Carol & John Llewellyn
balooning banner
Scottsdale 2006
Ready for a new adventure, we decided to leave town for Christmas—Scottsdale, Arizona won as the destination—close enough to drive to avoid airports but yet quite different from the area around Fort 4Ls.
Christmas day began with Italian sausage, pancakes with fresh raspberry compote, and champagne. (above middle) John making the compote. (below right) Then, off to a picnic in the shadow of Superstition Mountain. (below middle) The new corkscrew we brought almost didn't have enough strength to pull the cork out of the bottle!
(above) After the picnic, we set off to drive the Apache Trail; about half paved and half gravel.
Sticking with non-traditional Christmas meals, we decided on chicken enchiladas with a green tomatillo sauce. (above left) Cutting the chilies for the sauce. (above middle) putting the sauce on the enchiladas. (above right) Preparing the queso fresco. (below left) assembling the enchiladas. (below middle) The final result. (below right) Serving the enchiladas.
Seems like we're never far from wildlife. Carol found this rabbit next to our pool. We even had fireplaces in the bedrooms!
We visited Frank Lloyd Wright's famous Talisien West house. (left and right) John tried out Wright's plywood chair design. (middle)
While we were in Scottsdale for Christmas, we decided to see if we could fly—in a hot air balloon that is.
trucks by roadside Balloon crew assembling basket Carol next to balloon being inflated
(above left) Balloon crews from several companies confer on the best place to launch that day. (above middle) the ground crew assembles the heading mechanism on the basket. (above right) Carol watches as the balloon in inflated with a big fan. (below left) After the balloon as enough air in it, the burner is turned on to heat the air. (below middle and right) The balloon rises as the air heats up.
Balloon being filled with hot air balloon rising with hot air The balloon fills with hot air
In the balloon basket looking straight down hot air balloons
We climbed aboard and took off. (above middle) Looking straight down at the balloons launching from the same area we'd just risen from.
in the basket in the air Carol in hot air balloon up in the hot air balloon
ground crew chasing us for landing coming in for landing balloon being deflated
(above left) The ground crew chases us as we come in for a landing. (above middle) The landing seemed more lateral than verticle. We ran into the bush (through) the bush at the left side of the road, near the vehicles that can barely be made out. (above right) Deflating the balloon. (below left) The three new balloonists (Spotless is in the picture). (below middle and right) It is a tradition to have a picnic and champagne toast at the end of a balloon flight.
picnic table after landing champagne toast after landing