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Old 08-27-2017, 08:39 PM   #15
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Thanks for the info, looking forward to it.
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Old 08-29-2017, 10:18 AM   #16
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If you get a chance, pop on up to Santa Fe for a while. Beautiful area, great food, and the best art market on the continent outside of New York.
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Old 08-29-2017, 12:14 PM   #17
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A couple stops I enjoyed on the last trip was Fort Morgan at the tip of Mobile Bay and then a couple hours walking around the USS Alabama. Also consider Longhorn Caverns State Park northwest of Austin. It was a nice quiet campground at the edge of the Texas hill country. Louisiana roads has some rough spots.

Balloon Fiesta activities are mostly in the early morning (mass ascensions) and just after sundown (balloon glow). All are very dependent upon the wind.

The special shapes balloons are always a favorite and certain evening and weekday events are directed towards them (Special shapes rodeo and glodeo).

Unless there is a mobility issue, I wouldn't plan to take chairs. Part of what makes the fiesta special is walking the field and being up close and personal with the hundreds of balloons being launched. They are launched in waves and you will find yourself moving from one end of the field and back. There are plenty of benchs and picnic tables around to take a break.

Shuttles are convenient for getting to the fiesta park, but the lines leaving can take a while. Unless you have a TV or Toad, don't plan on driving to the event. If you do drive, event parking can be a half mile or more from the fiesta grounds or you can be a 100 yards from the grounds depending on when you arrive and the direction you arrive from.

The middle of the day is quiet at the fiesta. Many visitors enjoy the large craft sales that are set up around town. Examples of other things to fill the time are riding the tram to the top of the mountain for the view, a drive through the Jemez or Sandia mountains if the leaves are changing colors, or the many gems in the Sandia Mountains such as the Sandia Cave or the Carlito Springs hike.

Other things a little farther away are Carlsbad Caverns National Park. In south central New Mexico is Oliver Lee state park and the White Sands National Monument. The Gila National Monument with the Gila Cliff Dwellings and The Catwalks outside Glenwood are in south western NM. Taos, Santa Fe are to the north. Also north and a shorter trip is the bandilier national monument near Los Alamos.

The city of Albuquerque has been experiencing some growing pains of late. There are many car thefts each day. Many from people walking away from their car leaving it running to warm up or to run into the store for a second. Ford super duties seem to disappear a lot. The city appreciates and embraces the Balloon Fiesta visitors, but don't forget to pack your 'city smarts' and be safe.

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Old 08-29-2017, 04:44 PM   #18
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Avoid anything south of Dallas this trip. I20 in Mississippi & Louisiana is really rough
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Old 08-29-2017, 06:07 PM   #19
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Thanks to everyone for all the great tips and advice!

This forum has been a huge help to us on our new adventure!!
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