December 20, 2012 - a ( personal ) date that will live in......unforgetable memories ! ( With apologies for paraphrasing President Franklin Delano Roosevelt )
On behalf of my son Christian and myself I would like to express our appreciation to Kelli and Tom Keller along with son Kurt for making that day, a day that will stay in our memories for the rest of our lives ! Our first Hot Air Balloon ride !
Little things mean a lot. We noticed that some other tour companies demanded a credit card to make a reservation. Now, I am one of the few remaining inhabitants on this planet that does not have a credit card as I pay everything with cash. For Kelli, this was no problem. Even though I was a complete stranger, Kelli said she trusted me and that display of faith in me was deeply appreciated by me.
We noticed that HAVENFUN was one of the few tour companies that actually came to pick us up at our hotel lobby while a number of other tours, you have to make your own way there at your own expense.
As Kelli drove us to the balloon launch site she gave us an interesting and informative tour of our surroundings and did the same thing on the way back..
My son and I saw the balloon being inflated and actually got to peak inside the balloon itself while this was being done.
Another thing we enjoyed ( as Canadians ) was observing that Kelli, Tom and Kurt really enjoyed what they were doing. Too often where I come from, people work mechanically - going through the motions and do an adequate job. Not so with Kelli, Tom and Kurt. These people try very hard to see that we had a really good time ! They truly love their job and as foreigners, we could really feel their American Hospitality. Kelli, Tom and Kurt really know the hot air ballooning business.
My son is autistic and I was concerned that Kelli and Tom might not want to take Christian on the hot air balloon ride, but this challenge did not phase Kelli and Tom one bit. There was no problem and my son throughly enjoyed the ride as we floated above the Coachella Valley area, which included slowly gliding over a local airport and watching from on high a few two seater planes take off and land.
And when Tom pointed out the San Andreas fault line in the distance, that for me was really exciting as we have heard so much about this major earthquake fault line.
It was a perfect spring like day to go on a Hot air balloon ride and I should note that Kelli and Tom always make absolutely sure that there are no dangerous high winds that could cause any trouble for Hot Air Balloonists.
After landing, Christian and I really enjoyed helping Kelli, Tom and Kurt wrap up and put away the hot air balloon ! I was amazed at how quickly overall this was done and how compact you can get a hot air balloon into one large bag.
Later at night, back at Palm Springs, we had a little picnic in which I drank a bottle of champagne and we all enjoyed cheese and fresh fruits. We also were presented with two HAVENFUN champagne glasses which I managed to get back to Canada in one piece and it is from those glasses that we shall drink from to celebrate the arrival of New Years 2013 ! We also got two commemorative flight certificates.
While we were having our picnic, Tom gave a brief informative history of hot air ballooning !
We had a portable computer back at our hotel and Kelli emailed us photos that she took of our balloon filght from beginning to end and they were excellent pictures.
After I requested, Kelli and Tom will send us a DVD of all the photos she took on for us this most memorable day.
So, if you are visiting Palm Springs, California, I would highly recommend HAVENFUN Hot Air Ballooning with Kelli and Tom. They will give you a wonderful day that you will never forget.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.