Sunday, October 28

Carolina BalloonFiasco

Yesterday we had high hopes of a beautiful day spent watching hot air balloons take off. Laurie had told us about the Carolina BalloonFest in Statesville. It was about an hour's drive. We left home at 3:15pm and stopped for gas and diapers. At 4:25 we were turning about 4 miles away. At 5:50 we pulled into the parking lot.

That's right, I said 5:50.

It took us an hour and a half to go 4 miles! The line was ridiculous! There was a "Mass Ascension" at 4:30 that we had wanted to see. Well, we got to see it from the car. Mike & Leah got out and walked for a while next to the car. That's how slow we were moving.

At several points, I considered just calling it a day and going home. But at a certain point, you have waited long enough that you don't want to have wasted the wait. You might as well just go through with it. And at the time I had no idea how much farther we had to go. I kept thinking, surely it is right around THIS bend.

Our friends we were meeting there were in line to leave as we were parking. They waved goodbye to us from across the parking lot. Now, as this was supposed to be an afternoon outing, we were ALL in short sleeves (it was in the high 70s). The afternoon outing had turned into an evening/night outing.

My poor babies had no jackets.

I wore Erin in the wrap so I was able to tuck her arms in and she stayed pretty warm. Leah, on the other hand, was pretty chilly.

We were originally intended to stop on the way home and get dinner maybe at Cracker Barrel. But by the time we got into the festival, we were starving. We did not have enough cash for us all to eat. Thank goodness there was an ATM trailer there. Then we proceeded to spend $40 on greasy fair food we didn't even want. After the sun went down, we got to experience the "Glow." They shot flames into all the balloons at once so that they were glowing simultaneously. It really was beautiful. We raced for the car after that, to beat the traffic out.

It took us 15 minutes to get to the interstate instead of an hour and a half this time. After a few miles on the highway, cars start slowing down. Mike is about to start screaming obscenities, when I volunteer to drive home (I had driven there too). We do a Chinese fire drill in the middle of the highway in stopped traffic. It doesn't take long for us to find the source of the traffic. Construction at 8pm on a Saturday night. What idiot ordered that?!?!? Mike, my lovely husband, shouted things like, "3am would be a great time for construction" out the window to the workers as we passed them.

We stopped for Chik-fil-a and a double diaper change in the back of the van. On the road again, Leah munched a few nuggets and spilled her milk in her carseat. I had to climb in the back and crouch on the floor looking through the diaper bag for clothes for her. I had stocked a separate bag from my usual one and kept it in the car since my last poop incident. So I had a change of clothes for her. I undid her top buckle and switched out her shirt. After that, we had some peace in a quiet van. Amazingly, both girls allowed us to change their diapers and put them into jammies without waking up too much when we finally got home at 9:30.

So next year, no BalloonFest for us.


Mirdonamy said...

Ugh, what a day you had!

Emily said...

We hit 8pm construction coming out of Nashville last week on the way to Destin. I feel your pain.

Christina said...

Wow...that sounds like quite the day. I'm glad that you did enjoy the time that you were there. The pics of the baloons at night look amazing. You are lucky you have such good little troopers that didn't have a meltdown on the way home :-)

LeShayne said...

The best laid plans of mice and men...sorry it was a bust! You must have some great kids though to cooperate as much as they did for that long.

Rhiannon said...

At least the night lighting was cool. I hate when stuff like that happens!