Monday, February 28, 2011

the great balloon misadventure

Back in December, I read Reinna's account of her adventure at the Great Balloon Park.  Below are some of her pictures:
In my head, I imagined equally blissful fun so I asked Josh if he would like to accompany me on this exploration.  Better yet, I told myself eagerly, "I'll kill two birds with one stone and take pictures of balloons because they'll relate to the imaginative theme of my photography project!"

We were pretty worn out from the week, so we decided to go on Saturday night.  I had to work on editing Culture Night videos in the afternoon so we went at around 7:00 because the park closes at 10:00.  I knew that there was a carousel in addition to a hot air balloon, and I was looking forward to seeing the pretty night lights.

As we got ready to leave, we noticed some pretty majestic clouds but the forecast seemed clear.
 After grabbing two large frozen Cokes (we were parched from the Papa John's we had for lunch) and getting a little lost, we finally made it to the Great Balloon Park.

My first impression was to burst out snorting.
The location of the park was very odd, to say the least.  It was literally in the middle of no where.  And in the midst of this nothingness, there was a giant orange balloon.  Great idea, guys!  Josh said it reminded him of James and the Giant Peach.  I just couldn't stop giggling over how bizarre it was.  I didn't expect the "park" to be so remote.

As we parked, we soon realized that it was drizzling which eventually turned into rain.  I told Josh that we didn't have to look around because it was kind of strange, but he insisted that we investigate a little.
The moment we got out of the car, we saw this sign:
I burst out laughing and snorting again (so attractive, right?).  Perfect!  The main purpose of the Great Balloon Park was shut down because it started raining as soon as we arrived.

But maybe that was a good thing.  We quickly realized that the park was just as deserted as its surroundings.  Maybe because it was raining or because it was nighttime.  Or maybe the chilly weather.  Or perhaps because there was nothing great at all about the Great Balloon Park.
The more we walked around, the more FREAKED OUT we got.  It felt like something straight out of "Zombieland."  We even attempted to ride the carousel (most likely adapted from Ray Bradbury's "Something Wicked This Way Comes"), but the two people operating it stared at us blankly as if they wanted to suck our souls out.  (Plus you needed to check in at customer service before you could ride it or something).   

We literally ran away from the park as fast as we could!!  And in the car, Josh took advantage of my vulnerability; he pointed out the passenger window and started shouting "WHAT THE HECK IS THAT???" while I screamed my lungs out, bracing myself as I ducked for safety from nothing but the creepy atmosphere of the park and the giant orange balloon looming in the distance.

To end the night on a happy note, Josh took me out to grab pho, eggrolls, and spring rolls.  (Josh, remind me to take more pictures on our adventures!  All I have on my camera are creepy balloon pictures and no documentation of good food!).  Upon exiting the car, the first thing I said was, "It sure feels good to be back in civilization!"

Don't be afraid to explore the Great Balloon Park (maybe in the morning...and only when there is a decent amount of people around).  Reinna had a great time, and my friend Adrienne had fun when she visited it at night.  Buy hey, even if you get freaked out like we did, I'm sure you'll have a very memorable time!


  1. Hhahahah! I love this post.. it made me laugh.

  2. Wonderful post and great pictures. Love it!

  3. lol! aww, im sorry it was closed!
    hahhaha and i forgot to mention that its super deserted, like creepyyyy emptyyyy.

    pictures look like they came out well though :)


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