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Hot Air Balloons, Santa Fe, and Watermelon

Hello friends.

Posting Day Three from our New Mexico Trip.  

When  I was 26, I was on a hot air baloon team.  Our lead pilot back then was awesome and was asked to do a lot of commercial flights and invitationals. My favorite experience was at an invitational in Telluride, Colorado.  Flying down the middle of that city was amazing, but flying around Albuquerque was always wonderful as well.  Anyway, I wanted my daughter to experience the special feeling of being in a hot air balloon in Albuquerque (the balloon capital of the world).  Her son was a bit afraid so he stayed with me.

Allie was lucky to have the owner of Rainbow Ryders as her pilot and she met a wonderful woman who is an established travel blogger (I will try to get her contact info and share it because she was very interesting and I bet her blog is interesting too).  They hit it off really well, and she was so encouraging to Allie who wants to get into Social Media Marketing.  For the travel blog video they got to go inside the baloon during inflation and Allie got to get some fun pictures.  Here is one of them.  Her pilot is in the background.  On a side note, her pilot was Scott Appleman who I knew in High School - how fun is that!

Once the balloon was fully inflated, they jumped in the basket and took off.  The travel blogger is next to Allie in this picture.  They even dresssed alike - I could see them being long time friends.

This is the balloon right afer take-off.
Here is a great in-flight picture of Allie. 
After the flight they had breakfast and mimosas in the desert.  Such a great picture!
We jumped in the car after the flight, changed, and drove to Santa Fe.  We went to visit the miraculous staircase at Laredo Chapel.

HERE is the story if you are interested. There are several movies about it if you are interested in learning more.  I have visited this chapel several times and it gives me goosebumps each time. 

We walked around the square visiting shops and galleries - all way out of our price range but full of beautiful things.  We found a lot of pretty courtyards - this was one of them.
We ate at a wonderful top rated restaurant but didn't remember to mark down the name.  The food was amazing and we loved the sopapillas.  
Next, we went to Meow Wolf which is an interactive art museum.  It is built like a two story house and you basically explore the house to find all the different sections of art.  Here is my grandson about to slide down the dryer into a world of underwater art.  We crawled through the fireplace, refrigerator, closets, etc.  Super fun and everything was amazing other than the outside worker with pink hair - she was obviously on a power trip and treated everyone pretty badly.  We noticed tons of reviews complaining about how mean she treats people - we complained to management in person so maybe they will do something about her.
When we finished, someone wrecked into my rental car. Enterprise and my insurance, State Farm, were super helpful, but her insurance, Farmers, has some pretty poor customer service - very difficult to talk to anyone in person.  I won't be switching insurance companies to Farmers ever (we had considered it at one time).  We got back to Albuquerque and went to a juice bar to ensure we "ate" healthy after all we had eaten the previous few days.  It was super cool, but I forgot to get any pictures.  

I will post our last full day soon.   Hope I haven't lost you completely, because I have two fun watermellon themed cards to share before I end.  Both are made with DRS Designs images and color blocking inspired by THIS card.




  1. Wow what a trip, the ballooning looked amazing, your daughter was so luck to take that flight:)

  2. Wonderful photographs Nancy, the balloon experience looks fabulous, a shame your grandson was a little frightened, you will have to make the trip again when he is a little older - you are recording lots of fabulous memories for them both to treasure.
    A super card, I love the watermelon theme.
    Pauline - Crafting with Cotnob

  3. Oh my, what a fabulous time you had. Your Allie is GORGEOUS, and love the photos in the balloon and up high in the sky, what a fabulous experience. That museum of art looks wonderful, too, I'm sure your grandson loved every minute. And good food and drinks on top of it all - what could be better? The cards are very pretty, too. Thanks for such an interesting post! Hugs, Valerie

  4. How exciting to go up in a balloon. That looks fun, and what an experience. Is your daughter a model? She is beautiful. And I love Santa Fe. It is a fun place to walk around, but I have never visited Meow Wolf. That looks fun. Too bad about your rental car. There's always some little glitch when things like that happen, isn't there? This is a fun post, and loving the watermelon card too. I'm glad you shared and took me on a little arm chair travel too. Hugs-Erika

  5. Hi, this was such a fun read-enjoyed the information and all of the photos Many many years ago before I knew my husband (we have been married 39 years now) he did allot of ballooning and enjoyed it.
    The chapel stairs are awesome too, love your watermelon card. and I think your daughter could be a model for magazines. Hugs Kathy

