If you know me well, then you know that I love St. Louis. I was born and bred here and don't know much else but it really is a great place to live. We live in a city, with farmland. There are hills and valleys and four great seasons. But St. Louis offers such fun, FREE, opportunities for families. It just makes me smile. You'll hear me often quoting one of my favorite movies, Meet Me in St. Louis, "Wasn't I lucky to be born in my favorite city?!"
Well, this Summer, Randall and I took our boys to the Balloon Glow. It's a St. Louis tradition that I had never experienced. Every year, dozens of hot air balloons gather in Forest Park for a race. On the eve of the race, they inflate the balloons and sell funnel cakes and have a great time for the people of St. Louis to get up close and personal with the balloons and their pilots.
There's a big crowd. Lots of traffic. But it's totally worth it. We got downtown early and parked at the Muny (America's oldest and largest outdoor theater and it still has free seats!) and had a picnic. Then we moseyed on over to the Central Field and saw a group of Scottish musicians marching toward the balloons. We followed! They played their bag pipes and made us all stop for a second to enjoy the moment.
The sun was setting as we weaved in and out of the massive balloons. We got to see the gondola's up close and feel the enormity of the balloons towering over us. It was a cool evening but when the pilots intermittently shot fire into the large envelopes, we could feel the warmth of the 10 foot flames on our faces. And then it happened. It was Magic.
A loud air horn blew, and every balloon fired up the propane at the same time, illuminating the large balloons. The sky was dark now, until the blast of fire shot up each nylon envelope and made the faces of the people around us glow an eerie yellow orange. It took my breath away! It was just… magical.
Some day I'll take a flight in one of these babies. Preferably not one shaped like a giant bag of popcorn…