Hot Air Balloon Ride Over Phoenix, Arizona’s Sonoran Desert

We just experienced our very first hot air balloon ride, and it was definitely one of those life-time memory experiences!

We chose Hot Air Expeditions because of their perennial award-winning status, their colorful balloons with a mammoth saguaro cactus on the side, and a champagne gourmet desert picnic at the conclusion of the adventure.

We left the Deer Valley Airport at 3:30 in a large passenger van that doubled as one of the chase crew’s vehicles.  After a 20-minute ride, we arrived to our launch point in a desert clearing where there was plenty of smooth sand to get our balloon filled with hot air.

In roughly 15-minutes, the crew had the balloon upright, nine of us climbed aboard,  and we were off to float in the the dead quiet of the Sonoran desert breezes.

Take a peek at the video from our hot air balloon adventure:

Note: click here if you can’t see the video.

Floating aloft in our first hot air balloon left us with several impressions:

  1. It is quite a remarkable thing to be floating with the breeze.  Because of this, if everyone were to be quiet in the balloon, there would be a complete and utter stillness as you move with the wind.  It’s really quite peaceful.
  2. Looking out at the beauty of creation, with the approaching sunset painting the Sonoran desert and the distant mountain peaks with its beautiful orange hues, will take your breath away.
  3. There was a certain, fun sense of adventure as we floated above the earth somewhere around 1,000 feet.
  4. It’s definitely an experience we will want to have again.
One of the great missions of The Roaming Boomers® is to encourage our 79 million baby boomer compatriots to come out and join the adventure.  This experience is one that we highly recommend.  You are certain, we promise, to be left with a life-time experience, and beautiful photographs that you will be sharing with friends and family for decades!

Disclosure: our hot air balloon experience was provided by the kind folks at Hot Air Expeditions. Thank you! 
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128 Responses to “Hot Air Balloon Ride Over Phoenix, Arizona’s Sonoran Desert”
  1. Jennifer Jones says:

    I love the opportunity to see new places and meet new people. My husband and I were fortunate to travel to Graz, Austria in 2005 and it was an eye opening adventure we will never forget. The balloon ride looks like great fun!

  2. Monique Golemski says:

    What I love most about travelling :

    1. It starts with flying. I LOVE to fly. As I fly business most of the times, sometimes first, it’s just a great experience and that’s where my vacation starts.
    2. I love the comfort of a luxury hotel or resort
    3. I enjoy meeting new people and cultures
    4. I love taking hundreds and hundreds of pictures.
    5. I enjoy eating out and discovering new kinds of food
    6. I love trying out new things….

    … and that’s why I will be in Scottsdale at the end of the year 2011 for about 10 days and have already booked a flight to the Grand Canyon and will for sure do a hot air balloon ride!

    Looking very much forward to it.

  3. Tracey Medrano says:

    Ignacio and I enjoy seeing the historical parts of America….Colonial Williamsburg, Washington DC…….and of course, going to the beaches. I enjoy experiencing new sites and sounds, meeting people from the different regions and finding those little ‘holes in the wall’ that only the locals know about.

    It’s a blessing to be able to explore God’s amazing earth and see His glory revealed in so many spectacular ways!

  4. Janet guildenbecher says:

    New experiences, meeting interesting people, becoming immersed in history , adventure, the wonders of Mother Nature, what’s not to love?

  5. Caroline J says:

    I really love getting immersed into another country’s way of life. Doing what local people do, eating where they eat and making as many friends as I can. Generally this is better of course if you are in a country for a longer period of time, but not always.
    It’s the unknown, the unexpected that is the draw for me.

    Caroline Smile

  6. My husband and I travel mostly to see family. Our daughters are scattered across the continent, so any chance we get to spend time with them, we do. But we also love going to new places anywhere at all- getting to know new cultures, new climates, new experiences. We spent the last year travelling and living in different places- 3 states and 2 countries in 12 months, so for the time being we’re happy to just be at home. But the bug will hit again soon I think! Smile

  7. Janis Kowal says:

    I have flown in helicopters & would love the experience of a balloon ride. My Mother went on her 1st & only balloon ride when she turned 65 & loved it. I’d like to have that same memory to share with family and friends.

  8. Heidi Smith says:

    I love to travel to visit family and friends, but what I love most is coming home and getting back to it. Since I live in Phoenix, I would love to win this balloon trip!!!

  9. Marian Mathewson says:

    I love getting away from my everyday life, but if I won this, I would give it to my niece and her husband who live in Scottsdale!! Laugh

  10. Kathy Silvas says:

    I love to travel, especially for half-marathons. I get to see new places and meet new people.

  11. Krissy says:

    I love being in a new place and not knowing anyone, its a fun adventure! The best part is making new friends, trying new foods and really exploring the culture of the place you are visiting!

  12. Kirsten says:

    I don’t get to travel very often, but certainly wish I was able to! I hope to someday be able to take my daughter to all the places I visited with my family when I was young…NYC, Hawaii, Colorado, Washington, DC and many many more. I love taking in the history and beauty this world has to offer and seeing Phoenix from a hot air balloon would be amazing!

  13. Adriane says:

    I love learning a places way of life and how the people there spend their free time. And, of course, the food!!!!

  14. Riley says:

    I love the experience of trying something new, seeing something unfamiliar or seeing something from a different perspective. Half the fun is getting there; it’s not just about the destination, but the journey.

