Took a balloon ride with Bob with my aunt and uncle, and one other person we didn't know a couple of days ago. Having such a small group was almost like having a private balloon ride, which was great. We met at 6 am before the sun was up, and set up the balloon in a field and took off just at sunrise. The basket was small- I think it could've only fit 6 people, which I liked. I think Bob said that some balloon baskets hold 20 people. We saw 4 other balloons take off in the distance and saw how they all stayed much higher in the sky for their whole trip. Bob took us up high a couple of times to see the view, and feel the difference up there- cooler and windier, but for the most part he just floated about 500 feet off the ground so that we could be down closer to the trees and swamps and have more to look at. This made my aunt kind of nervous because she was afraid we might crash in a swamp. She did NOT like it when he brushed the tops of trees, but I knew that he knew what he was doing and was not going to crash. Since I was confident in Bob, I just thoroughly enjoyed myself. Flying low over the swamps we saw a wild boar and 2 deer. We saw lots of people watching us and we waved as we flew over their houses. The temp in the balloon was very comfortable- even warm, because of the burners. So, I'd recommend just wearing your usual FL garb for whatever time of year it is. For us, in mid-September, it was shorts and t-shirts. I'd say that the only thing I didn't really like about the ride was how noisy the propane burners were when he had to use them. That isn't Bob's fault though, and would be the same in any balloon, it was just something I hadn't thought about before. The ride was an hour long and we ended up landing on a little used road near a mall. Bob was a funny guy to talk to in the basket and happily answered all questions we had about everything, but he is VERY serious about safety in the balloon, so he might sound sharp to some people when giving commands about getting in the balloon or landing, but it's for your own safety. The landing includes some bumps and he warns that the potential is there for the basket to tip (!) so you have to hang onto the handles and bend your knees. Note: you also get into the basket by stepping into 2 footholds on the side of the basket and then swinging your legs over, so if you aren't agile enough for climbing or bending, you may have a problem. After helping him pack up the balloon and basket into the van, he set up a folding table right there at the side of the road and we had champagne, OJ, water, cheese, crackers, strawberries, some breakfast pastries and chips and salsa. It was all really tasty, and since we had left so early and not had breakfast, we enjoyed eating some of everything. Bob was able to take my credit card right there out at the side of the road on some little computer like a palm. Very convenient. He let us keep our champagne glasses with his logo on them, as well as gave us fridge magnets and certificates that he filled out after the ride. Basically we loved Bob's Balloons and I highly recommend riding with him.
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