The Reno Balloon Races — If Only They Could Make Dawn a Little Later

– Posted in: Grosser than Gross, No Good Deed, Okay That's Funny, Parenting, Personal Insanity, Reno, Sundays in My City, Things To Do with Kids

Today was, well, interesting…

Every year since the kids were about 3, we’ve gone to the Reno Balloon Races. We drag everybody out of bed before the sun comes up, drive down to a big park with a bunch of freakishly perky people, walk around in the dark, and freeze while we watch close to a hundred hot air balloons inflate. Then we go out to breakfast.

The kids love it. Well, they sort of love it. They always look and act kind of cranky and tired about the whole thing. But same time next year, everybody’s talking about getting up “when it’s dark.” Big adventure.

So this year, we went extra early for what they call “Dawn Patrol.” It’s basically a light show with balloons. The sun isn’t up yet, and all the balloons fire up their. . . fire (?) so they light up to music.

It all started well. We had a VIP parking pass (because my dad was singing) so for once it wasn’t the Bataan Death March to the park. Then Elfie started talking about feeling sick. We attempted to remedy this with various styles of granola bars to no avail. Newt was about as enthusiastic as a teenager at the opera. And then the main balloon launch was cancelled because of wind.

After attempting to salvage the day by making our way through the hoards of people to check out the Darth Vadar balloon, we left and went to breakfast at our favorite joint — Peg’s Glorified Ham and Eggs — where Elfie made a beeline for the bathroom and tossed her granola bars.

Back at home, Tenzin and I crashed out for hours. Hours. I think I slept for four or five hours and then went back for more. The kids, on the other hand, stayed up. I convinced Newt to lie down after he almost had a nervous breakdown because Elfie stepped on his foot. But Elfie ran around the house like a chipmunk on speed, declaring that throwing up was great because it was like starting from scratch — it made you feel “fresh.”


Elfie finally fell asleep for a couple of hours in the afternoon. And Jasper, being pissed off because we left him at 4 a.m. and didn’t take him for a walk all day, proceeded to steal various things from around the house and shred them.

Yep. And that be Sunday.


Unknown Mami

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8 Comments… add one

Erika September 10, 2012, 5:22 pm

This was the fifth years I’ve taken the boys and we usually go on the Friday morning of the festival. Much less crowded and we can peruse in awe without me freaking out about losing them. Haven’t braved Dawn Patrol yet…but still, The Great Reno Balloon Race is one of my favorite Reno activities.

Tammy September 13, 2012, 11:11 am

Dawn Patrol is cool, but dang. It’s brutal. It just sucks your whole day. I know I’m susceptible to changes in sleep, but I felt like I’d been hit by a truck. I don’t know how my husband switches back and forth from days to nights.

Keetha September 11, 2012, 5:37 am

LOVE the glowing night balloons.

There is a balloon launch right across the street from us – – – well there USED to be.

Our first year here they had it, but we had to go to Indiana that weekend for our son’s wedding.

Something happened with funding or something and they never had it again.

I feel so bummed – – – I REALLY wanted to just sit in our driveway and ENJOY it.
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Tammy September 13, 2012, 11:13 am

That’s a total bummer because the most annoying thing about our Balloon Races is by far the parking. That’s why we were so psyched about going with my dad because he had the awesome pass. Usually we walk FOREVER.

Padded Cell Princess September 11, 2012, 5:56 am

Apparently my home town back in the States just started a balloon festival. It’s fine by me that it was never around when I lived there because I most surely would have been drug along in the wee hours of the morning to see the spectacle. I don’t care if it’s a cutest kitty in the world festival; if it starts before sunrise, I’d rather be viewing it in my dreams 😉
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Tammy September 13, 2012, 11:14 am

There is always the option of never going to bed. Then it just seems like a long, long party night.;)

Unknown Mami September 12, 2012, 5:47 pm

I would love it without the barfing or cancellation. The pics are great.
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Tammy September 13, 2012, 11:15 am

Yeah, the barfing and cancellation…not so good. But at least I got a nap!

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