Our happy caravan settled in at the Sandia Casino, along with 300 other RVers, as day breaks over the Sandia Mountains to the East.
Looking left, a few hundred more are visible.
They stay up about 2 hours---drifting every which way. Different elevations have different directioned winds. This one came right over me
Every single balloon pilot must find a safe place to land. Apparantly it's not a difficult task. All 600 or so balloons landed without incident.
Afterwards I walk around checking out the rigs. Could you guess that this monster was German made?
We invited readers and friends from around the nation to visit us here. Meet CB---from Georgia. He had two motives for coming here---connecting with us and-----
Connecting with his new friend ----a superwoman---local businesswoman---more about her later
A reader from Texas---meet Terry---who stopped by to say hello. Was enroute to mysterious Chaco Canyon.
Jim rode in from Colorado Springs. We had a great exchange of ideas. Sell that house Jim and join us on the road.
Four guest at once ---a near record for me. Left to right: CB, Laurie, Tish and new friend Carol.
And guess who's parked down the way? Recognize Chris---Queen of the road---doing her morning exercises. http://mobilecodgers.blogspot.com/2012/08/meet-queen-of-road.html
And who should roar in from Illinois but my old friend Ron. That's his "humble" rig.
Laurie arranges for all of us to enjoy lunch buffet for only $5 each. The gentleman to my right is Bob--PHD grad from Harvard. (Biology) who was terrifically entertaining.
Darkness comes and fireworks begin. We line up our chairs outside and enjoy a terrific show.
A glance inside the hosting Casino. I embrace Laurie as Queen of Navigation----Splendid settings like this do not intimidate her. She moves with a confidence that makes flunkies stand aside and nod respectfully---and give her whatever she asks for. She led us to the exclusive top floor for an "on high" viewing of the fireworks show---into the swimming pool & hot tub many times---onto the dance floor----into two weddings and a trade show.
RANDY PHILOSOPHIZES: Ah sweet people---I've only scratched the surface. In addition to free parking, balloon show and fireworks, we enjoyed the following courtesy of the Casino:
1. Half priced giant cheesburgers---$2
2. Free soft drinks, hot chocolate, OJ, and coffee
3. Free popcorn
4. $25 free money to gamble with---you can keep all your winnings.
5. Gasoline at $3.35 per gal
6. Free water and trash service.
And yes, I know----NONE OF THAT IS REALLY MEANINGFUL-
What was meaningful was---WE WERE ENJOYING IT TOGETHER---SHARING OUR DELIGHT.
The loners around us looked with envy at our connection.
I think to make this lifestyle enjoyable, three things are necessary: