Can you believe I did it? People who know me soon realize that I'm scared of everything. I'm afraid of heights, cars that are too fast, bridges, skiing, falling, being cold, suffer from claustrophobia; I'm even afraid of Tzatziki Sauce! I never would have gone on a balloon if it hadn't of been my friend's 30th birthday and I knew my husband has always wanted to do this.
So with steely resolve I vowed to go on the balloon and hoped I wouldn't cry. I kept reminding myself how brave I had been to go on the Big Buddha tram in Hong Kong and how I would be able to do deep breathing and hold Matt's hand when I was scared. I reminded myself how scared I had been to snorkel and how by the end of our honeymoon it was my favorite thing ever. I reminded myself how many people go in balloons and love it. I prayed I wouldn't get hysterical and embarrass myself in front of my friends and ruin their trip.
All that worry was for nothing! As soon as the balloon took off I knew it would be OK. We ever so gently floated in our basket; slowly rising off the ground like angels. We climbed into the sky and saw the grape vine fields and citrus orchards and houses that looked like tiny models. My worries about the cold were unfounded—the heat from the flame was more than enough to keep us warm. I was at peace with the world and I didn't want it to end. Our landing was a little adventurous; we took out a couple of saplings in a small industrial park and came very close to a large plate glass window. But our skilled pilot and crew got us down safely with one big jolt and that was it—safe again on mother terra!
Afterwards, we enjoyed some almond champagne and a picnic breakfast (our adventure started at 6 AM!) and then went to a winery for a much deserved (and needed!) wine-tasting. As we drove home I was happy that we had enjoyed a perfect day!
Have you ever conquered fear and been surprised at the outcome? This time I was more worried about being scared than I was during the actual event. I'm glad it worked out and I could have a beautiful memory of a great day.