Wet and Aggressive Corella challenges Magpie

Wet and Aggressive Corella challenges Magpie

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Balloon Spectacular 2015

For a lot of the year, early risers in my city can often see a balloon or two drifting across the sky.  I welcome them each time I see them.

However, in March for about ten days the city goes a bit balloon mad.  Each year we have a balloon extravananza and up to fifty balloons are launched each day.  Bliss.  There is always at least one 'feature' balloon.  This year?  Yoda and an Angry Bird.  And a third we didn't know about until we saw it inflate.

Weather permitting they take off from the lawns of Old Parliament House, and as well as the fortunate riders, it has become a tradition for people to come along and watch them inflate and take off.

His high and skinniness loathes mornings and given his druthers gets up (slowly) at the crack of noon.  Fortunately my youngest brother is like me an early riser - and he is also a balloon tragic.

So last Thursday we headed off, arriving at the launch venue just before dawn.  As is usual lots (and lots) of photos follow and will embiggen if clicked upon.

It was dark when we arrived and we chose our position at random.  And were very, very lucky.  The balloon we first stood beside was Yoda.  With the Angry Bird just behind it.

















I think that Yoda looks more than a little creepy when the burners are alight.







 I thought this was a very lucky shot.












The extra feature balloon was the schooner of beer.  The balloon is owned by Carlton Light.  I am not a beer drinker but my brother tells me the balloon is MUCH better than the beer.









114 comments:

  1. spectacular photos; did you ride in one, I have always wanted to give it a try. In California they give tours of the wine country in balloons but never took the tour.

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    1. Linda Starr: Not this time. Probably never again. I am glad I got the opportunity though. And will always go and cheer the balloons on.

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  2. Hahaha they are brilliant!! Yoda is my clear favourite, great pictures as ever! x

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    1. All Consuming: I expected to like Yoda best, but the creepy shots changed my mind. I think, this time, it was the Angry Bird which gets my vote. Loved them all though.

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  3. What a fun and festive sight, except for Yoda. I used to think he was cute. Smiles.

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    1. Rawknrobyn: I know. Creepy Yoda. Who would have thought...

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    2. Creepy Yoda is. Yes. Creepy Yoda is. =)

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    3. Rawknrobyn: We had a Darth Vader balloon a few years ago - who was really quite cute. Who would have thunk it...

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  4. Wow you got some amazing shots. I love the ones right underneath the balloons.

    I always worry those flames are gonna set the balloons on fire.

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    1. LL Cool Joe: I thought I was going to fall over while I was taking them. But looking straight up at them was amazing.

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  5. Hey, the three together looks like an ice cream cone!
    Those are some great shots. Isn't it just fascinating watching them inflate and take off?

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    1. Alex J. Cavanaugh: I thought ice cream cone too. And smiled. And yes, watching them inflate is a huge part of the charm for me.

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  6. what a spectacular sight that must have been and I would have loved to have been in one of them.

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    1. Margaret Adamson: It was an amazing morning. Going up in them is magical, but the crowd who gather to watch them inflate and take to the skies have a lot of fun too.

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  7. Spectacular really is the right word for the images you captured EC. I'm an early riser too so I'd have been there. I sure chose the right day to do a big blog visit session. I've always wanted to go up - perhaps one day!

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    1. Rose ~ from Oz: If you get the chance - do it. It is expensive but an experience to treasure. Mind you watching them go up is also an experience to treasure - and free.

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  8. We've had the beer balloon here but I don't think the other novelty balloons have appeared in our skies. No doubt they will. You took some really good photos. I am impressed.

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    1. Andrew: Yoda came from Belgium, and the Angry Bird from the US (I think). They were invited to attend our spectacular, so I am not sure whether they will fly in other parts of Oz. I hope so.
      And aren't digital cameras amazing. Take a zillion photos and some will turn out.

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  9. Awesome past words. Thanks for getting up early, and thanks to the young brother, too.

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    1. Joanne Noragon: It would take wild horses to keep us away. The brother is afraid of heights. Some years ago he was given a trip in a balloon for a significant birthday. At first he stood well back from the edge. Very quickly he started using sharp and pointy elbows to get to the front and get a better view. And had been hooked on balloons ever since.

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  10. Spendid, all those ballooooooooooons. The tankard is my favourite.

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    1. Bob Bushell: I love them all. So much.

