Saturday, December 10, 2011

A Late Birthday Gift...

For my birthday, I said that I wanted to go up in the Great Park Balloon. We tried a couple weeks ago, but the winds were blowing and the balloon was closed. But today, the winds have calmed down and it's bright and sunny! The perfect day for a balloon ride. Nowadays, everything costs money... If this was a "normal" park, we'd have to pay for admission to the park, pay for parking, and pay for the balloon ride. BUT, this is the Great Park! Everything here is free. No admission, no parking, and no tickets to ride. All we have to do is sign in, and they call us when it's our turn. Here's Chris checking out the FAQs. The balloon is tethered, we'll be going up 400 feet, and the donut shaped gondola can carry up to 30 people. There were only 6 other people in the gondola with us, so there was plenty of room to move around.

Here it comes! You can see the cable that tethers it to the ground and the shape of the gondola in this picture.

And here we go!!!

There's Jim and Chris on the other side of the gondola.

There's a good view of the Great Park area. Eventually, the Great Park will take up the entire marine base, but right now it only covers a tiny corner. There's a merry-go-round, a couple museums, an agricultural area, and a hanger that they converted into classrooms and meeting areas. They also fill it with ice for ice skating in the winter.

Here's a view of the business end of the base. It's still filled with offices and hangers. If you look past the hanger's off into the distance, that's where we live.

The old runways are still here too... If you watch American Top Gear, you might see the Great Park balloon in the background, because this is where the Top Gear race course is...

Here is a view of the soccer fields and agricultural areas.

I couldn't resist taking a panorama of Saddleback Mountain from the balloon. I put it up in the blog header temporarily. Thanks for stopping by!


Katey said...

This is soooo cool! I showed these pics to my brother and he was very jealous!

Mary said...

WOW! You are so brave! I love all the pictures. That park will be amazing when it is all finished. It is hard to believe that anything is free. Good to know that something is.

Mara... said...

This is SOOOOO cool!!! How fun to have this experience, I can't believe it didn't cost a thing. What amazing photos, too. Looks like it was a beautiful day. I love your blog header, too!