Hot Air Ballooning for Father's Day


For Father's Day weekend, my husband and I decided to take a quick, four day trip to Vermont.  We found a great getaway deal from Travelzoo that we couldn't resist, which included a three-night stay at the Castle Hill Resort and Spa with extra credits towards two massages and a dinner for two.  Before booking the reservation, I made sure our little guy could come with us too.  Fortunately, they found a room that could accommodate the three of us, and they didn't even charge us extra!

By far, the highlight of staying at this resort was the pool and hot tub.  The outside pool was heated, which means that the water was typically warmer than the air, and the hot tub was nearby for convenient access after the pool.  Both the pool and hot tub used a fine salt to keep the water clean instead of chlorine, which means there was no chlorine smell, no burning eyes, and no green hair.  We made sure to use the pool everyday--Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday morning.

On Saturday, we had decided to attend the 34th Annual Quechee Hot Air Balloon Craft and Music Festival.  While riding on a hot air balloon is definitely on my "bucket list," we didn't make reservations to ride one this time.  I didn't want to spend a lot of money and have our little guy be afraid.  Instead, we figured it would be just as fun (well almost) to watch them all go up into the air at once.  After enjoying the festival itself, we walked over to the field at 6 p.m. to prepare for the hot air balloon lift off.  At first, the weather didn't seem to be cooperating and so all of the hot air balloons were lying dormant on the field.  Then, all of a sudden (around 6:30ish), the breeze seemed to dissipate, and before we knew it, 21 balloons were inflating and preparing for lift off.  While they didn't all take off at once, they did follow each other in close sequence--one, then another, then another, and then another.  I got emotional after watching the first one leave the ground; it was such an exhilarating experience, and my brain didn't know how else to handle it other than to make my eyes well up with tears.  Lewie, amazed, even said to me, "Mommy, I never saw anything like this in my whole life."  After the fifth or sixth balloon, however, he was eyeing the playground and wanted me to push him on the swings.  Kids--go figure!

On Father's Day, we treated ourselves to massages while we took turns watching Little Lewie, and for dinner, we used our restaurant credit to eat at their castle.  While eating at the castle was cool (Lewie enjoyed going into the different rooms to look for secret passage ways), my husband and I both agreed that the environment was a little too stiff for our liking.  Most of the couples were older, and for this reason, they seemed somewhat displeased that we brought our very active four year-old to dinner.  While no one said anything to us in particular, we did receive lots of glares.  All I could say is that Little Lewie behaved wonderfully in my eyes.  He didn't talk too loud, and when it took a while to be served our food, he was very well mannered as we walked into the other rooms of the castle to keep him entertained.  We certainly couldn't be blamed for interrupting any one's dinner.

All in all, we had a wonderful trip, and I feel very grateful that my extra online teaching assignments were able to help pay for it.  The next time we go to the Quechee Festival, (yes, I plan on going back), I definitely want to be in one of those balloons!

It only took a matter of minutes for each hot air balloon to inflate!

The very first "lift off."  This balloon was from Fairfield, CT--not far from us.

More balloons getting ready...

The next two balloons preparing for flight.

Up, up and away!

The race to "the top"

And we have another lift off...

I love this picture.  The hot air balloon was literally right above us.

Floating away...

Taking a picture from the playground area.

Anyone that's seen Wicked the musical would appreciate this balloon.  It says, "Defy Gravity" on the other side.

Big Lew and Little Lew on Father's Day.

My husband and me... Little Lew took the picture!

My husband spotted an orange salamander outside of the castle.

Me and my little guy in front of the fountain.

There was a wedding here on Saturday.  The tent actually has chandeliers inside!

The Castle, built in 1902.

The other side of the Castle.

Big Lew enjoying the hot tub.

Me taking pictures of the pool.  

Another picture of the pool area.  (I'm a sucker for gardens and landscape design.)

Taking a swim in the 80+ degree water.


  1. Beautiful photos!
    Love that pool!

  2. What a fun long weekend getaway! I was in Albuquerque NM for a balloon festival one year, so I know how overwhelming the beauty of it all can be! You took A-M-A-Z-I-N-G photos!! I hope you are compiling scrapbooks of all of your great experiences for Little Lewie to look back on and cherish when he is older. Those balloons taking off make me think of Charlotte's Web where Charlotte's babies take off on their little web spinnerettes (that looks like way too many double letters and it's underlined in red so I realize it is spelled wrong...might not even be a word, but I think you get the idea : ). Thanks for stopping by. I'm always cheered by your visits/comments. I'm also glad to back in the "blogosphere" even if it is just here and there.

  3. Sounds like a fun weekend getaway! Lewie is such a cute boy! He sounds so very well behaved, good job Mom and Dad! I love all the pictures. Glad it was a great time.

  4. You guys go on the coolest getaways! I can't wait to hear about your hot air balloon ride next year!!! My favorite picture is the one with Lewie and his dad on Father's Day - they both have the same happy, relaxed look :) So glad you guys had such a fun time Annette!

  5. So so cool! I mean hot air balloons and a castle??? Sign me up!

  6. You've been up to some really fun things! What a dream. And that orange salamander-sooo coool!!!


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