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  11. You captured some GREAT shots. I also like the angry bird peeking out from behind a tree, and the beer balloon. Now that's funny, and just perfect for today, St. Patrick's Day when I think almost every beer drinker has a tendency to overdo it. :-)

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    1. DJan: I liked the Angry Bird peeking out too. The beer balloon was a surprise, but you are right, perfect for St Pat's day. And about the only way I like beer.

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  12. What a great thing to see. I love to catch a glimpse of the hot air balloons. We usually see one or two in the summer.

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    1. Delores: They are a bit like rainbows in my head. Any day I see them is automatically a good day.

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  13. A brilliant display. And nobody bumped into each other? Some steering!

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    1. Friko: The pilots are very, very skilled. I am constantly amazed that with so many taking off at once there are no accidents.

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  14. Dear EC
    Really lovely photos of a fascinating event. I liked the Angry Bird!
    Best wishes
    Ellie

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    1. Ellie Foster: I liked the Angry Bird too. I wonder what the feature balloon will be next year? And will line up to see.

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  15. I can feel the excitement! They look so pretty in the sky. Thank you for all these pictures. I don't get up at the crack of noon, but hardly ever see the dawn either.

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    1. Myrna R.: I see most dawns - insomnia. It has to have some benefits, and the balloons is a big one.

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  16. My favorite is Yoda lit up with the burners. So cool!

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    1. Sue in Italia/In the Land of Cancer: I wasn't a fan of yellow-green Yoda. Green Yoda? Yes.

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  17. How spectacular!! We don't get to see too many balloons down here, so thoroughly the show through your lens. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. CountryMum: It is my pleasure. You show me some magic that I rarely see - so it is a tit for tat moment.

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  18. Yoda he is. Fly he does.
    Love the beer one!
    So beautiful, all of them in the sky. An ahhh moment.

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    1. Carol Kilogore: Definitely an ahhh moment. With some ooohs thrown in.

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  19. There is something about balloons, small and large that makes me smile. It could be the fact that they float free from the earth, or that you can see aerial views from them. I've never been in one, but it's something I think about. . .Love the look of the sky filled with them. Thanks for sharing such great photos, EC!

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    1. D.G Hudson: They always make me smile too. And floating above the earth in one is an amazing experience. Very noisy when the burners are going, serene and beautiful when they aren't.

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  20. That yoda is great! I wonder how much work it takes to make a hot air balloon?

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    1. Birdie: The feature balloons have a heap of work in them. Some of them have many, many pieces. I am glad that they put the hard yards in though.

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  21. When I was young I wanted to be a balloon chaser... or a storm chaser. Now that I'm older and have lived through a few tornados - balloon chaser it is!

    At least they won't send a flying broomstraw through your eye!

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    1. Jacquelineand...: I have never lived through a tornado - and don't want to either. I have been in a house which was struck by lightening which was quite enough for me. Balloon chase every time.

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  22. I like the rainbow colored balloons the best...characters are okay, but just like pretty best!

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  23. Yes, good shots! You don't need a balloon OR a beer to lift us, dear <3


    ALOHA from Honolulu
    ComfortSpiral
    =^..^=

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    1. Cloudia: Sometimes I need a balloon (but never a beer) to lift me. Hugs.

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  24. Lucky Duck EC. That's all I'm going to say in the green with envy state I'm in lol
    Cathy

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    1. Cathy: It is amazing. And I would be jealous if someone else had seen it and I hadn't.

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  25. Fantastic balloons and fabulous photographs. Thanks once again for sharing these spectacular balloons.
    I love Yoda and that Angry Bird. Not sure about the Beer but then I'm not a beer drinker.
    I heard on the news they have The Whale balloon up for sale. Is that true?

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    1. Mimsie: SkyWhale is indeed for sale. I still resent the fact that Canberra doesn't own her. I hope she gets a very good price.
      And I am not a beer drinker either. Ever.

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  26. A schooner! oh my goodness! That's different. So, Red Bull gives you wings, but Carlton gets you high? Hmmm.
    Love Yoda and the Angry bird, even if Yoda does look a little cross. What is that black balloon sitting on Yoda's head?
    I would love to see Calvin and Hobbes as balloons.
    I wish Adelaide had a yearly balloon festival.

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    1. River: Still snorting at your comment about Carlton.
      I don't remember what the black balloon which nearly landed on Yoda is - it is there every year. It did look odd in that shot.
      And yes, Calvin and Hobbes balloons would be amazing.

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  27. Oh my! What a sight that must have been. Some day I will get to one of these. But most are held at least halfway across the state. I love the picture of Angry Bird peeking around the trees. Next would be Yoda topped off by the smiling one. Then the rest are so colorful. I don't know if I could pick a favorite from those. As usual your pictures are stunning.

