Pre-Dawn Fiesta

When Dan and I were planning our wild west adventure, he stumbled upon an advertisement for the Balloon Fiesta in Albuquerque.  We were intrigued and decided we needed to see it.  Unfortunately, we had to get up at 4:00 am in order to get to the field before the 5:45 Dawn Patrol.  Let me tell you, it was worth it!
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We got to the field a little after 5am and it was freezing.  We picked up some Tom Thumb donuts to hold us over during the Fiesta.  As you can see they were all freshly made while we stood in line.  These had to be some of the tastiest donuts I have ever had. I have to find another fair so I can have these again!
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We ate these while we walked over to the Dawn Patrol that was just beginning.  The Dawn Patrol is when a first set of balloons take off to report the weather conditions to the rest of the balloons.
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It was amazing to watch them light up.
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As an added bonus, all of the heat really kept us toasty until the sun came up!Balloon Fiesta-115 I will not lie, I took about 200 pictures of this pre-dawn event.  I probably would have held back if I had realized how amazing the rest of the morning would be.

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One of our favorites was the pig.
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Can you spot him?
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We kept seeing him throughout the day floating back and forth.  So cute!
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After the first few went up we stationed ourselves between two balloons as they were being set up.  To our right some balloonists were setting up a clown, while on our left, three little bees were going up.
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It was truly impressive to see how huge these balloons are!
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It was even more impressive to watch the balloonists prepare them for launch.  It was quite an involved process.Balloon Fiesta-323
There was a lot of hot air going around!
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Balloon Fiesta-376 This is the clown balloonist.  Check out his nose!
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And they’re off!
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We caught our first glimpses of the balloons when they were mid-air.  SO CUTE!  I’ve never liked bees so much!
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The red bee (the one we were next to) seemed to have bonded more with the clown than his teammates.(I love the cow balloon in the background!)
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I have to admit that I was surprised that this is what the clown balloon looked like.  Too bad we didn’t see him after this.Balloon Fiesta-398
We also didn’t see the bees again, except for on the news the next morning.  I am really glad that we got to watch these balloons come to life and see how the whole process worked.
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Dan and I are also trying to remember to take pictures with us in themBalloon Fiesta-205
Too bad Dan is intimidated by my camera.
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The funniest part of the day was that we were 20 or 30 minutes away from the fiesta and we kept seeing balloons floating by.  I hope their chase vehicles were gassed up and ready to go!

What was the coolest thing that you woke up before dawn to do?