Papa Lou’s Excellent Hot Air Balloon Adventure

by DaniGirl on August 25, 2009 · 5 comments

in Ottawa Family Fun

“Hey Dani, you blog a lot about affordable adventures for family fun in Ottawa. But what do you recommend if I’ve got a wad of cash burning a hole in my pocket and a need to see the city from a different perspective?”

How about a sunset trip over the city in a hot air balloon?

216:365 Granny and Lucas

We’ve toyed with the idea of giving my Dad a hot air balloon ride as a gift for years, and finally thought the occassion of his 65th birthday in May was an excellent time to do it. It’s not cheap (in the neighbourhood of $225 per person) but worth it as a once-in-a-lifetime experience for someone who has always been fascinated by hot air balloons.

He’d scheduled a ride for last week, but a poor weather forecast caused them to scrub the flight. (Ironically, by the time the sun set that day, the clouds had passed and the winds settled — but better safe than sorry, I’m sure!) When his flight was rebooked for last night, he invited the boys and I to come out to watch the launch. He knew the boys would be fascinated – they were – and that I’m forever grubbing for unique photo opportunities.

It was a gorgeous evening, bright and clear and warm, and just watching the launch was an event in itself — I can’t imagine how excited the boys would have been if we’d actually taken off. In fact, Simon said he wasn’t overly keen on the idea, but Tristan and I would have tagged along in a heartbeat had they suddenly found room for two stowaways.

Papa Lou's Excellent Hot Air Balloon Adventure

I haven’t had the chance to check in with Papa Lou to see how he enjoyed the ride, but the smile on his face as he waved to us and drifted over the treetops was well worth the price of the gift certificate. They were headed south-east toward Gloucester based on the wind direction. Passengers apparently get a champagne picnic upon landing, and a van drives them back to the launching spot. Sounds like quite the adventure!

Well, now I know what to do the next time I’ve got a spare thousand dollars or so burning a hole in my pocket. Or, ahem, if you happen to be the proprietor of a hot air balloon company and are looking for an enthusiastic photographer/blogger to document a ride, I’m your girl! *grin*

(P.S. I know, I know, the blog content has been skewed heavily to pix over words lately. Too many pictures? The photo opportunities just keep throwing themselves at me and I can’t help but share!)

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Chantal August 25, 2009 at 8:26 am

My Mom went on a hot air balloon ride a number of years ago. She was so scared but LOVED it.

2 Annika August 25, 2009 at 12:37 pm

I am loving the pix, but miss the words. I realize that you are ONE person, though. So glad you’re enjoying this pursuit.

3 Annie August 25, 2009 at 8:54 pm

I love lots of pictures… with your text!

4 Fawn August 25, 2009 at 11:02 pm

Whee! I’d love to go up in a hot-air balloon, too! In my first year of university (at Carleton) a friend and I were walking across the “Back 40” of the campus to get back to my house. This is a popular balloon-launching spot and it just so happened that one was being inflated that day. She and I stopped to watch and even helped a little when the wind got slightly unruly before the balloon was inflated. Then we were invited to ride along in the truck to “chase” the balloon. Perhaps it sounds foolhardy for two young women to get into a truck with a strange man, but, well, we did it. Funny thing, that balloon went straight down Bank Street and landed in the South Keys parking lot!

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