Rising with the Sun – Hot Air Ballooning over Atlanta, Georgia

We found new meaning to “rising with the sun”.Balloon Atlanta

On Saturday morning, at 7am, we gracefully floated up through the sky with a sea of colors above our heads. As the sun made its first appearance for the day, the golden rays warmed the sky and our world was brighter. We were floating above Atlanta in a basket built for four below a gigantic balloon built for the sky. What a way to experience a sun rise! We booked our journey with Great American Days and flew with Balloon Atlanta creating another unforgettable bucket list adventure. Life is more beautiful when you are in the sky. 

Balloon AtlantaGreat American Days offers more than 6000 amazing experience gifts for every budget, taste, and occasion. From riding in a race car to relaxing at a day spa, their experience gifts create memories that last a lifetime. You just select an experience, receive the gift certificate, book your experience online, and have the time of your life. There is no better site for adventure seekers like Darren and I. When I’m trying to think of a gift for an occasion or just a special treat, I always start at Great American Days. Even when I’m in a new state or city, I browse their site for ideas and inspiration.

Stuart, our pilot, is at ease in the air. He has over 2400 hours in hot air balloons, more than Balloon Atlanta200 in gas balloons, 500+ in airplanes, and 80+ parachute jumps; he’s my kind of guy. His relaxed personality and easy-going demeanor added to the serenity of the flight. We soared away from the traffic and stresses of daily life to a more peaceful place where your neighbors are birds and other balloons.

As the sun rays burst into the sky, the massive orange and yellow glow rose to meet us. We were rising with the sun and equally beautiful in color and grandeur.

Balloon AtlantaBalloon AtlantaBalloon Atlanta

Surprisingly, left and right can’t be controlled during flight in a hot air balloon, making landing an interesting part of the adventure as well. One hour of flying was followed by a cul-de-sac landing in an unsuspecting community. Two young men, Austin Lacey and Hunter Wilkey, were awaken by the sounds of a beast in their yard. (The forceful flames of the burner have an uncanny resemblance to the sounds of a dragon.)

Balloon AtlantaWe dropped into the neighborhood and radioed our location to the chase crew. At 8am, it must have been quite the surprise for Austin when he looked out his front window only to be greeted by a hot air balloon on his lawn. He and his friend, along with other community members, crowded around to ask questions. We were the highlight of their day and their inquisitive nature heightened the awareness of our “Great American” adventure.

The flight ended with a toast to us, ballooning, and life. Stuart’s heartfelt words were a Balloon Atlantareflection of his passion for flight. We sipped champagne with a couple that just got engaged during their flight and Darren and I looked at each other in appreciation and loving acknowledgement. We are living the life of our dreams with beauty and new experiences around every corner.
Balloon Atlanta

It can be difficult at times to find a new adventure, something that neither Darren or I have experienced, but with inspiration from Great American Days and unique ventures like ballooning over Atlanta, we manage to continuing adding life to our list.

108 thoughts on “Rising with the Sun – Hot Air Ballooning over Atlanta, Georgia

  1. What lovely photos and the way you describe it is like being there. Those are great pictures of the two of you also. The light of dusk and dawn is so good for pictures — great color saturation — a natural filter.


  2. Thanks for the post! We, at Great American Days, are very excited to have booked your hot air balloon flight. Stuart is one of our favorite pilots (being so close to our home office!).

    I look forward to reading more of your adventures!


  3. Wow, looks so amazing! This is something on my bucket list, but every time I think about doing it my fear of heights gets in the way. I guess I should work on this little by little. – CAT


  4. Wow those pictures are so beautiful. Breath taking. I think I would have went numb when I realized that you can’t control left and right. I seriously may have freaked. Also. I feel very honored that you ‘liked’ my last blog. Your blog is amazing. Thanks.


  5. You should try to go to the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta some October. It is truly amazing! If you go, get up early for the mass ascension. It will probably be cold in the pre-dawn mountains of Albuquerque, but you will be like a kid in a candy shop as balloons around the field are inflated one by one. When they start taking off around the field and the burners light them up like a lantern, or they are silhouetted against the morning sky, you will be glad that you gave up some sleep to be there. The year my husband went, there were several hundred there for the Fiesta. Friends of his parents’ had a balloon and lifted his wheelchair into the basket for a tethered ride … he said it was pure magic with the only sound being that of the burner keeping the balloon at the proper inflation. When I went years later, before we were married, my girl friend and I got up both mornings to watch the mass ascension because it was just to incredible to miss! I cannot tell you how many photos I took … and in the days of film cameras, too.


  6. Great post! If you dig ballooning, you really MUST see the Albuquerque International Balloon Festival in person – it is beyond amazing! Up to 800 balloons and all kinds of cool special shapes – can’t really do it justice online.


  7. We live in Shenandoah Valley and the colors are just coming out which means all the ballons are starting to come out even more. They are beautiful along the mountains however a couple of weeks ago we lost power when one of them set down on a power line. NOT too smart! I don’t know what the guy was thinking??? It’s not like there isn’t plenty of land around here…


  8. The burner does have a distinctive sound. I heard it one Saturday morning from my apartment and instantly knew what it was only because of sounds on TV. The sound continued so I decided to find the source. Turns out there was a festival about two blocks away. They had a balloon tethered to the ground and were giving “rides” up and back down again. It wasn’t a ride into the clouds or the sunrise, but the feeling was wonderful and the sights marvelous. I live outside Atlanta, so maybe I need to find out how to have an untethered ride! Thanks for the adventure.


  9. Ah! After you inspired me to write a bucket list, this was the first thing I wrote. I can’t wait to do it some day! Awesome! 🙂


  10. What a beeeeautiful view! You’ve inspired my partner and I to start a joint Bucket List and this is item #2. I’ve always wanted to fly in a hot air balloon, though never really considered the landing…. As long as I’m on land I’m happy! Haha. Even if it does mean landing in someone’s backyard hehe


      • Before I read the post it was not…but as usual, you have a way of showing me it should! Marathon training is going well, could be better but I am putting in the work! Come November 4th I will be able to cross the NYC Marathon off my bucket list.

        It looks like you are all settled into your new state and I can’t wait to read a recap on the rest of the wild weekend.


  11. your pictures are so gorgeous! Stetson University in DeLand, Florida has (or used to) have a balloon race every year. It is wonderful if you ever get a chance to go see them all together like that. Especially at night. =)


  12. I finally share something on your list! We went ballooning for the first time last week, and it was magical – even for someone afraid of heights. The most awesome part was hearing the kids yelling up at us from the ground and following the balloon to the landing. I highly recommend this experience for every Bucket List.


  13. A great post – and one I can finally share. Not being a fan of heights, I listened carefully when a friend explained how magical and peaceful it was to balloon. I took the bait one week before your flight, and she was right: it did feel like magic! The most enjoyable part was seeing the excitement of people on the ground when they heard us over head, to wave and the children and watch them chase us to our landing.

    Thanks for sharing this experience with your beautiful photos and inspiring narrative.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s