Aren't You Glad It's Plaid
This past weekend my mom flew up north, managing to avoid the hurricane, and we headed up to a resort in the Berkshires to enjoy the fall colors. When she was scheduling the trip a few weeks ago, she contacted a hot air balloon company to see if we could go up and get a new perspective of the foliage, but we hadn't heard back since the first time they'd talked. As we were in the train en route to Albany (where we rented a car and drove across the border to Massachusetts), the guy called and asked if we'd like to go that evening and we said sure! So we dropped our things at the hotel, quickly changed, and he and his wife picked us up in their truck. He was trying to find a good place to take off from considering the direction of the wind, eventually stopping at the Norman Rockwell Museum to set up. Well as he was setting up the small balloon (much smaller than the 30-some-person one I flew in Napa a few weeks ago) two guys in the parking lot walked over and spontaneously asked if they could join the adventure, jumping in at the last second before we were about to take off. So began a lovely sunset hot air balloon ride floating over the mountains.
We floated up and down over the New England treetops, the wind pushing us swiftly north, enjoying the crisp breeze and the breathtaking views. It was such a perfectly clear fall evening and it was nice to only have a few other people in the basket so I was constantly moving around trying to take photos from every side. The landing experience was also hilarious. Hot air balloons, as you may or may not know, don't really have any form of steering and thus are essentially at the mercy of the wind. Our pilot dropped us closer to the ground and we all looked for a clear spot to land. He chose a large field between two houses and we bounced a few times before the basket finally settled on the front lawn of a big classic-looking New England house. The owner, a middle aged woman, was actually very enthusiastic about a hot air balloon landing on her front lawn -- I mean how often can you say you looked out your window to that? It probably also helped that when our pilot's wife met up with us to pack up the balloon, she brought the homeowner a bottle of champagne. And so we enjoyed some snacks and champagne on the front lawn of this nice woman's home before we packed into the truck to head back to our hotel.
The next day was unfortunately quite gloomy, but we drove around the area exploring some of the cute towns like Lee, Lenox, and Stockbridge, MA. Lots of fall foliage, pumpkin decorations, and cookie-cutter New England homes.
**Also, be sure to check out the Shopbop Event of the Season Sale happening now, including my plaid bow blouse up to 30% off! Links below!**