Thursday, October 27, 2011

Albuquerque Hot Air Balloon Fiesta!

Early launch on Sunday morning before sunrise.

The Balloon Fiesta was AMAZING!!! The photos don't do it justice, but they will give you an idea of what it's like to actually be there.

I made it there for the last weekend of the fiesta. On the first morning they did a huge launch with hundreds of balloons. I found out later that it was actually a small launch due to the windy weather. There were 'only' approximately 300 balloons down from the 600 to 700 normally launched. Later that evening they had a balloon glow (which I had never heard of before). Just before sunset the ballooners start setting up their balloons and plan to keep them on the ground while using the burners to light them up with hundreds of other balloons. It looks sicks. Afterwards they had a firework show and I found a sweet hat shop and was able to work out a halloween costume!

The next morning the weather was better. Less wind and no rain. It was a little cloudy, but all the clouds burned off by mid-morning. Since there was less wind, more people were getting balloons ready to launch. There were balloons everywhere! It is hard to visualize the 360* environment and excitement going on. Because of that I really cannot stress enough that it is just one of those events that is best experienced in person. Balloons were popping up around me in every color, shape and size. I love the traditional balloons, but did start to get into all the shapes as well. It is amazing how creative people have become with their hot  air balloons.

I'm already looking forward to the fiesta next fall!




Moving to NC

The BIG news of the day - my Dad and Pam are moving in together to an adorable house just outside Charlotte, NC. It is officially their house as of today!

We stopped by today for the final walk through. The place is great! A few of Pam's friends even stopped by to check it out and help celebrate. We met some of the neighbors and a friendly cat too.

This is the front yard and house. Unfortunately the lighting wasnt the best.

The kitchen
The back of the house and garage

Extra room upstairs

Inside the barn

The pool

Time to celebrate!

Carport and barn out back

Living room

The very bright green room

Maroon carpet...we'll see how long it lasts

Rocking chairs on the front porch

A very happy Ron and Pam!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

USA Tour - Fall 2011

It’s less than a week before I leave for Thailand. (They changed my flight and left me hanging for 2 days about what the change was going to be!) After a month of debating about what day to leave, one way or round trip ticket and everything else I finally chose a date, time and bought a ticket...and then they change it and I’m freaking out… if you know me at all, I hope you see the irony in this whole situation.

I have missed more flights than anyone I know and often times for reasons I don’t care to mention. I have also hopped on flights with 30 seconds of planning (total), but if I lose the control or have to actually make a decision about when to fly in advance, whoa. Its never good and I go into nearly panic mode....panic mode for me =)

I just talked to the airline and we settled it all. I now leave on the 3rd. Not sure what time. I think early afternoon, which will put me into a flooded Bangkok the evening of the 4th. It’ll give me enough time to enjoy the city, find out what is underwater, hopefully eat some amazing street food (if everyone is not evacuated), and get used to being awake when everyone in the US is sleeping. The course begins on the 7th.

I’m keeping my fingers crossed that those sandbags hold. I’m not going to be flying into Thailand in the state I was expecting it to be in, but I’m totally pumped to be there and will embrace whatever is thrown in my face.

It’s been another crazy month (big surprise). I finished up working for the national park service at the end of September. Then did a crazy kayak trip with Eric down in the Black Canyon, finished my 60 hour online TELF part of the course, Albuquerque Hot Air Balloon Fiesta for 2 days, hung out with Elea and Matt in Santa Fe, went out with Denver friends, went to Boston for the weekend and was able to see Dan, Tom, Fusion and Kathy (congrats again on the engagement!), back to Denver to meet Amanda and her mom for my first Jimmy Buffett concert that didn’t quite go as planned, but everyone is alive and no surgery was needed (checked off another goal on the 30 before 30 list), then went to FL to help my dad pack up for his big move to NC, then off to Ohio to go visit my Grandma Jo, Rick, Lynda, and cousins, met Hill for a late lunch and beer then off to Harrisburg to see my other Grandma, great grandma, cousins, their kids and my aunts and uncle and am currently down in NC to go check out my dad and Pam’s new house tomorrow right after they close. Then DC for Halloween weekend and back down to Florida to see my Mom and Aaron for a few days before I fly around the world. Whew. That’s a mouthful! It has been fantastic to visit with everyone. Way too short, but better than nothing and all the memories and laughs will help keep me going when I’m half way around the world! Love you all!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Ice Lakes Basin, CO

One of the beautiful lakes in the basin

There is really not much to say about this area except WOW!

Its an easy 5 mile hike just outside Silverton, CO. And by easy, it's still is a climb of maybe 2500 or so feet, but worth it. Great for a day hike or relaxing overnight trip.


Proof I was actually here

My sweet campsite

I caught the tail end of the flower season

I love wildflowers

The view looking east
Early morning reflections

Queen's Crown


More wildflowers - lots of Indian Paintbrush


Island Lake