The Balloon Festival At Albuquerque Should Be On Everyone’s Bucket List

First off, the only good way to see this event is by using an RV.  The main balloon event is the mass ascension and that happens starting just after dawn.  This is very early to get up if you are staying in a hotel.  The second event is the glow which happens close to dusk.  Again, better to be a short shuttle bus away to your rig than try to fight the traffic to get back to your hotel.

Morning mass ascension
Morning mass ascension

I also recommend you stay at the on site park grounds in your RV.  You can book a tour through people like Escapees, FMCA, Adventure RV tours, or just make reservations.  If you do not like generator noise book into the areas with power to them.  The other big advantage to staying on site is you can take the free shuttle bus.  There is very heavy traffic getting to the events and the shuttle bus means you don’g have to fight the traffic.

This balloon is huge.  About 80-100 ft high.
This balloon is huge. About 80-100 ft high.

You want to book for the entire festival as some days the balloon show does not take place.  Winds are too high, it rains, and so on.  For us the mass ascension the first days we the best.  The last day they did not even have it as the winds were too high.

Somehow these guys always stuck together.
Somehow these guys always stuck together.

I do recommend you go to the balloon museum.  It is really well put together and very interesting.

So put this event on your bucket list and go.  Book early.

Life In The Slower Lane

After several decades of life in the faster lane it feels good to try letting others pass.  I did not decide to do or try this it just happened.  Now it feels normal to not always push to be first.  Instead of focusing on getting there the process or journey becomes part of the enjoyment if you are in the slower lane.  At least that is how it seems to me.  RVing, enjoying simpler things, pets, taking pictures, and reflecting on how all this fits together is part of giving up the rat race.

manzanita b + dog
Frazier on the beach in Oregon.

Life in the slower lane is not spending a lot of time with a “bucket list”.  Sky diving is likely not going to add as much to your enjoyment of life as spending time trying to get to know someone or working a little on a hobby you love.

Try driving a little slower.  You save gas, it is safer, you enjoy the trip more.

I remember my father saying one time, “I used to get headaches all the time, I have not had one since I retired”.  I used to get headaches nearly every day.  As I have reduced my stress, work, and moved to the slower lane, my headaches have become fewer as the process proceeds.

San Diego Zoo
San Diego Zoo

I volunteer at the Zoo.  I help people find things and assist them if they need a cart to pick them up or fall.  This is very relaxing.  Sometimes hard work, but no pressure.

Since I try and relate things in this blog to RVs I want to include that RVing tends to be a very relaxing lifestyle.  Not that there are not stress inducing events such as breakdowns or traffic jams, but if you are not in a hurry breakdowns just take some time to put things right.  And for the most part you can avoid traffic jams.  RVing also is quite cheap.  Not needing a lot of money tends to reduce stress.  Of course you can add stress to the RV lifestyle by trading motorhomes every year or so.  That way they cost you a fortune and you never really learn about them and how they work before you have a new one with different idiosyncrasies.  

playing with grandkids
playing with grandkids

My advice, next time you feel stress relax and slow down.

 

Traveling By RV Causes You To Interact With Fellow Travelers.

Travel by RV in my experience gives you many more opportunities to mingle with people than travel by air or car.  We travel with a very cute and friendly Airedale Terrier.  And this almost completely assures you of meeting other RV travelers.  Take a walk through the RV campground and a couple of people will ask, “what kind of dog is that”?

Frazier on walk

And then people ask, “what kind of motorhome is that”?

cc pic

When you travel by air, rent a car, and stay in a hotel many times you interact with no one on a personal basis.  The same is true when you travel by car and stay in hotels.  Not always, but most of the time there is very limited interaction between yourself and others on a personal basis.

Some motorhome rigs really attract people.  We had a GMC motorhome for quite a while and that was a huge attention getter.  People would just walk up to tell you about the adventures they had when they were younger and someone they knew had a GMC.

GMC motorhome
GMC motorhome

Or if you buy one of the new Winnebago Braves I guarantee you will draw a crowd at every campground you stay at.

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I have to say I love this new Brave.  It is exactly the same length as our old GMC and for many uses this is the perfect size for a motorhome you are going to travel in.  It is not really big enough to live in full time, but 26′ is a great travel size.  Small enough to camp anywhere and travel without a tow car.  But big enough to be very comfortable on a vacation.

So which place would you rather be?

RV campground
RV campground
Holiday Inn Room
Holiday Inn Room

I like the first one better.  But everyone has their own preferences.