  15. Jenni says:

    Wow! My 2 teenage children and I will be in Scottsdale over Christmas break. We love to travel, and one of our favorite places is the Sonoran desert.
    My daughter wants to go to ASU and study art and photography. She would love a hot air balloon ride to take pictures of the desert! (So would I). The Sonoran desert is an amazing place when seen from an airplane landing in Phoenix, and from the ground, too. I’d love a leisurely balloon ride to take it all in!!!
    What a great learning opportunity for my daughter!
    What a nice way to spend a few hours with my daughter!

  16. Riley says:

    New experiences, seeing things that are unfamiliar and viewing things from a different perspective. Half the fun is getting there; it’s not just about the destination, it’s about the journey.

  17. I’ve been traveling the western US states hunting for Lucky Jack’s treasure. I’ll be in Phoenix/Scottsdale at the end of February continuing my hunt and would love to take a hot air balloon ride!

  18. Trudy Oele says:

    We love to travel, especially to get away from the cold winter months in MIchigan. Arizona is one of our favorite destinations, and we will be in Scottsdale for the month of Feb. this year. Sure would love to see the area from a hot air balloon. We love hiking in the area but the view from the air would be awesome.

  19. Eric says:

    I have been fortunate enough to have traveled a lot as a child, and my family would make it a point to get out and have new adventures. I remember waking up in a different state or country and thinking what am I going to do or see today, and it was the best feeling. So to this day I try to take my family out on trips to disconnect and relax as much as my job will allow me to do.

  20. Bryan Bundy says:

    The best thing about travelling is sharing new experiences and creating wonderful memories with someone you love.

  21. I moved to Arizona 6 years ago and I still have not see all there is to see in this vast state. I have always wanted to go on a hot air balloon ride to gain the perspective of an eagle. There is such beauty here….

  22. Bill Bradley says:

    Being able to experience the sites, the smells and the tastes of a new city. I especially love going back to my hometown of Phoenix and diving into the life of spring training for a week.

  23. Evelyn Bakich says:

    ROTFL Last spring my husband and I experience our first road trip from Ontario, Canada to Scottsdale, Arizona. We were both amazed by the differences between the different states–beautiful winter scenes, farmland, wind farms, flatland, mountains and beautiful sunsets. The one thing I learned that will never leave me is that God’s beauty is everywhere!!! That when one takes time to stop and ‘be’ one can’t help but be in awe of the wonders of nature!.

  24. Jody Ross says:

    Experiential learning is the greatest gift of travel!

  25. Linda R says:

    My travel itineraries are usually planned a long time in advance with alot of research that goes into it so that each trip can be totally unique, exciting, 1-of-a-kind, and provide fun, enjoyment & memories to last a lifetime!

  26. Deb M says:

    I love traveling! Traveling does more than just give me a break from everyday life. It helps me to revive “living the dream”. It makes me a better person by teaching me about my world and the many others that share this planet with me. I’m not a world traveler, but I try to research the places I’m traveling to I enjoy learning about the history and the customs of the area.

    What I most love about traveling is the opportunity to see something or try something I’ve never seen or done before, and then to share that experience with my family and friends on a future trip!

  27. Ritchie Perkins says:

    I like almost everything about traveling, meeting new people trying different foods..

  28. Lori says:

    I LOVE the excitement of travel..from the conception of the idea of where to go…to the actual experience! I have seen the Hot Air Balloons in the Early Morning float over Sedona Arizona on a visits there…and Have longed for the Opportunity to experience it first hand! LOVE Adventure…it makes me Feel Alive!

  29. DiAnn Bottomley says:

    When I was in my teens, I dreamed of being an ‘airline stewardess’. Unfortunately, back then my eyesight would not pass their requirements. Frown Needless to say, my desire to travel did not go away, but working & raising a family did. I took my first ‘real’ vacation last year to Hawaii & fell in love with traveling (as I knew I would). Now that my husband has retired, we have plenty of time to travel, but our budget is limited. I will be looking for a part time job with the goal of using what I earn to fund our travel. What do I love about traveling? Well, let’s just say it allows me to meet people from all over the world, learn about different cultures, and appreciate the diversity that the world offers. In a nutshell, it makes me feel alive & high on life! I would love to have the opportunity to see the Scottsdale area by air balloon. I would really love to be able to take my sister with me when she comes for a visit in April. She is going through treatment for breast cancer & I think it would give her a really wonderful experience to help boost her spirits. Thank you for the opportunity for this chance of a lifetime!

  30. JES says:

    I travel a bit for work and love it. So it is only natural to love travel and not have the commitment of work. I love meeting new people, new cultures and new food. I am planning to visit the Flagstaff Scottsdale area in June or July for a vacation. I am also a licensed pilot so having the opportunity to go in a balloon is awesome

  31. Carole Scannell says:

    Travel, whether to visit family or new places, is exhilarating. Many years ago I took my two sons to a hot air ballon show in Chandler Arizona. Thirty years later they still remember the experience, the excitement, and colors. It would be special to re-live a special memory in January 2012 when we visit our grandchildren in Mesa.

  32. Beth K says:

    What i most love about traveling is the change of scenery, the once in a lifetime adventures, and the wonderful pictures i get to take.

