Every so often, I get the urge to have an adventure. Fortunately, I'm surrounded by people who are usually all too willing to indulge me and join me on crazy escapades! Earlier this month I had one of those days, and it turned out to be a weekend for the record books.
My friend Matt at work mentioned a hot-air balloon festival in passing on our regular Friday morning coffee run, and it piqued my interest just because it sounded so weird and different and awesome. Turns out the Hudson Hot Air Affair is the largest winter ballooning festival in the Midwest...talk about bragging rights! I emailed Hannah right away to see if she'd be interested, and she was, so we finalized our plans...
...to get up at the crack of dawn and drive to Wisconsin! There were forty balloons scheduled to launch at 7:30 am, so I picked Hannah up at 6:15 and we made our way out there. Fortunately, we arrived early enough to scope out the surroundings, which included the cutest bazaar ever in the elementary school adjacent to the launching grounds. Check out these cute papier-mâché balloons!
Of course, it being before 7am, the first thing on our minds was coffee. Friends, this was the steal of the century. For just $2, we not only got 16 ounces of coffee, but ALSO these sweet souvenir mugs to keep!! Score, right?!
Fortified with caffeine, we ventured back outside around 7:20, only to notice there was remarkably little activity occurring on the designated launch field. We spotted one balloon spread all the way out and headed over there to observe...
Only to be devastated by the announcement made at 7:31 by the "Official Hudson Hot Air Affair Balloon-Meister:" the balloons would be unable to take off due to unfavorable weather conditions. Little did we know at the time, ideal ballooning conditions are ridiculously finicky and hard to come by. The conditions that Saturday morning weren't right, so we prepared to leave after watching the Family Fresh Produce Balloon inflate on the ground for awhile.
To my surprise, though, more balloons quickly set up! I got crazy-excited, took 100% too many pictures, and froze our butts off enjoying the spectacle. Though we didn't get to see balloons in flight, it was awesome to see them up close, and it's now officially on my life bucket list to take a hot air balloon ride!
After thawing out from our Hudson adventure, I met dearest Kels for A La Mode manicures. After, we had a Northeast adventure! I had a Groupon for a free brewery tasting that I thought was for Day Block Brewing in downtown Minneapolis, but it turned out to be for 612. Being super-hungry, we headed to Psycho Suzi's first to grab some lunch, but more importantly take advantage of their massive Bloody Mary Bar...
Once we'd polished off our Old Bay-pickle spear-Tabasco-everything-you-could-dream-of Bloodys, we drove to 612 and quickly realized it would be easily an hour before we could snag a table or even a spot at the bar. What are fun, adventurous girls to do? Hot route to Sociable Ciderwerks, of course!
We day-drank substantially, and then I met my parents for a fantastic dinner at Ling and Louie's before the Minnesota Orchestra's "That's Amore!" Pops concert. OH my gosh, the concert was amazing. Featuring dozens of classic opera and modern Italian love songs, I quickly fell in love with Sara Hicks's personable conducting (as always) and the stunning tenor.
FINALLY, I closed out the longest, most adventure-laden day with a trip back to Northeast to stop by Greg's birthday dinner at Northeast Social. I got to catch up with Claire and Mike, enjoy some beverages, and celebrate another February birthday! Eventually, I totally crashed and bailed to my bed.
Not too bad for a completely spontaneous Saturday! I may have spent the entire next day sleeping and relaxing after all the activity, but there's something to be said for cramming that much fun and adventure into one day. Already looking forward to next time's adventures!