I love traditions. Not only do they mark the passage of time, they can sometimes make the world feel a little bit smaller. There is something about celebrating and gathering, with friends and strangers, that is unifying, don’t you think?
One of my favorite autumn traditions is the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. Every year we gather with friends, family, and crowds of strangers to watch hundreds of hot air balloons fill the New Mexico skies. Rather than watching for yellowing leaves, siting hot air balloons in the sky around here is the first sign that fall has arrived. It lasts for a week and it seems like every year at least one of our fiesta attempts is foiled by wind or rain. This year, weather spoiled our first trip, but we didn’t let our soggy boots keep us from making a second attempt.
Every year, we get up at the ungodly hour of 4 AM, bundle everyone into coats, and head into the crowds gathering downtown. We console ourselves with thermoses filled with delicious New Mexican Hot Chocolate and are rewarded by the glow of the dawn patrol balloons just before the sun rises. Once the sun comes up, we wander among the balloon as they take flight.
This year was Rory’s first year, a family milestone. I have pictures of all of my kids as babies at the balloon fiesta, and every year since then. It’s a tradition I grew up loving and I’m passing it along to my little ones. [Read More...]