    Thanks for the contest!

  33. Richard H says:

    I appreciate the ability to have my eyes opened by a different culture and to widen the scope of my understanding of people from other parts of the world.

  34. I was told by my grade school teacher that the best learning experiences in life come from traveling. Seeing new people, cultures and different sites and experience the world first hand is the way we learn about life, not from books. You can see things in a book but until you see it first hand, you cannot capture the beauty of the world. Smile

  35. nita says:

    I love the new faces, new smells, new sights, new foods, and still finding how alike we all are.

  36. What I love about traveling, especially all I did throughout my youth, is that it forces you to become tolerant while enhancing your capacity for critical thinking. You feel enraptured that the world is such a large place and it took the time to create you, placing your natural beauty on par with the breathtaking majesty of the views we see once the veil is lifted and the world becomes truly more than a picture in a brochure. It makes you adapt to extraordinary circumstances, exposing you to cultures that you can’t read about to understand. Other features of note; no one ever realizes that not so long ago, we thought gods lived in the clouds. We now know that most of what people of old believed was a lie. Think about that the next time you fly; literally, millions of people have and will never see what you’re seeing, and for only a few dollars. To you, it’s a view. To them; the shattering of their religious foundations. So, live life, love travel, and leave trails. Smile

  37. Guy says:

    Traveling allow me to get out of self. It allows me to be free and out of the mundane. It allows me to be who I really am inside! Part Gypsy! Smile

  38. Jillian Hubeny says:

    When I travel, I don’t make a schedule or plan an itinerary. I sleep late, I wake up and enjoy new sights and new food. I wander where my feet take me, and I enjoy every moment I get to play in a new sandbox. For a short, blessed time, my phone stops ringing and all demands on my time are made by me (or my boyfriend!). I get to SPEND TIME with my boyfriend. When I travel I get to experience the life I dream about but rarely get to experience. What do I love most about traveling? Freedom. Freedom from the chains that bind me to everyday.

  39. Aria H. says:

    The best thing about traveling is getting to see and learn about all the places that you’ve only seen in pictures. I did get to take a hot air balloon ride about a month ago in PA, and it was amazing. If I win, would like to give the prize to my brother and his girlfriend who live in Mesa, AZ, please, so they can experience it, too.

  40. Carl Dougal says:

    I love traveling because it gives me an opportunity to see new things and try new things.

  41. Tyler Kennerson says:

    There is nothing about traveling that I don’t like- except maybe packing. I don’t like that part very much Big Smile. New people, new air, new food, new places to see and experience. I’d love the opportunity to take my daughter on a hot air balloon- one of our favorite things to do when we see them is make up stories about the adventures that must be going on! How amazing would it be to get to live one of those adventures?

  42. Laura Connor says:

    My neighbor just moved to The Middle East. On his blog about his experiences, he posted this quote by Mark Twain, “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.” This quote personifies my thoughts behind my love of travel, and why I think travel is so important for the mental health of this planet! PS. Love your website!!

  43. Joan Grillion says:

    We only get to see our son once a year when he visits us in Missouri. Broken Heart Now that I’ve retired, we’d like to visit him in Scottsdale. He keeps telling us about it’s perfect weather and beauty and would love us to move there. But for the time being, it would be such a treat to see the gorgeous area from above in a balloon. Fingers Crossed Winning would be a great reason to visit, although just seeing our son is reason enough. In the past it was great to get away from the daily grind of the office and just stay home. Now, we want to get away and see the rest of our beautiful country (and our son). Clap

  44. Rosie says:

    Travelling opens up the world and all it has to teach me, one place at a time. It takes our own lives and puts them into perspective as to our place among all the world, and the people in it. It broadens my knowledge, my humanity and my compassion. It’s interesting, enlightening and perplexing all at once. And I love new experiences, so the hot air balloon ride would be a great way to see my new home. My job brought me here to the Phoenix area last January, so a chance to see the area from above would add a new dimension to my understanding of my new home.

  45. David Wilson says:

    I love that traveling challenges me to remember that each country and culture has unique
    gifts that enrich my life and experiences.

  46. Lynne Sutton says:

    My parents went up a couple of times and loved it, my sister and friends were up last winter. We will be in the Valley of the Sun this winter and Hot Air Ballooning is on our wish list as it will be a first for us and it would make a totally awsome Christmas present.

  47. Sue Gaona says:

    I enjoy meeting people and seeing different places. Have not had much of a chance to travel as of late, but think a hot air balloon ride with my husband would be very romantic. A few places that we would like to travel to is Austrailia, Switzerland, Hawaii just to name a few places. Will keep my fingers crossed.

  48. the thought of riding in a hot air balloon with my wife of 20 years sounds like a fun romantic way to rekindle our relationship and be one less thing on mt bucketlist I have always wondered what it would be like to be in a hot air balloon. We are both on disability and could never afford to do this maybe just maybe we will get to do this. Life is short and I cant think of anything I would want to do with my best friend my wife

  49. Kimber Smith says:

    I most love seeing the area when traveling. I prefer to travel by car (or RV). I drove from Florida to Las Vegas (through Arizona) last year but didn’t have time to stop for long anywhere. I plan visit Arizona next year (family moved there) Kiss .

