You know what I’ve always had on my Bucket List? Going on a hot air balloon ride. It stems back to a combination of my love for UP, and the book ‘The Twenty One Balloons’. When the opportunity presented itself, while in Napa, for David and I to take in the vineyards from the air, we jumped at the opportunity.
We went up in the air with Napa Valley Aloft. We really liked the company because they offered baskets that carried fewer people in them (which allowed for everyone to have a coveted side of the basket view!), and provided world-class service from the moment we got there, to the moment we left. When we arrived (which is VERY early in the morning), they greet everyone with tea, coffee, and pastries, while we waited to see if the weather conditions were favorable enough for us to go up in the air.
After you’re cleared to go up, you’re split into teams (families and couples are kept together), and you get to watch the balloons inflate. We were up in the air, watching the sunrise over the autumn leave covered vineyards and rolling hills for over an hour. It was a surreal, once in a lifetime experience that I highly recommend to anyone.
After you land, Aloft has vans that take you back to the launch site, where there’s an optional champagne breakfast. Though the breakfast is optional, we HIGHLY recommend doing it. The captain of our balloon explained that a champagne toast is traditional after landing a hot air balloon, then cracked open the Chandon for everyone. Breakfast was delicious, and in a beautiful, open air patio.
Our hot air balloon ride was one of the highlights of our trip to Northern California, and we can’t recommend it enough. If you’re in Napa, check out Aloft, for an experience you won’t forget.