Monday, October 20, 2008

Albuquerque's Balloon Bash

My husband and I arrived several hours before meeting our friends from Tucson, so we could attend the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta together. After the two of us located our hotel and the restaurant where we would meet, we visited the Anderson Abruzzo International Balloon Museum.

This stunning building resembles a hot air balloon laid on its side, with a two-story glass wall that looks out on the 385-acre International Balloon Fiesta Park. Designed by an avid balloonist with Studio Southwest Architects/a member of the U.S. Green Building Council, the building also utilizes a recycled water system, recycled paving, and methane gas extracted from landfills, and focuses on habitat reclamation.

We joined hundreds of festival-goers inside the museum, viewing fully inflated balloons, flight simulators, and history, technology and adventure exhibits. We also struck up a conversation with Luke, a pilot for the POW-MIA hot-air balloon, Freedom Flight, Inc., which will celebrate 20 years at the Festival in 2009. As we watched for Luke's balloon throughout the next two days, we felt like we had an inside scoop on this spectacular event.

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