  50. Cry Well this is my 3rd try to get this to you guess i’m not pc smart but again i’m getting up there I just turned 59 the 1st of Dec.Me and my children moved here back in 1982 and i’ve been stuck in awwww Every Time I see them go up in the air!!about 14 yrs ago my son cut out a ad and was going to get me a ride for my b-day but as usuall other things come up but I So want to do it b4 my 60th b-day if I don’t win this chance (Late B-day present’s are great too)even tho i’m on disiability i’m going to try and save every bit to do it next year!!You guy’s have the greatest job to enjoy the ride and make so many people happy Thanks for what you do!Be Safe and may the wind always be at you back thank you for this chance to enter! In Love

  51. Joan Goin says:

    We are RV’ers & have traveled the USA, and Canada & love the country we live in. Now when we watch the news or weather reports we feel like we have a connection with the area they are referring to. Every place has something very special about it.

  52. miss muffett says:

    Landscaper and I have been together since 1973…traveling to see family and friends is a BIG part of our lives.
    Being recently retired allows us more time to travel and see the beauty of this vast world.
    We enjoy travel by plane or car. Love resorts on the ocean and mountain cabins.
    A new found enjoyment while traveling is geocaching. We love the challenge and find off the road adventures everywhere we go!
    Life is good. Live it!

  53. The thing that I love about traveling, especially in Arizona, is finding the unusual. Once, at the Grand Canyon, I saw a desert tree that was clinging precariously onto the very edge of a cliff. It’s trunk curved out into a half circle over the canyon. And, for some reason, a very creative spider took the opportunity to weave a web from the trunk to the top of the tree (which was even with the bottom of the tree). It looked like a fully strung harp. I could imagine wind blowing through the “strings” and “music” playing from that “harp.” I consistently find the little “treasures” and the finds make it into my books, graphic illustrations and my fine art.

  54. Candice says:

    I love meeting new people, seeing new places, scenery, and trying new food!

  55. Robert Souza says:

    I love being able to see the places in person that I have seen in pictures and films. A perfect example of this is the Grand Canyon, no picture or film can capture the grandness of seeing such a beautiful sight in person. I would love to see the beauty of Phoenix from the sky, I hope I win Smile

    • David Porter says:

      Robert Souza,

      We are very pleased to announce that you have won the FREE hot air ballon ride for two over the Sonoran desert in Phoenix. Please drop us an email and we will have Hot Air Expeditions get in touch with you.



      Who will you take along with you on the ride?

  56. Vicki says:

    Although I am not a world traveler, I enjoy traveling because I am able to have my husband all to myself. This time is very special because it is a gift to one another. My husband and I also have some traditions that we have established for our roadtrips. One of these traditions includes packing special treats and drinks. We feel fortunate that Arizona has so much to offer in the way of sight-seeing and that the Phoenix area is centrally located. No destination within the state’s boundaries is too far! My goal is to experience traveling via different transportation modes – car, plane, train, boat, balloon, mule, etc.

  57. SS says:

    What I love about traveling –
    Being away from the normal daily pattern of life.
    Meeting new people and reconnecting with distant friends.
    Discovering new ideas/ways people do things.
    Then coming back home safely.

  58. Susanne Peters says:

    I love going to the National Parks and seeing the beauty that is America. (Had my first hot air balloon ride last winter and it was a blast!!!)

  59. Julie says:

    I don’t like the act of traveling (trains, planes, automobiles, hot air balloons not included ) but I like to travel!

  60. Teresa says:

    I love the adventure and meeting new folks and learning about how the enjoy life

  61. Wendy Lynn says:

    I love traveling because you make new memories and have fun experiences and adventures that get you through the sometimes more mundane days at home! Plus it’s always interesting to see new places and meet new people with your own eyes. The commonalities and stark differences in a place or a person you meet along the way tend to be thought provoking about your own life. And hey, it’s also just fun!

  62. Lora Dal Bo says:

    I love seeing different places and things, different people and cultures, making new friends, seeing things from a different point of view (from the air) I love trying new foods and some favorites.

  63. Connie says:

    The thing that I love about traveling with my husband is that we always get lost and end up finding the greatest gems that we would have most likely not have found if we were more on the ball!!!

  64. Hansel says:

    My favorite part of traveling are the great photo shoots! I love going to new places and taking photos–finding the beauty in the little things!

  65. Kelle says:

    I love exploring new corners of the world and that instant sense of relaxation that comes with traveling (even if the best laid plans fall through and traveling becomes a little stressful it always seems somewhat relaxing as it’s different from the day to day grind!).

    We have gone on a hot air expedition and I had to laugh when your pilot said that no one has asked to be set down – my husband didn’t ask but he definitely held on tight to the basket and breathed a sigh of relief when we were set down! Let’s just say that his favorite part was the brunch that followed our sunrise expedition! Poor guy!

  66. Douglas White says:

    This will be a very enjoyable family experience for anyone who has not done this before. I was in Scottsdale, staying at the Sheraton Desert Oasis in December 2010. My 15 year old duaghter and 13 year old son were with me on vacation. We enjoyed this flight emensly, the pilot was a good tour guide, and the meal and champaign at the end was great as well…….cyder for the kids.

  67. Leoma Lightner says:

    Travelling opens your world to explore new experiences, find enjoyment, and grow as a person.

