Balloon Festival 2015

A couple of weekends ago, I went to the Annual Hot Air Balloon Festival in Readington, NJ. This one was sponsored by QuickChek and it was at the Solberg Airport. There was a plethora of food stalls, booths with toys and knickknacks for sale, and games and rides. The stalls and booths were set up along the tarmac which was cool, except the black asphalt was radiating heat.
It was a spectacularly sunny day, which was lovely for watching balloons floating off into the sky.

We bought our tickets from a physical QuickChek location and they were $24. Tickets bought way ahead of time off the website were $20 and $35 at the door. There were also VIP tickets available (which had the perks of shaded seating and cleaner toilets) but we had a happy enough time as non-VIPs.

The worst part of the day was dealing with the mess of a parking lot. Getting in wasn't too horrible even though there was a little traffic once we got within two miles of the airport. However, getting out of the parking lot was possibly one of the worst things ever. There was zero organization and no staff to direct cars which meant it was just a free-for-all. Asshole drivers were cutting in and out of parked cars to try and get ahead in the line, which just made the queue more and more backed up. It was terrible enough that I don't ever want to go to another festival because sitting for two hours in a parking lot trying to get out is just not my idea of a good time.

However, it was a beautiful experience and I loved photographing the balloons because they were lovely and mesmerizing. So, enough babble and onto the photographs!
It was crazy crowded and everyone was in a great mood because of the gorgeous weather.
We'd just eaten a lunch before heading down so we weren't ready for a full on meal, but we wanted a little snack. Lucky for us, the arepa booth had a short queue.
The arepa wasn't quite what I was expecting. It was literally like two pieces of cornbread squashing some cheese, but it was still yummy.
By the time we got our snack, it was past 6PM. Since the launch was set to start at 6:30, we headed towards the launch area and nestled in right next to the fence.
We watched as vans pulled up and the crews unloaded baskets and balloons.
Soon, the first balloon, which was a rainbow QuickChek balloon, was ready to launch.
The crowd cheered as it floated up into the perfect sky. How gorgeous is that?! The rainbow balloon against the fluffy white clouds in the blue sky.
A video posted by ra¢h 💋 (@racheerachh) on

A few minutes later, the wind had picked up so the balloons were grounded. The announcer said that maybe they'd take off in another 45 minutes. The family sitting in front of us had young children and they decided they couldn't wait that long so they left. Fortunately for us, we got to scooch up and be right up against the fence for a prime view.
Luckily, the wind delay only lasted 10 minutes. In a short while, the scattered balloon crews started re-inflating and then it was just balloon after balloon, taking off into the sky.
This celestial balloon was one of my favorites and everyone cheered when it took off.
But when Yoda was ready, the crowd really got excited.
I thought he looked so cute!
Everyone freaked out when Darth took off too. And the DJ played The Imperial March which made it so much more fun.
"Luke, I have no body."
Watching the balloons and the sunset simultaneously was pretty magical. I loved it.
Like I said, minus the traffic getting out of the lot, it was a great day.