is now my favorite thing in the world. I need to buy a sword for every champagne celebration.

That’s the story of my hot air balloon ride.

I was going to post pictures but I can’t figure out so just check my Instagram (to the right —>).


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