The first song to really get into my beer-loving head was "Up, Up and Away (In My Beautiful Balloon)." Rick Honey used to play it on his radio show all the time and my mom could not help but sing along to it as she made bread and cookies and drained her half of my dad's cellar full of blackberry wine. My mom was no Anne Murray but her singing was possibly less painful, and at least a little less embarrassing, than the organs or pianos most the other neighbourhood moms entertained their families and neighbours with.
Travelling balloons always fascinated me. One of my favourite childhood movies not featuring the Marx Brothers was "Around the World in 80 Days." I have always been a sucker for British wit. I do not recall there being travelling balloons floating around my neighbourhood often, if at all, when I was little. But when I became old enough to start risking my life on a motorcycle I remember their colourful, peaceful presence above me as I sped through the eastern suburbs of Dope City like the Fonz with a big bag of weed in his black leather jacket.
Sonja and I both would have liked to go for a balloon ride. It would have been so romantic. Local companies will provide you with champagne and look the other way while you smoke a few joints and/or have a good fuck while you float over some of the world's best farmland. Watching a show on the local cable Knowledge Network put us both off the idea. We did not care for the idea of being so close to the huge propane burners that fill the balloons with hot air.
Travelling in a hot air balloon has to be one of the very safest means to get around. I have been injured walking, bicycling, motor biking, boating and travelling in a car. I have yet to be injured travelling in a plane, helicopter, train or bus. Travelling is something we all do without thinking about the risks involved too much. Take care when you are travelling, no one else is.