    I had the pleasure to experience my first balloon ride in AZ which was fabulous, beautiful, peaceful, and memorable. I would fly anytime and recommend it to everyone. In addition, living close to Deer Valley Airport I get to walk out by back door and see the beautiful of the balloons float over the terrain and every time I see the balloons, I smile. The balloon ride helps you see and experience the vast open desert from a completely different perspective. Riding in the balloon is such a peaceful experience, you are moving with the wind.

    Take the time to travel and grow!


  68. Leoma Lightner says:

    Travelling opens your world to explore experiences, enjoyment, and growth as a person. The balloon ride I had the pleasure to experience in AZ was fabulous, beautiful, peaceful, and memorable. I would fly anytime and recommend it to everyone. In addition, living close to Deer Valley Airport I get to walk out by back door and see the beautiful of the balloons float over the terrain and every time I see the balloons, I smile. The balloon ride helps you see and experience the vast open desert from a completely different perspective. Riding the balloon is such a peaceful experience, you are moving with the wind. Take the time to travel and grow!

  69. Jeannine says:

    When traveling, I like to get off the beaten path and check out the local favorites. It really gives me a chance to learn about the location, culture, people, etc.

  70. Amy says:

    Meeting new people, seeing new things and staying in unique, off-beat hotels. Smile

  71. Dan Bowman says:

    I think some of the best parts about traveling are the memories. People all take away different experiences from traveling to a great new location. Although a family might see the same attraction, the individuals will all have a different experience that is meaningful to them. Although places and experiences may change over time, those memories will last the same forever!

  72. Beverly says:

    The thing I love most about traveling is being able to see and experience new sites and places with my husband. We have a life time of memories to share wtih each other.

  73. Marcia says:

    I love to travel. It starts with the anticipation of going somewhere
    and the change of pace in life. Looking forward to an event
    is half the trip and being in a new environment is the other half.
    Smile Life is about change and trips are that and more!

  74. Oh my Gosh I was so excited at the thought of wining a Hot Air Balloon Ride I never said anything about traveling
    I love to travel to Different States i’m from Mass,lived up the east coast,Tenn,Iowa and now here where I see people enjoying the weather and the balloon rides almost daily in the fall, you get to see lifestyles and meet so many people I feel i’m blessed with a personality that people talk to me easy and with helping at 2 different food banks there’s always a new face to meet and help!Arizona’s Great!Thanks again for this chance! Gloria!
    Safe and Happy Ballooning! Grin

  75. Jay Pickett says:

    I love everything about travel! New faces, new places, new adventures everyday!

    It keep you young!

  76. annette yates says:

    after bringing up 4 sons who we took to spain every year , they fled the nest and gave my husband and i the oppotunity to travel,we love the exitement of a new country ,a new culture ,and best of all new friends! the memories are with us for ever ,and the tales of our travels past on to our children and grandchildren ,to win a ballon flightwould be wonderful heres hoping annette x

  77. robin wittman says:

    so much fun!! FUN FUN FUN!!!

  78. Loreen Jensen says:

    I visit Phoenix frequently to visit family. I have taken the trip out into the Sonoran Dessert by Jeep and on horseback. It is so beautiful to see the natural desert. I have travelled across Canada and many of the States in the US and everywhere has its own beauty. Travelling is not just enjoyable but educational and the memories you build while travelling are so rewarding.

    Balloon rides are so relaxing as you float high above the ground and enjoy the scenery for miles. I have taken a balloon ride and enjoyed the sunset as we landed. What a way to share a glass of champagne with your new found friends that you have spent the last few hours with as you enjoy the sunset.

  79. Lois Folk says:

    I love the excitment of traveling and having new experiences! I took my sister for her first hot air balloon experience in January 2011 with Hot Air Expeditions and she is still talking about the wonderful experience.

  80. What I love most about traveling is gaining all the new experiences and meeting a variety of people. Life itself is an education, therefore traveling increases the lifelong experience of learning new places, things and people. My travels have gained me lifelong friendships that are not replaceable. With every journey I have discovered new things and each place has left a valuable impression on me. I have visited big cities around the world as well as tiny off-beat spots and each has special meaning. Some have left the wonderful tastes of the region, music, smells, scenery or the people. But with each and every one, I have a heartfelt memory and a yearning to always return there someday.

  81. Jane Kassel says:

    I booked a hot air balloon flight with Hot Air Expeditions Oct. 2010 when my Dad, and 2 older brothers came to visit from Iowa. It was my first ride and it was a great experience. My brother was a pilot and owned a balloon several years ago, giving rides, training other pilots, etc.,. but this was the first time he got to go as a passenger and leave the “driving” to someone else. Our pilot was Mike and he did a great job piloting, making sure we all had a great time. It’s a great experience and I highly recommend a ride with Hot Air Expeditions…. and I would love to go again!!! Yes

  82. Nathan Pierce says:

    Traveling gets us out of our little box that we are so used to and allows to to experience, feel and live different landscapes, cultures, people and to really understand that there is so much more out there!

  83. Laura K says:

    I just love sinking into an unfamiliar place – sights, sounds, tastes, smells… and really getting a feel for life there.

  84. Debbie P says:

    I have flown three times with Hot Air Expeditions because they are the best in this area!

