Old Ben - V4.0!

Yay for a blog post!  I "Photoshopped" these pictures all on my phone, it has become my current go-to technique as of lately when I am unable to bust out my personal lap top since I am on my work comp often.  I can edit this way while IN BED at night holding my slumbering baby.  That hour+ of time at night is my time to do what I want guilt free (surf Insta, "Photoshop" Insta pics or blog photos, create my daily collage, etc.).

Some tips for those who have no time to Photoshop or just don't have it:

1-Snapseed -
I edit on this almost primarily.  For Insta I also use Toolwhiz.

2-Google Photos/ Albums for organizing -
I created a 40th bday album and create albums all the time when I have intentions of creating a blog post for them!  I have lots of albums from Newport Beach beckoning my time to appear on the blog.

3-Bulkresizephotos.com -
I shrink my picture filesizes because I pay for storage and also to shorten loading time on my blog.

Anywho, that was a giant tangent.  BEN TURNED 40!!  So old.  ;)  I tell him technically he was over the hill two years ago since the men's expectancy went down to 76, so 40 isn't that big of a deal.  But for reals though, 40 is the new 30, 40 ain't old!

I remember when my mom turned 40.  It doesn't feel like THAT long ago, but I remember thinking it was really old.  Perspective.  :P
I didn't know what to do for Ben's 40th because he's kind of like my dad, if he wants something he buys it (or it is out of our budget...by like 100k).  I decided to surprise him with a hot air balloon ride, something I never wanted to do, but seeing them overhead all these years has finally made me think, "you know, we really need to at least try it."  So we did!  And it was all a surprise, something I'm HORRIBLE at, and I almost gave it away 100 times.

I had asked for this day off from running like a month ago, so I didn't have a long run, but Ben didn't know that.  "What's your long run this weekend?"  "Uh...13...ish or something."  :P

When it's really hot and we run long, it's not unheard of to get up at 4:15, so he thought that's just what I was doin'.  Until I walked over and said WAKE UP MISTER, handed him a present filled with his attire for the day, and he was so confused.  What the devil are we doing at 4:30 in the morning?  Then my brother and sister-in-law showed up and he was bewildered.  They don't even GO to bed until 4:30 in the morning (okay that's an exaggeration), but to come babysit this early? 
We got in the car and headed on our journey (10 minutes away).  I directed him, he seemed confused.  Then we turned down a really random road and bam, there was RAINBOW RYDERS building, hot air balloon lit up on the building.  Tadah!  
The whole production of flying was pretty fascinating!  They lay the balloon out, fill it with air via big fans, then use the blower to heat it up and tip it upright.  Half the group climbed in before the pilot used the blower so it would give the basket some weight (it IS tethered to the van), then the other half of us jumped in after it uprighted because it was ready to go.  About as patient as a toddler.  :D
I forgot to mention that before all of this, they send a small balloon into the air and stare at it for a length of time to verify the wind conditions are as forecasted.  I guess different layers/elevations have different speeds and directions of wind, which is how you get somewhere...go up or down into another wind layer.

You also have to have a pilot's license before you can become a balloon pilot.  That was nice to hear.
Who thought this was a good idea?  Like back in the day?  Shooting fire into a piece of material balloon to make it go high in the sky?  Sounds like a great way to die, but I guess it has been fine tuned enough.  "The only injuries I've seen in 15 years of flying is from people getting in and out of the van."
The blower was really hot though.  We were supposed to wear hats, and being so hot to begin with, it was a little bit of a toasty ride, but pretty fun and peaceful!
We took off a mile from our house, so we flew over the 'hood.
 We flew as low as 5 feet...even scraped a tree.
 Coming in for a landing (which I videoed).  It's like a gentle crash landing...?
 Dallin and Emily decorated while we were gone so when we drove up Ben was like, wuhhhaaattt??
RIP In Memory of Ben's Youth 1978-2018
Funny story though, I picked up the cake and as I was walking out I was like, wait a minute.  RIP In Memory Of BEN..??!  So I went back, "WTF he didn't DIE!"  So they had to fix it and luckily it was for the next day anyways.
Ben went on his long run the next morning and a hot air balloon came right up the street really low, and lo and behold it was Rainbow Ryders!  It wasn't our pilot Jesse, it was the other balloon that took off with us, and Ben was able to chat with the pilot and tell him we flew the day before with Jesse, so that's super random but fun.

We had a get together later in the day and I was starting to lose steam so I didn't capture much, but I think Ben had a great time and a good birthday.  I hope so because he means the world to me and I want him to feel special.  Happy Birthday Ben!

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