hot air balloons over Napa valley
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Soaring Over Napa

One way to make a girl fall head over heels is to surprise her with a hot air balloon ride as a birthday gift. Well, that’s what my boyfriend did and I can’t say it didn’t work. We were only dating, then, and on my birthday he woke me up at 4am and told me we had to get ready for a surprise. Having no idea what was going on, I managed to put two and two together. Riding a hot air balloon was on my bucket list, which he was aware of. Also, I had researched pricing, locations, businesses, etc.. I knew that most balloons flew at sunrise, so, waking up at 4am made sense. Plus, the road signs, all, pointed to Napa. Which is a popular destination for vineyards, wine tasting, and hot air balloons.

When we arrived, he asked me to wait in the car while he checked in. He came back to the car and asked if I was ready. I was dying of excitement. I couldn’t believe how lucky I was. We walked inside a marketplace, signed a waiver, and were offered drinks and finger food. Then, a van picked us up and drove us to the site where we would be taking off from. We watched the huge, colorful balloons inflate while we waited to board the basket.

At last, it was time to fly! We took off and began to glide above the clouds. The sun began to rise while we were in the air and it couldn’t have been more dazzling. Suddenly, my boyfriend hugs me from the back and whispers in my ear, “will you be my girlfriend?” Gosh! How could I say no? I thought this only happened in movies or during marriage proposals. It was magical!

We kept soaring over Napa Valley and enjoyed the picturesque landscape. The pilot would sometimes descend near water reserves so we could see the beautiful reflections. When our ride was coming to an end, our pilot told us that sometimes they use trees as brakes. We thought he was kidding. But jokes on us because due to weather complications (wind) the pilot really did have to crash into a tree. Ha! It wasn’t as bad as it sounds, though. It was actually hilarious to watch the whole staff team try to catch the ropes to tie us down as the basket tilted left and right. I couldn’t stop laughing. It was the most adrenaline I had felt throughout the entire flight.

Afterward, the van drove us back to the marketplace for a delicious breakfast and wine. Plus, a special cake for me since it was my birthday!

Special thanks to Napa Valley Aloft Balloon Rides! It’s the best birthday I’ve ever had!


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