Up, Up, & Away

Good Things Come to Those Who Wait


I never knew that it was possible to pack so much fun into a 24-hour time span (sleeping included)! But this weekend proved to me that it is.

In October of 2016, Ben and I booked a hot air balloon trip with Sunrise Balloons in Temecula for our one year anniversary. Leading up to it, we were very excited for this exhilarating adventure. However, the Friday before our balloon ride on Monday, we were notified of its cancellation due to poor flying weather conditions. As bummed as we were, we still had time to cancel our hotel room without any penalties.

Hopeful, we rescheduled our balloon ride for a date in December around the holidays. When the time came, we packed our bags and headed on the road. Not too long after we headed out, we were again notified of the trip’s cancellation—due to (you’ve guessed it…) poor weather conditions. To us, the weather looked perfect. Sunny and cloudless. However, in Temecula the wind was picking up. As it stands, it’s better to be safe than sorry. With heavy hearts, we decided not to continue on to Temecula, and unfortunately were forced to pay for the hotel room fee nonetheless.

Yet again, we made one final attempt to reschedule to a date in February. Leading up to our flight date, the weather decided to take a turn for the worse. As I’m sure you know if you live in California, it’s been one of the stormiest months to date. However, Ben and I refused to accept another cancellation, and were convinced that there’d be no way they’d cancel our trip 3x in a row. Regardless of the weather, we decided to take our chances and head to Temecula. We figured that it would be worth a weekend getaway to Wine Country, even if we were unable to fly. We headed out early Sunday morning and made our way there.

We explored Old Town Temecula, and really adored the southern country vibe. We had no idea it would be saloon-style. The stores were quaint and enchanting—we visited a little candy store, a lavender store, meditation stores, gardens, and even an olive oil tasting room! We got to explore our taste buds with samples of flavored oils and vinegars—it was a lot of fun! I also purchased an amazing salt scrub from the lavender store.

Olive Oil Tasting!
Old Town Temecula!

After exploring Old Town, we made our way to the heart of Wine Country. Unfortunately, we didn’t realize that all of the grape vine plants would be completely dead this time of year. We decided drone shots of the dead, black plants would be a waste of our time, so we opted for footage of a nearby duck lake. It was calm and pretty, and we made it there right in time for the sunset.

At about this time of day, our contact at Sunrise Balloons informed us that the chances of the balloon ride happening the next day were only 40% likely (due to cloud cover this time). We were given the opportunity to opt out and reschedule, but we decided to hang in there and hope for the best!

Later that night, we chose to have a low-key evening in our suite at the Marriott—it was so nice! We did Thai food takeout, and dined in our room while watching The Hangover. Then we finished the night with our fave vacation show, Forensic Files (it’s just so reliable).

The next morning, we awoke at 5:30am to get ready for our sunrise flight. As we got out of bed and started getting ready, we wondered whether it would be cancelled upon our arrival (as we were warned that it is sometimes cancelled onsite the day of). When we arrived at Monte De Oro Winery, we were greeted with mimosas, coffee, muffins, and waivers. We signed away our lives, and were told who our pilot would be. At this point, we knew it was actually happening! As they say—3rd times’ a charm!

Start Her Up!

We headed in a party bus (at 7am) over to the flight location. When we got there, two giant hot air balloons were sitting in a grassy field. 18 people were boarding our balloon! In no time at all, we were up, up, and away! The balloon ascended rapidly, and we were graced with a beautiful view of Wine Country! We made it to nearly 3,000 feet in the air, held by nothing more than a wicker basket. As a psych major, I couldn’t help but think about the inner workings of the excitation transfer theory that were sure to be occurring on the flight (sorry—I love psych). We were served champagne while aloft, and were given a detailed overview of the land’s layout by our tour guide, CJ. Plenty of awesome footage coming your way in the next few days: visit Ben’s instagram, @thebennylee.

Awkward Moments with Ben!
Couldn’t Resist..
Love this one.
View from Above

After our flight we headed home and made a pit stop in Old Town Pasadena. Here, we went to a crepe café and enjoyed the hustle and bustle of the city.

For a 24 hour vacation, it sure was packed with excitement and a ton of laughs. After all of our discouraging attempts, we were finally able to celebrate our one-year anniversary…almost a half of a year after the fact. All I can say is, it was well worth the wait!

xx allie




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