  6. Nancy loved reading about your trip. Sounds such a fun time and what gorgeous photos. Your DD is her mum. Love your cards too. I’d love to go in a hot air balloon…one day. Loving your blog. Hugs from Oz dear friend jx

  7. Wow...what an amazing trip, Nancy. Loved the hot air balloon photos with your beautiful Allie. Cute photos of your grandson too. I have always wanted to ride in a hot air balloon:-) TFS and hopefully more pics of you too. Loved your cards too:-) Love and Hugs...Nancy

  8. Your daughter is very, very beautiful!
    Oh, by no means I´d get into such a thing going off in the air!
    I´d be in for the food, though!
    Fun post! :-)
    Love the card, forgot to take my melon-sign out, thanks for the reminder!

  9. You’ve certainly had an amazing trip Nancy, such interesting places to visit and food too. My SIL had a balloon ride for her fortieth, unfortunately she stepped out onto wet grass and slipped,, broke her ankle so missed the weekend away we had planned with three brothers and the three of us sILs, that was thirty years ago, yikes!
    Gorgeous cards too, I’m still trying to get back my mojo
    Happy T Day Nancy
    Hugs, jan

  10. New Mexico is a wonderful place. I hope to visit there again soon. Your ballooning story seems very concerning, as there was a terrible accident a few days after you wrote your post. I hope you and your family and friends are all ok

    best... mae at

  11. And Happy T Nancy too! (Since I posted already).

  12. Wowz what an amazing trip! I love the balloon festival and have been lucky enough to see all the balloons take to the skies 😉. Glad you all had such a wonderful time and Happy T Day! Hugs, Jo x

  13. I am in awe of your daughter and her smile. She is always smiling and looks so happy to be on that balloon ride. So glad she got to make friends with a travel blogger, too. Mimosas in the desert is possibly the best thing this T Tuesday. I loved the look, too.

    I enjoyed the side trip to the Loretto Chapel. I would hate to climb up OR down those stairs without the rails. That would be scary. And to think the whole thing rests on the bottom stair. Horsehair? Scary and I can see why.

    Loved the Meow Wolf art museum. What fun I bet you all had. Too bad you didn't get more photos. I love photos (grin).

    You made two very adorable cards for us to ohh and ahh over, too. Thanks so much for sharing your cards and trips with us for T this Tuesday. I believe I told you last week, I attended a balloon festival there one year, but didn't go up in one, since I'm deathly afraid of heights.

  14. I always though a hot air balloon ride would be fabulous!!I always though NM would be a wonderful state to visit one day. How nice your daughter met up with a kindred spirit and got some special photos.
    That staircase is stunning! Cute, fun cards you made. Happy T day!

  15. I've been to a balloon festival but never ridden in one. So cool! The staircase story is beautiful and sounds familiar, and I'll see if I can find a movie. I'm sorry about your car :( but at least State Farm did right by you. These experiences in real life do more than any number of fancy tv ads. Cute "happy" cards. Happy T Tuesday

  16. Looks like a fun trip. Amazing pictures and what an interesting tid bit about you being on a former hot air balloon team.
    How awful about your rental car. It is never fun to have to deal with insurance.
    Your watermelon cards are so pretty and perfect for summer.
    Happy Tea Day,

  17. Wonderful beautiful fun post. The sopapilla looks good. I haven't had one in years. Happy T Day!

  18. Oh what a lovely post. I would love to go in a hot air balloon. The photos are great. I really enjoyed your post. Have a nice day.

  19. I love Balloon festivals although I have never been in one! Looks as tough you all had a great time! Hugs, Chrisx

  20. I enjoyed reading about your vacation. And I looove balloon flights. We used to live in bristol (UK) which is the English balloon city and I used to be woken up at 6 in the morning by the noise of the burners of the balloons overhead.
    I had to look up what a mimosa was (once I'd understood it was a drink) and in England that would be called Buck's Fizz.
    You too have a spiral staircase in your post! How amazing is that! This staircase is also a beauty. The link about the Loretto Chapel didn't work, but I did look it up and read all about it.
    The museum looked like great fun (apart from the pink haired lady who had a 'bad hair day'). Did the adults crawl through too?
    Happy belated T-Day,


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