It's a breeze -- ballooning, that is

... visiting relatives in Albuquerque

by Louise Fennell

It's 5:30am in Albuquerque, New Mexico Hundreds of balloons from all over the world are being assembled. The excitement is tangible.

The kids in the crowd, both young and old, loved Darth Vader, a balloon brought over from Germany. On the right, a man holds balloon open for air to blow into it.

One of the most spectacular moments came just after dark. In a great show of precision and timing all the balloons lit sumultaneously.

A tranquil ride on one day but on the next the winds made it more scary.

One afternoon all the character balloons went up together to see which was the best.  

This man is actually inside the balloon spreading it out as the air flows in. The man in the zebra outfit appeared to be directing the whole show.

It takes muscle to keep this balloon from being dragged down the field by the wind. A short distance away, flames heat up the air inside a balloon.

Wish I were flying with them.

Some balloons are just plain fun.

There is a lot of work to this. A woman spreads out a balloon in preparation for  inflating. Ever feel like someone is watching you?

There are rumors that next year may be the last. If you're going make arrangements early.

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