On Saturday, Grand Rapids held its first annual balloon festival. It was.... Well, the last half hour was awesome.
See, according to the website, there was going to be stuff going on all day. We decided to skip the 6:00 am launch and show up at 3:30ish, because there were going to be lots of balloons set up, and we could walk around and see them close up and talk to the pilots. And then, at 6:00, they'd be getting ready to launch, and then launch at 7:00, and ... Yay! Sounds fun!
The reality, however, was that when we got there, there was a long line for the one balloon, which you could walk into to see what it's like inside. Also, there were lots of carnival games and a couple of bouncy toys, and it was all very loud (rather than the peaceful experience we'd kind of envisioned). We lined up and walked through the balloon, which was really cool. Both Katrina and Houston said, "It's bigger on the inside!" (Solid Doctor Who reference there. Well done, kids!) Once we were finished with our (very rushed along) walk-through, and the kids had played the carnival games (free, but also geared for younger kids), there was nothing else to do for a long time. Apparently what happened is that it had poured the night before, so the field was really muddy and they couldn't set up their balloons out there.
And THEN, it was windy and the wind was blowing the wrong direction, so they couldn't launch the balloons either. They finally started setting up a couple of balloons at about 7:30, and when the wind died down a bit half an hour later, they set up the rest. At about 8:30, as the sun was setting, they did a "glow," which meant that the balloons stayed on the ground, but they blasted the fires, so the balloons glowed from the inside. It was beautiful.
Next year, we all decided, we'll go at 7:00ish.
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Today was the first Monday of school, which meant that it was the first day that Katrina had band, which meant that Katrina got her flute today. She's super-excited. I'm not entirely sure what they actually DID in band today, because she hasn't actually learned how to put it together yet. (That didn't stop her from putting it together - with my encouragement - as soon as she got home. How hard is it to put a flute together, after all?)
So Katrina had her flute out and practiced blowing into it, and Houston brought his sax out and tried to figure out how to play Doctor Who songs, and it was very loud in here for a while. Happy, but loud.
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I know some people can't see my web albums when i do the slide show thing, so instead i'll just say that if you want to see pictures from the past few days, here's the link: Sept. 6-8. :)