The Hot Air Balloon Festival in Albuquerque was definitely one of our trickier trips. Matt wasn’t able to take time off during the week of the festival. So we had to get creative on how we would do the New Mexico trip.
This reminded me of our first Christmas we were married. I had to work at the hospital Christmas Day. We were living in Utah at the time. Matt flew from Salt Lake City to Long Beach on Christmas morning (after I left for work) and then flew back on the same day and he arrived home before I got home from work. He got to spend Christmas Day with his family. Christmas night we were able to have our own little Christmas and I didn’t even realize he was gone. That was nice that the flights worked out where he could fly to California and back in the same day.
Anyways, so back to our Albuquerque trip. The kids and I drove to Albuquerque on a Friday October 11th. Matt went to work on Friday and then caught a flight from Phoenix to Albuquerque that night. He was supposed to get in at 11pm and then we were going to have to wake up at 3:45am the next day to see the Hot Air Balloons take off. He was then going to drive back with us to Phoenix on Sunday. My kids travel pretty well. Here are some tips on how to make the festival more enjoyable.
The Gathering Place is a child’s dream playground. It definitely makes Tulsa, Oklahoma a destination spot. Cristina, a friend of mine from high-school, lives outside of Tulsa and she posted they went here. I was able to talk to her about it before we went and she kept telling me how big it was. I didn’t appreciate how big it was until I got there. Tulsa was on the way for us when we moved from Missouri to Arizona.
Initially we were only planning on spending an hour at the playground before dinner on the way to the hotel. However, once we arrived we realized it truly is a dream playground and spent way more than an hour. There is just so much to do. Even after a few hours we felt like we had more to do so we spent the next morning at the playground as well. We left only because we needed to continue our move out west.
I told my sister and brother in law who were living in Kansas at the time that they HAD to make a weekend trip and plan for at least a whole day at the gathering place. My brother in law is a landscape architecture and apparently the design of the Gathering Place was on his radar. Even though it’s a playground it’s beautifully done so adults and children love it. There are tons of walking paths and so many things to look at.
One of our family traditions is to do a U-pick farm every year. Last year was a unique because we picked asparagus for the first time. This year we went blueberry picking at Morning Belle Farms in Woodbine, Georgia. The blueberries were plump and delicious. The farm has a facebook page that is more up to date as far as the amount of berries and hours.