Once when I was a kid, a hot air balloon landed in the big field behind our house - I remember running up to the basket and talking with the people inside. I don't remember how old I was, but it was an event that has permanent residence in my memory.
So, it is with that memory in mind that when a hot air balloon sailed over the Bach house a couple of days ago, remarkably close to the treetops, that I spontaneously grabbed my car keys and the two Bachsters who happened to be with me to chase it down, in hopes of watching it land.
First, we drove to a field at the edge of our neighborhood, thinking it might land there. But when we got there, we could see that it had sailed into the distance, so we followed it, down a country road, past a field where a couple of horses and a pony graze (and they were freaked out by the balloon. In fact, when it floated over our yard, Ranger kept barking at it!). After a stop at another neighborhood & an elementary school, we could tell the balloon was going to land soon - it just stayed very low to the ground the entire time. Luckily, it was big & bright yellow, so it was pretty easy to follow.
And after a few more turns, our efforts were rewarded: a small patch of grass surrounded by older ranch homes, a line of cars doing the exact same thing we were doing, and a great big 'ol yellow hot air balloon, making a slow descent (but not before touching the tops of the trees so everyone in the basket could reach out & pick a leaf or two):
The balloon pilot fueled it up once more before letting the balloon slowly sink to the ground:
And then for the best part: the balloon pilot invited all the kids watching to come and roll on the balloon, to help them get all the air out. What fun!
Within minutes, something that had floated in the air and commanded everyone's attention was flattened & rolled up into a gigantic canvas bag. It just didn't seem probable that this big piece of fabric was the same balloon we had just been marveling at.
On the way home, DD exclaimed, "this is the greatest adventure of my whole life." Which might be a tad overstated, yet it certainly was an adventure, one that I hope they'll think back on with a smile when they're grown up.