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    1. Teresa: I loved them all. If you get a chance, do go and see a balloon festival - the atmosphere is simply lovely. Lots and lots of happy people.

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  28. The balloons really are fantastic....Your photographs are excellent!!
    Well worth getting up early in the day to witness such a sight!

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    1. Sienna Smythe: I would have been up anyway - but don't usually get so much eye candy so early in the day. A very big treat.

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  29. So Carlton LIght made beer is bad beer? Good info to have. Their balloon is ugly too. I like the Angry Bird because it's pretty and it looks super mad. I like the smiley faced balloon above Yoda, too, in the double balloon shot. I don't think I'd want to ride in a balloon without an escape line of some sort. All the stories of them catching fire....

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    1. Strayer: I am not a judge of beer. I don't like any of it - or none that I have ever tried, and don't even like the smell. The brother is a beer drinker, but fussy with it.
      I don't think the balloons catch fire often. Really they don't. Cars are much more dangerous...

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  30. I hope someone gave Yoda that beer. All lit up, he looks like he moved over to the dark side. :) The blue smiley face makes a nice hat for him though! Lots of wonderful pictures for us to enjoy, EC! Thank you for that.

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    1. River Fairchild: I have never thought of Yoda as a beer drinker? Punch sounds much more feasible. And tasty.
      It really was a fun morning.

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  31. Such amazing photos. It has to be an awesome sight to be there in person. Thanks so much for sharing these with us. Looks like it would have been fun.

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    1. Mason Canyon: It is fun. An annual treat. I headed out this morning relatively early and there were three balloons drifting overhead. And I smiled. Broadly.

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  32. That was be SO much fun to watch. I don't think I'd want to be in one, though. When I was younger, I wrote a story (based on a true story) about a hot air balloon that went astray and finally crashed!

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    1. Stephanie Faris: It is a festival I look forward to every year. I know balloons crash - but so do cars, trains and planes. Balloons have a huge place in my heart.

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  33. Replies
    1. Author R. Mac Wheeler: It is. All of those things.

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  34. That chap riding on a grumpy looking Yoda...hahahaaaaa!

    The angry bird in the bush too!!!

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    1. Guyana-Gyal: I hope you are feeling much more better - and that the balloons helped.

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  35. Oh Soosie what great shots from all directions....love the Angry Birds and Yoda! What great fun.

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    1. Donna@LivingFromHappiness. Ballooning is always a joy. So much beauty. So much fun. So many happy people. It is really, really hard to look at them and NOT smile.

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  36. Wow- how cool! I have only ever caught them already in air and that was in Colorado. I think they are intriguing, but I am a big scaredy cat and would never ride in one.

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    1. Terri @ Coloring Outside the Lines: I am a chronic wimp about lots of things - but not, fortunately, about balloons.

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  37. I have never seen a balloon in real life - but your photos make me want to.

    I think it's something about Yoda's eyes that make that balloon look kind of creepy - in the movie Yoda looked kinder and gentler! The Angry Bird balloon, on the other hand is a perfect rendition and well suited to the round balloon shape. What fun!

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    1. jenny_o: His eyes do look a bit forbidding, and that nasty yellow-green colour when the propane is burning didn't help. The Angry Bird on the other hand was just charming.

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    1. Jono: I love them all. Every year. Every time I see them. And watching them inflate is incredible too.

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  39. Amazing.
    I've never seen a REAL Hot Air-Balloon.
    What a KICK) )xx

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    1. My Inner Chick: If you get the chance - go. They are an endless delight.
      Hugs.

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  40. A fabulous way to start off the day. Back in 1987 a balloon ride had been organised for me, but I had to cancel because I didn't have the time to fit it into my agenda. It was when I was managing the resort on Hinchinbrook Island and I was away doing a sales-marketing event...and time just ran out for me. I'll never get the chance again.

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    1. Lee: Never say never. Perhaps your chance will come again. If it does - grab it. With both hands.

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  41. One day I might rid in one but I do hate heights.
    These ones are so different.
    Merle..............

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    1. Merlesworld: When you are up in the air it is so gentle that the heights are deceptive. The first time I went up it was with a brother (who is not good about heights). Less than five minutes into the trip he was using his sharp pointy elbows to get to the front of the basket and a better view.

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  42. The Angry Birds balloon looks great :) There aren't many bad beers, but beers people have decided not to like ;)

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    1. Michael D'Agostino: I don't like any beer - it is all bad beer to me. I accept that I am outvoted though.
      And all of the balloons were a joy.

