The genesis of the idea was as sweet and breezy as the day we drove up from Boston to Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu by way of Burlington, Vermont. My husband, Mitch, had always dreamed of floating in the clouds on a hot air balloon and serendipitously stumbled across the International Balloon Festival of Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu near Montreal. An extended weekend in Canada seemed a great idea for an end of the summer family trip.
We were invited to ride in the VIP specialty balloons and excitedly anticipated floating in the clouds and seeing the world from an aerial perspective. As we drove into Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, we saw the colorful balloons dot the skies, a rainbow of colors and sea of shapes delighting spectators lining highways and fields.
As we stood in the VIP section watching 150 balloons travel to the heavens, we were introduced to our pilots who explained that the specialty balloon protocol. After all the balloons were launched, they would evaluate whether our balloons could travel to the sky as the weather conditions were not ideal for the specialty balloons and time was running out. A spontaneous surge of stress spilled onto the field as we awaited the pilots decision.
The long-awaited ride to the sky quickly went south as time ticked by, the balloons sat on the ground, one daughter went to the ladies room and the other began to spiral. Out of nowhere the pilots announced we were leaving and everyone sprang into action. Emily and I went up in one bee-shaped balloon and Mitch and Rachel tumbled into the other.