|I hope they don't look in the trunk.|
After crossing the border.....?......we headed north to Truth or Consequences. It was a small town, as many of them are in New Mexico. Originally named Hot Springs, the city changed its name to Truth or Consequences, the title of a popular NBC radio program. In 1950, Ralph Edwards, the host of the radio quiz show Truth or Consequences, announced that he would air the program from the first town that renamed itself after the show. Hot Springs won the honor. Thanks Wikipedia!
After leaving Truth or Consequences we went through Elephant Butte. There isn't much in Elephant Butte except for the Elephant Butte Lake and State Park. And the funny name.
|Elephant Butte Lake|
We made a quick stop at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino. We try to stop at all the Hard Rocks if there is one where we travel. Since when is Senior Bingo Hard Rock? It is always fun to see all the garb of the stars. I had never been in a real casino so we decided to gamble a little. I lost $2 on a slot machine and that was enough for me. Ken played a few hands at the Black Jack table and lost $20 in about 15 minutes.
We finally got to Albuquerque late. Checked into the hotel and had dinner at the hotel restaurant which was the worst meal ever in the history of eating out.
The next morning we went to the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta http://www.balloonfiesta.com/ . Albuquerque has been hosting the event for 40 years. It has become a very large event with over 600 balloons. It’s the largest ballooning event on earth, the most photographed event on earth, and the largest annual international event held in the United States.
|So cool watching them light up|
The mass ascension is where all the balloons take off together at 7am. It is still a little dark and the balloons glow when the burners are fired up. Beautiful! We got up at 5am and left the hotel at 6am. It was only about 10 miles down the interstate from where we were staying so we thought we had plenty of time. So did about 100,000 other people. The traffic was backed up for miles. It took us almost two hours to get there. Luckily it was close to the interstate and we could watch from the car. I was very surprised when I realized how close to the interstate it was. There is so much open land in New Mexico I had no idea that it would be held in downtown Albuquerque. We finally got parked and walked about a half mile to the entrance. A very nice couple said they were not going in that day and gave us their tickets. We gave our tickets away to a couple in St. Augustine once. What goes around comes around.
|Stuck in traffic|
|Early morning ascension|
There were balloons in every imaginable shape and color. Hot air balloons are not known for their great steering and navigation abilities, so there were stories all week about them coming down in the road and on power lines and buildings. I really wanted to ride in one until I heard that and decided maybe another time.
|This balloon was utterly awesome.|
|The mother ship.|
|That's just weird...|
|Every dog's dream|
|Coming down in the road|
|That's a big shark|
|Dark Side Of The Moon Balloon|
|Da da daa da da daaa da da daaa|
|Thank you. Thank you very much, uh huh.|
|Whoa! Crazy zebra.|
The Fiesta was packed with food and craft vendors and several stages for entertainment and music. We walked and saw and took pictures for a couple of hours. We were done and tired by 10am though and went back to the hotel to finish our nights sleep.