  85. Stacey Harris says:

    One thing I love about traveling is the adventure! Every trip, every place is a new adventure with new people to meet, new places to see, new food to eat. I travel a lot on business and not near enough for pleasure! My husband and I will be in Phoenix in January celebrating our 20 year anniversary. A hot air balloon ride would be a great anniversary experience!!

  86. Leah A. says:

    This was on my “bucket list” and my children gave my husband and I this incredlble gift. We invited friends from Florida to come to AZ and go with us. This was 2 yrs ago and we still talk about the wonderful time we all had. We love traveling and this by far was the best trip EVER. We felt suspended in time and are looking forward to an evening flight the next time.

  87. Neil Gang says:

    Flying in a Hot Air baloon ride with professionals and having the girl of my dreams with me to experience the event.

  88. Roland says:

    My wife and I went up a little over a year ago. What a fantastic memory.

  89. nema Balcom says:

    Two yrs. ago, I was fortunate in receiving a birthday gift to lift off over our beautiful desert! My friend has been to the African Desert and said there is no comparsion, but I , having lived here most of my life, which is not over by any means, was thrilled and I wouldn’t want to see any other desert! I love it.

    The balloon company was fantastic and made it really special!

    My dream is to take my 11 yr. old granddaughter , who has been undergoing very difficult times secondary to treatment for leukemia for the past yr. and 1/2 , is to see her eyes light up when she sees what I saw floating over the beautiful desert! This is a relapse for her, discovery of the dreaded disease when she was five.

  90. Ryan says:

    I love to travel, because being a working man can be real drag at times. You must save 10% of earnings in life for your future, and I think it would be irresponsible to save less then 10% of your life, to go traveling. That means If you plan on living to be 80 y/o if you didn’t travel at least 8 of those years, you’ve really done yourself quite a bad thing. Life is far too short to spend gathering up too much stuff “i.e, useless money in the bank, one to many furnished rooms in your home, closets that are about to burst.” Why is it, that so few people, especially in the USA don’t think it’s very important to go traveling? So can you do it? can you downsize your life and get the F*** out of dodge? don’t you think its worth it? get in your car this weekend and set sail! Drive to a hotel a few hours away from where you live and soon you will find the world is quite a larger place then you might have once imagined it to be.

    I have,
    Taken a RV from AZ to Alaska and back to MN 7 Months
    Taken my own boat down the Mississippi River 2 months
    Hopped around the world in plane. 4 months
    and probably taken 100, week long and weekend trips 6-8 Months

    I say this not to brag but because you can do it. Anyone who lives in a western democracy can do it. Anyone of any age.

    Recent surveys of older people, and especially those who have passed the hundred-year mark, asked them what they would have done differently if they could live their lives over again. Their answers were quite consistent.

    The first thing these older people said was that they would have taken more risks and tried more things. They would have not played it safe so much, but would have ventured into new jobs, activities and relationships. They would not have been so concerned with the possibility of failure or of the criticism of the people around them. They would have taken more chances.

    The second most-common answer was that they would have worried less. Instead of being continually preoccupied with money matters, health, family situations, and work concerns, the would have been more relaxed and realized that many of their most pressing concerns eventually resolved themselves and were not important at all.

    The third and most important common response of older people, looking back on their lives, was that they would have taken the time to stop and think more about what was really important to them. They would not have allowed themselves to become so busy and caught up in life for so many years that they never thought about what they really wanted. In looking back, they saw that almost everything they had done was a response or reaction to the demands of another person or situation. Other people’s decisions and demands had largely shaped their lives.

    I’m 25 and my next journey will be to sail around the world leaving from MDR, CA in 2013

  91. Good ARIZONA Afternoon, to You. On 17March2010, I had the great pleasure to soaring over the southeast Valley…like a ‘whisper’ in the ARIZONA breeze. The experience is one of absolute PEACE…of SHARING…& of
    tradition. From the moment of arriving at the landing site…to champayne brunch in the desert…the experience is one which lingers in My hearts memory. Blessings of PEACE to ALL who have the privilege & pleasure of this unique
    experience. Happy Soaring.

  92. I love to see new places, learn about their culture and enjoy their food. Spent 17 days traveling all over Italy in May 2010. Loved Florence and Venice the best.

    I have performed 5 wedding ceremonies in Hot Air balloons with Hot Air Expeditions. Today, 12/7/11 I booked another wedding for Valentine’s day in 2012 with Hot Air Expeditions. It’s a great company.

    I would like to take my best friend and daughter for a hot air balloon ride sometime soon.

    Celebrate Love!

    Larry James
    Scottsdale, AZ
    Award Winning Wedding Officiant, Professional Speaker, Author & Relationship Coach

  93. Dan says:

    The process of traveling and even the destinations never seem to live up to wishful expectations. My favorite thing about traveling is reliving it after the fact and just knowing I’ve been there.

  94. My dear friend and I have always dreamed of going up in
    A balloon. She said she wanted to go before her 50 th
    Birthday which was approaching. We made our dream happen last
    Year on the 2nd day of 2011.The past year had been a tough one
    For us both and we wanted to kick off the year with a dream.
    We made that come true with Hot air Expaditions!

  95. Jen says:

    I love traveling especially with those that I love because its always fun to see new things with people I care about. The adventure always makes the experience worthwhile! Smile

  96. L. Miller says:

    He passed away. The opaque morning has not come yet but he already left. I could stay either at home or walking down the streets, i would meet my unhappiness again standing up at some corner if John had not told me about butterflies.

