So Sunday morning we had to wake up very very early. We had to be here:
by 6:00am! And the picture is blurry because I still felt blurry LOL! No, it's hard to read but it says Galena On The Fly. Yes, I started my day with a hot air balloon. No, I have never taken one before. No, it was not tethered. Yes, I was pretty nervous. Yes, I'm glad I did it because yes, it was amazing as it sounds!! Well, those are the questions that I've been most commonly asked about!
But in all seriousness - the hot balloon ride was amazing. Just amazing.
So you walk up, and things look like this:
Then they fill it up with air using a couple of huge fans - which is pretty neat.
Our pilot was Andy - a very nice guy. Also, he has a great sense of humor and handled our group very well I would say ;-)
The sun was just coming up during all of this. Just watching the sun come up was amazing and beautiful. And as someone who is NOT a morning person at all - I don't often see the sun rise.
Now, looking up inside the balloon - very very neat. As a reference, the black circle at the top is 20 feet in diameter!!
And just some random pics from the ride:
And a celebration for a successful trip!! =)
I just felt so lucky to be up in the air - the world is gorgeous and so picturesque it's amazing.
So after that - we headed on over to Galena Log Cabins, where be still my heart, there is also an alpaca farm. Just amazing - I will be writing all about our time there later this week - I have so much to share (why yes, yes, I did buy yarn there!). We were able to take the Alpacas on a walk - so much fun!!
This is Ben:
Ben and I are now buds. I wish I could have taken him home with me =)
Also, you should know, it's hard to line up alpacas for a picture, but I think we did a good job!
This is Sherman - I also got to walk him. He was fun to walk LOL!
I have so much more to say about being at the alpaca farm and so I will write about it again later - so be prepared. And I will probably never stop talking about alpacas ever again because I am in completely head over heels in love with them and really wish we could have alpacas in our back yard LOL!
Now after all that amazingness, we headed off to Chestnut Mountain - which seems like such a fun place to also take a family vacation. In the winter - skiing, snowboarding, lessons, lots and lots of fun! My husband would probably love it! He is the skier in the family (so far that is!). There is a game room, pool, and a very fun looking slide that I hear takes about 3 minutes to go down!
So you can go and have fun even without snow. Also, they are along a river and you can do boat rides and tours - I would LOVE to come back and do some of that =) Also, it just looks pretty
I looked out across all of this and wished I were a painter and could come back, get situated on the patio and paint away. Well, I guess I could do it now, but that might be a discussion for another day ;-)
In addition to great places to stay (including rooms with lots of bunks that could easily accommodate groups!) they have wonderful food. We were treated to lunch there and again, another divine meal. Oh my - Galena has good food everywhere! LOL! I'm pretty sure I gained a few pounds with all of the great food they had - and the Sunset Grill there did not disappoint!
And after all of that, it was time to head off into the sunset and return home. I was so sad to leave everyone - I may have only known one person when the trip started but I had such a great time with everyone I really do miss them so much! I'm so glad that I was able to go and I know I've said once-in-a-lifetime opportunities several times while talking abotu this trip - but so much of what we did really and truly was.
I just cannot thank the Galena/Jo Daviess County CVB enough. And also a huge shout out to Kim for working on this trip and inviting me along =)
*Just a reminder that this trip was sponsored by the The Galena/Jo Daviess County CVB.
** Part 1 of the trip is over here.
*** Part 2 of the trip is here