You'd think that a little basket and some fabric would make for a bumpy ride. But before I could look up while fumbling with my camera bag, we were already floating up into the air! Our lift off was so gentle. Despite being able to visually see that we were getting higher, I could barely sense that we were moving. I had always heard that going on an hot air balloon ride was a must in Napa Valley...and now I know why.
We were lucky enough to get the one clear day out of a series of rainy days and up in the open air, it was peaceful and breathtaking. It's a rare occasion, where 360 views are part of the whole experience...we could see all the way to the ocean and spotted many of the small wineries and homes that make up this little piece of sanctuary in northern California. After challenging ourselves to try this unique form of transportation, we celebrated with the rest of our balloon companions at Domaine Chandon with bubbles and breakfast!
PHOTOS: MU-HSIEN INC
3 Tips for an Enjoyable Napa Valley Balloon Ride
1 - Go for the early morning rides. There's less wind and it makes for the smoothest experience.
2 - Go with the company that offers pick up from your hotel. Especially convenient if you're going for an early balloon ride and if you've had a few glasses of champagne after the ride!
3 - Bring an extra layer or hat, it can be much cooler up in the air.