Gliding up a Rainbow

Whenever I have seen the awesome rainbow in the sky, I have felt “Would’nt it be fun to glide on that rainbow from one end to the other?”. I didn’t know this would happen one day. This is exactly how I felt when I had this ‘breathtaking experience of a lifetime’. I woke up early in the morning at 3AM to leave for the Napa Valley, about 100 miles from my place in the Bay area. The reporting time was 5:45AM and I wasn’t sure what I am going to see so early in the day, in darkness. We reached in time, to see a sizable group gathered in the lobby , where coffee and breakfast were being served. By 6AM, we left in three vans for the venue about 2-3 miles into the valley. It was pretty dark, on that early September morning.

We reached an open spacious ground where I saw five gigantic balloons lying flat, ready to be pumped with hot air. They were attached to big baskets enough for accommodating 10 to 15 people. Very soon, the balloons started filling up with hot air, and they rose high up into huge colorful hot-air balloons. The five balloons were all set and ready to take off, the cute baskets at the base looked warm and welcoming.

Lots of pictures were being taken as everyone wanted to capture the different combinations of bright rainbow colors of the adorable balloons. Oh! What beauties! I hopped into one of them – the name of our balloon was ‘Tequila’. So true, my spirit definitely soared high up as the balloon started rising. The best part of the rising of this colorful beauty was that there was absolutely no discomfort at all as it took off and soared up gently. It had reached almost 800 meters above sea level. As I looked around, the sun, a bright golden ball of fire dawned from behind the mountains. Watching a sunrise from a floating balloon was again the most picturesque mental picture I’ve taken. Within minutes the sun had lighted up the entire valley into daylight.

Now, we were floating higher up, above the lush green vineyards, exploring the majestic Napa Valley with an incredible bird’s eye view. Valleys, lakes, hills, mountains, little houses, schools, churches – they all looked wonderful from far ,as the balloon glided by, like an angel in the sky. The enthusiastic and friendly pilot talked to us, giving us information about places below, about our altitude, about our distance and the landmarks around. By now, at 2000 meters above, we were the highest and had floated across 25 to 30 miles away from the take-off point. I practically understood the term “Bird’s eye view” from here.

This experience was simply amazing, adventurous, and breathtaking. This trip in the balloon seemed ideal for so many celebrations. Like a special birthday treat, a place to propose to your love, to celebrate an anniversary, or even to get married. I was blessed to celebrate the birthday of the most adorable and loving one in my life that day. We had been floating for almost an hour, and hadn’t realized how time flew by. Enlightening!

Now the balloon was gradually descending and the green vineyards appeared nearer. The houses looked bigger, we could see cars on the road. We finally made a smooth and silky landing on the grassy lands of a huge playground. It was time to celebrate our amazing ride and the successful landing. The ecstatic moment was celebrated with champagne and brunch. Apparently, this ritual was followed in olden days too. Cheers to the rainbow ride!

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