    From my high 20’s, i always thought that a 30 and something person would be immortal. The death was something deeply far away from my thoughts. Now, let me tell you more about John.

    He was ridiculously skinny. His glasses were so weird that i rarely could decipher his expressions. What his eyes could tell me behind that weirdly red glasses? John was that kind of guy who didn’t have many friends, with a slight tendency to live isolated.

    However, in his travels around the world he was very sociable. He was clever and unusual, in fact. He used to collect exotic butterfly wings from the most remote countries, and so he knew the most incredible species…

    I could write a book about John and his foreign butterflies if we were in his paradise: the sky. I still miss that world traveler and that’s why I walk the same direction… I try to carry John with me wherever I am on.

    I still have one butterfly wing iridescent color. She’s a dead and sad gift, just as dead as John; but they are my amulets and reasons to go back and forth, to travel and know the most diverse cultures.

    Skies and Altitudes.

  97. Lori says:

    What is not to love about Phoenix and the wonderful desert! Beautiful sunsets – warm weather………Heaven! What an experience this would be!

  98. Sue Murray says:

    I have actually taken this hot air balloon ride, last December, with a dear friend. It was INCREDIBLE!! I plan to return to AZ and would love to do the ride again, with my sweetheart. Even if you are afraid of heights, they are correct in saying that it won’t impact how terrific this is! ROTFL

  99. Sheila O'Callaghan says:

    The things I like about travelling is the experience of seeing new things, meeting new people and the enjoyment of the moment that is etched in my memories for ever.

  100. sheila says:

    I think, if I could travel somewhere every 6 weeks…life would be perfect!! At this point in my life , I welcome the opportunity to see new places and get away to relax and get some excitement.

  101. Kathy says:

    Traveling is by far the most exciting way to experience the richness of the world and the beauty of its culture. We can never know, appreciate, and understand the world without immersing ourselves in the fabulous opportunities that it has to offer. I love the experience of seeing new and varied landscapes, touching the past through the richness of the history of a place, experiencing the culture through the language, the food, and the people of a place. Travel allows us to experience life to its fullest and that’s what I love about it.
    It is through travel that I first experienced and fell in love with Arizona. It is because of travel that I decided to live in a place that I love. It is because of travel that I have experienced a richness of faith. My love of travel has given me some of the best experiences of my life and memories with my family that I will never forget. Those things can never be taken away and I love and cherish all of them. I look forward to many more travels including joining the ranks of those who fly over my house almost daily in hot air balloons.

  102. Ceci Gamboa says:

    I grew up in a small West Texas town so I didn’t begin traveling until later in my life and wow, what a wonderful way to learn some wonderful life lessons about people and places. I absolutely love hotels – and so my greatest asset is always the concierge – if they can promote your business, you are in! My daughter and I (along with a friend and her son) did the Hot Air Expeditions last year and I must say the kids were amazed and then became a little bored but I have to say that every time they see a hot air balloon, they think it’s the coolest thing that they have experienced it – it’s great to hear them tell their friends, ‘you have to do it!’…thank you!

  103. Jacquie says:

    …there’s just something cool about going to a new place and staying in a nice hotel. All part of the adventure!

    Great article, by the way…

    Best regards!

  104. Drew S says:

    I love to Travel because no matter how many times you go somewhere or see something… there is always more to find. Whether its a new food experience, a new tour, or a normal sunset from a different vantage point… you do not have to go far to find it all. Smile

  105. Jackie says:

    My favorite thing about traveling is seeing how excited our kids get when we tell them about our upcoming vacation….
    It’s still all about the kids for me!

  106. I love to travel and explore beautiful places such as our desserts, canyons, waterfalls, oceans and beaches.
    I took this adventure 2 summers ago and still show my pictures. Yes, believe it you are able to get frameable photos from the adventure.
    The pilot was funny and informative. The champagne brunch was Gourmet and the experience was untouchable by far. Ballooning was on my bucket list while is pages long, however I must go again.
    Seeing the video gave me the same excited rush as if I were experiencing it for the first time.
    Up Up And Away!1 : Smile
    Pat Hawkins
    Oak Island, North Carolina

  107. John Carlson says:

    The warm glow of the sun on the red desert, the mountain peaks, the mesas, the cactus and the green brush and trees makes for a great vista to view from a hot air ballon. Not to many places that have this scenary and this much space to be able to get a slow, peaceful, grand view as the Phoenix Scottdale area. Hope to vist there this February.

  108. Debra says:

    I love to travel to interact with new people and to take me out of my comfort zone.
    Each experience promotes my growth and spiritual development.
    To float over the desert would be pure magic!

  109. Melissa Brown says:

    We love to travel to new destinations as much as possible. We like experiencing different cultures and places. We not only return home with wonderful memories but also new friends that we have met on our journey.

  110. Julie Larkins says:

    Travel is an amazing way to learn about and experience different cultures and ways of life. Whether you travel to another state within the US or go to another country, you will see diversity. It’s also amazing to be able to see and experience the natural wonders of this world in person to experience what a photo can’t quite capture. You can learn more about life by traveling to different places and getting out of your ‘bubble.’ You will be able to appreciate other cultures, natural wonders, and things you have been blessed with.

