Sunday, July 18, 2010

About those naps...

When last I wrote, I promised to continue with our ballooning adventure...I have no idea where last week went...oh's what I did last week:
  1. Compiled a 190 page manual for next week's reading institute.
  2. Revised two PowerPoint presentations and created a new one (for next week's reading institute)
  3. Wrote one measly post on the Hefferblog (with a promise of  more to come...uhhhhh).
  4. Played telephone tag with some colleagues who wanted some input on a grant they are writing.
  5. Drove DramaGirl and friends to and from various places.
  6. Ran hill repeats with the Track Club (and Walter, and Betty, and Mik, and Alberta) on Tuesday night. It was a great workout. Love doing hill repeats like that, which means that I am certifiably nuts.
  7. Had a REALLY LOUSY run on Wednesday night at Chollas Lake. Betty and I ran at about 5:00, which meant it was hella hot (Summer has, apparently, finally, arrived here in SoCal!) and HUMID. I barely eeked out three miles in 38 minutes (yep...I walked...several times). 
  8. Following the lousy run, Betty and I volunteered at the Chollas Lake 5K, which is a fun run sponsored by the SDTC.  It looked like a brutal run, heat, hills,, fun, fun. My role as a volunteer had me standing in the middle of the course, pretty much in the middle of nowhere, pointing runners in the right direction and also at a rather large boulder that was in the running path "ROCK!!!!  RIGHT!!!!" was pretty much my line. Unfortunately, I forgot my camera and iPhone in the car, so I don't have photos for you. I could have also used my iPhone since I ended up standing in a pretty isolated area...just me alone with my thoughts and nature for about 30 minutes before the runners came by. Yeah...that being one with nature and a having some time for solitude and reflection? Didn't work so well for me.
  9. Wednesday night, I helped Betty write some comments for a reading she did last night at Madge's WEDDING. I like to think that we found the right balance between being somewhat humorous and not downright offensive...a fine line.
  10. Went to a fundraiser on Thursday night for one of Walter's non-profit organizations called Sports for Exceptional Athletes.
  11. Went to ANOTHER fundraiser on Friday night for another non-profit organization, Home of Guiding Hands. This event was REALLY fun. It had a western-casino night theme. We played Texas Hold'em most of the night with fake money AND I won a prize (from a drawing, NOT from my Poker playing. I like playing poker, but I'm not really any good at it).
  12. Sweated profusely Saturday morning during my last long run before next week's SF 1/2 Marathon. At first, I thought I'd try to run 8 or 9 miles, but I decided about three miles at the first water station, to just turn around and head back. Did I mention it was HOT, well...not so much hot as really HUMID. Walter ran the last two miles sans-shirt because it was soaking wet! I don't have very good advice for him about what to do about this. I sweat a lot when I run, but Walter SWEATS!  Despite the heat, I managed a pretty good run of 6 miles in 1:04.
  13. Attended Madge's wedding last much fun. I am so happy for her and Cletus (a perfect heffer name BTW--one that we did NOT make up.) Seriously though Madge was a beautiful bride. Cletus looked just HAWT (and HOT) in his Navy dress blues. The heat broke last night and we had a great time at their reception. I wish them the very, very, very best!
Even by my crazy-busy life standards...that was a VERY BUSY week.

So...yeah...I never did get around to telling the ballooning story, but I really do need to share some photos from the day.

Dear lord it was early, but here is the balloon being inflated. Betty and Elsie look on.
I want to take a moment to have you examine the basket. 17 of us were in that basket...being held up by some two by fours and plywood. Since it was about 6am, it was still pretty cool outside, but the balloon pilot suggested that we dress lightly because it would get pretty warm in the balloon. I was surprised by this.
Ready to go...Elsie looks like she's hanging on for dear life. That's hot air being blown into the balloon.
Out over Vail Lake as the sun was coming up. Beautiful.
Getting some altitude
Good Morning Sunshine!
Another morning, sun over the lake shot. It really was quite breathtaking, and except for those moments when the pilot was shooting hot air into the balloon, very quiet and peaceful.

All smiles!
We didn't know it at the time, but we would be landing at a point on the left side of this photo.
This is where we what I understand, in ballooning, the pilot usually has a Plan A or B as to where he thinks the wind will take him. I think we were on Plan D.
Being towed to a "flatter" area so as to have room to deflate the balloon

Just in case you were wondering what it looks like to be in a balloon, being towed by a van...
Spreading out "Big Green" which I guess is the crew's ling for the biggest green tarp they have. Watching the crew work was part of the entertainment. Those boys worked hard. By now it was getting pretty warm and they were ALL OVER the hillside making sure that when the balloon was deflated that it didn't land on some brush and get torn.
Back on solid ground
As the crew packed up the balloon we were offered some breakfast an MIMOSAS. Betty immediately "volunteered" to take over the mimosa-making duties.
Mik, Betty, and I listened closely as the balloon pilot gave a lecture about the history of ballooning, and the importance of champagne, or at least that's what I took away from it. crazy week ends, another one begins. 


  1. Very nice pics!
    Wow, what a busy week (summer) you've had-just one thing after another!!

  2. Wow, the balloon adventure looks and sounds like a blast!

  3. Champagne IS important. :)

    Wonderful pics -- I hope no one was afraid of heights...

    I think everyone was weighted down with sweat on Saturday. It was ridiculously humid. Who knew it would cool down that much later on in the afternoon? I think Walter needs to hit up the store for a new tech T-shirt. He is officially a runner now, after all.

  4. Wow! You have been busy! Great pictures!

  5. you got mimosas afterwards????? I am so jealous!!!

    cant wait to see you guys in SF!

  6. Thank you for volunteering last Wednesday. I'm sure it was great appreciated and, far as I heard, no one ran into a rock ... because of you!

    I see hot air balloons every evening in Carmel Valley and a lot must be going with Plan Ds too because they end up where you least expect to find a giant balloon - like the Von's shopping center!