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  43. I don't like to get up early, but I would to see this show! What amazing balloons. I have never seen hot air balloons in other shapes other than the typical one. I have never seen more than three hot air balloons at a time. How fabulous you got to enjoy this event in person and thanks for sharing the pictures with us. Awesome!
    ~Jess

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    1. DMS ~ Jess: On other years my partner has managed to get to the launch - and has even said that is worth getting up early for. I would have been up anyway - so it was an extra bonus. Forty or more balloons in the air at once is amazing. Really, really amazing.

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  44. So stunning! I do love the Angry Bird, but poor Yoda looks rather out of sorts! What a lovely morning, and great pics once again, EC. Obviously it was a really successful show.

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    1. Alexia: We were very lucky. Some other days of the festival the balloons didn't take off. We took a chance, and lucked it in. And it is always popular. Deservedly popular.

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  45. They look like magnificent "beasts of the air". Thanks! :-)

    Greetings from London.

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    1. A Cuban in London: They were. Completely and utterly magnificant.

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  46. Wow - so many adorable, creative and spectacular balloons!

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  47. What a wonderful thing - that you got to see that. Great shots, too. So funny - that's the beer I drank when I visited the UK - Carlton. I was so taken aback that it was served warm, but that one seemed OK warm. :)

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    1. Lynn: I am pretty certain that I wouldn't be able to tell you what beer I was drinking in a blind taste test. And also pretty certain I wouldn't like any of them.
      The balloons on the other hand...

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  48. I would have loved to watch this taking off. Thanks for sharing all these great photos.

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    1. Romance Reader: It really is a treat. An annual treat for me. I look forward to it too.

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  49. I have always wanted to attend a balloon festival like this. One year, while passing through Napa Valley grape vineyards here in California, we saw lots of balloons high up in the air. I believe they do it every year, but we've never been. So I'm very glad you shared your experience here.

    That Angry Bird one looks fun! And Yoda too!

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    1. 2justByou: I have family in the Napa Valley. I must ask whether they go and watch the balloon launches. It really is an incredible sight.

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  50. My! what amazing sights...I wonder if you got neck pain by the time you were done all the photo taking that day. I love Yoda even if it does look a bit creepy with the light. I have always wondered how it would fell to ride in such a balloon. What a day it must have been!

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    1. farawayinthesunshine: It wasn't neck pain so much, as a fear that I would fall over. Particularly when I was trying to take photos directly overhead.
      Ballooning is a magical experience - or I think so, but I love seeing them launched even as a spectator.

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  51. How awesome! The shot of Angry Bird peeking out from behind the tree made me laugh. Very early one morning I was toileting my dogs when I looked up and saw two balloons silently hovering over my garden. They were so low I could see everyone's face peering at me over the baskets, I'm pleased I was wearing pjs and not a nightie!

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    1. Kim: I hope you waved to the balloonists. Angry Bird made me smile too. All of them made me smile.

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  52. So many fun balloons!! I love the Angry Birds balloon. That might be the one time I'd get a selfie, haha. A selfie w/the balloon. ;) I love to see them launch, that always makes me happy. :)

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    1. mail4rosey: There was a lot of selfie taking, and selfie sticks on display. I like the balloons much, much better than myself. And yes, a balloon launch is definitely a happy time.

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  53. Those balloons are awesome! Definitely worth getting up early to see them. I like your brother's comment about the beer balloon being better than the beer. Since I can't stand beer, I'd have to agree.

    Happy weekend!

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    1. Susan: I am so with you on the beer front. It can make a good rinse for dark hair but drinking it? Eeeeuw.
      And a very happy weekend to you and yours.

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  54. I love the angry bird balloon! So cute. You did get a good pic of them two together. All the balloons together is a beautiful sight

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    1. Kim @ Stuff could... Thank you. I did love them, and am glad that other people share my joy.

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  55. Looks like fun (although my vertigo would stop me climbing in)

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    1. Andrew MacLaren-Scott: I think that the vast majority of people were there as spectators. And it is fun. Lots of fun.

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  56. FINALLY, I get a chance to catch up on blogs... and your post has me slack jawed in awe!
    Lucky, lucky you EC!!

    I love all balloons, especially the traditional ones. But, that Yoda is a MASTERPIECE!

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    1. Vicki: The whole morning was incredible. We were soooo lucky. And knew it. And revelled in it. Beauty everywhere we looked. And lots of happy people too.

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