  111. Alex says:

    The thing i love most about travelling is meeting new people. Hands down i think that has to be the best thing about going anywhere. you can meet so many interesting people all with their own story of their lives. i think its so amazing that although we live in different, cities, states or countries we are all people. we all have similar stories about family and what we value. people are people no matter where you go, and having the opportunity to travel makes my world that much smaller knowing that i’m just one of 7 billion people who are all just as unique as me.

  112. Melisa says:

    The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.  ~St. Augustine
    I wholeheartedly agree!!

  113. Connie Bilby says:

    We traveled to Arizona to visit our Son for my 70th birthday, and he surprised us with a Hot Air Baloon ride on Easter at sunrise, and then when we landed we were served a champagne breakfast. I still have our pictures on display and cannot tell you how exciting and awesome the experience was./ It was like floating with the clouds. We would love to experience it again as your Company is the greatest and treated us with the utmost pleasure of our life. Thanks Again, Connie and Andy

  114. Susan Abbott says:

    I have loved to travel since I was a small child. I grew up in Europe and so was able to see much of that beautiful continent before I moved to the USA when I was 9. Since then I have spent my time exploring this awe inspiring country. I love to experience new places, interesting people, beautiful scenery and learning the history of the places I visit. I live in Phoenix and would be so excited to share the experience of a hot air balloon ride with my love.

  115. Jill Turrentine says:

    The ability to have new experiences is one of the best pars of living! Any thing/place that reminds us to breathe life in is a gift. What a wonderful experience to share!

  116. Alie S says:

    I L.O.V.E traveling for so many reasons! I have only take a few trips to far away lands but the memories and experiences will NEVER be forgotten! I love learning about new cultures, trying all kinds of food, taking non stop photos, leaning about history, art history and architecture

    I received a small inheritance from my grandfather back in 2003. With that money I wanted to plan a trip to Europe (which I had never traveled too) and neither had my mother or grandmother. I had enough money to pay for all 3 of our trips. We booked a tour through a travel agency together for 3.5 weeks. Little did I know how precious those memories would become after my mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer in 2004, passed away in 2005 and then my grandmother passed away in 2006. I will always treasure the videos, photos and soooo many laughs! Seeing my grandmother flirt with men for the first time in 65 years (she was a recent widow) and getting lost in the country of Wales and not understanding the locals (having a hard time finding our way). Listening to my grandmother sing irish songs, on the tour bus, her mother sang to her as a small child (which I video taped). I could go and on.

    Spending stress free time with family, or friends, is truly one of the best experiences life can offer! Your balloon ride
    experience was great! I planned one last year for my wedding anniversay! Thanks for assisting in creating another life long memory! Disdain

  117. Debbie Stuntz says:

    I love to travel and see new places, experience new foods and wines, and especially meeting new people! One never knows when they might find a new special place to settle in one day!

  118. Michelle LaBrunda says:

    There are so many things to love about traveling it is difficult to pick out the thing I love to most.

    First of all, it lets me leave behind the day to day stresses of home.

    My family is scattered across the globe. Travel alows me to connect with family I seldom see.

    Travel is also an educational opportunity. You can never really understand a place unless you visit.

    There are also recreational activities. Each place is unique and has unique expierences that cannot be found everywhere. Some places have skiing, while others have scuba diving. I’ve learned to hang-glide, took a hot air baloon ride, and zip-lined over jaguars just because it was available where I was visiting.

  119. Lauralee says:

    I love to TRAVEL! It is fun to experience new areas, cultures, foods, history, arciteture. We have a lot to be thankful for when exploring the many wonders of this world.

  120. Margie Holland says:

    I love to travel anywhere with my partner as we have the best time visiting new places and even revisiting the same places. There is always something different and exciting to experience. We are spontaneous and and decide on a whim to try new things whereever we are. We experienced a hot air balloon ride this past year and thought it was a wonderfully, romantic thing to do. I am certain the second time around would be even better!

  121. Selena says:

    Traveling is the perfect chance to be away from everyday responsiblities and try things I never seem to have the time to do at home. One such time was when I had the great opportunity of flying with Hot Air Expeditions a little over a year ago. I was one of those nervous passengers that was a little afraid of heights, but the moment they released the balloon and we were floating in the wind, all my nerves disappeared. It was one of the most memorable moments of my travels and I hope to make a trip to the area again soon for another flight!

  122. Michael says:

    My hot air balloon ride was one of pure amazement. If I could travel by balloon I would. Quiet, peaceful, calm and all thanks to Hot Air Expeditions. I can’t wait to do it again.

  123. Catherine says:

    Traveling by car gives us a chance to have great conversations or enjoy a book together without the TV or phone. Enjoying God’s beautiful scenery, eating out at local cafes, and shopping from ma and pa stores in new places also.
    Friends are vacationing in Scottsdale in Jan., so we’d love to win this trip for them. Thanks.

  124. I love to travel. While I love the lands I visit, their beauty, history and uniqueness, it is the interactions I have with people that I value the most; it is what you can take away with you, to sense, to feel, to believe in a greater good. There is a certain sense of growth and change inside when you can breathe in a culture and a people. And I enjoy capturing it all in photographs!

  125. David Porter says:

    Thank you for all the wonderful comments. The drawing is now closed. Stay tuned for our announcement of the winner, and good luck to you all! We will be using to determine the winner.

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