Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Plano Balloon Festival

Last weekend I headed to Dallas for the Plano Hot Air Balloon Festival. Had a great time and LOVED the balloons! I wish I had actually gotten to ride one but....next year! :)

Saturday I actually headed to Allen Premium Outlets before the festival. Since the balloons weren't leaving til 7pm I had PLENTY of shopping time. Thanks to the Plano Convention Bureau this was number one thing to do in the pamphlet and we all know I HAVE to start with number one. :D
Hellllo, Liz Claiborne. I had never shopped here before. Five dresses.....about $80. All the dresses were originally $80 or so and I got them for $18. Yesssss, my shopaholicism is really raging out of control, though. My closet simply cannot take another shopping trip.
I went ahead and ate some lunch then headed to the festival. This is actually a BEFORE picture lol. At 2pm there were not many people here and some of the sponsors were just then setting up their booths.
The blue tent was the music stage. The tents in front of that were food/drink vendors and behind the blue tents were the craft vendors.
One of the first things I did was go into this energy booth, air-conditioned trailer sort of thing showcasing the Cowboys (yes, I was in Dallas city limits!). They had a lot of memorabilia and I loved the super bowl rings!
Found Funky Fusion who had amazing jewelry, charms made of blown glass and charms. I actually bought THREE necklaces lol. I bought a green/red piece with an apple charm on it for teaching, a burnt orange/black piece with a Texas Girl charm and a blue piece with a black paw on it for Lamkin. LOVE my purchases. :)
One of the more famous vendors of the festival is this burrito stand with a 6 foot skillet that can be seen on the left. I wasn't hungry enough to try one, though. I saw them, though, and they looked yummy.
I facebooked that I was laying in the grass listening to jazz music and this is the band. They were good....
While waiting for hours to see the balloons with a good spot on the lawn I saw this cloud pass and I just had to take a shot. I'm pretty sure my grandparents were sending their love! :)
Finally! Some trucks started to arrive and the baskets and balloons started getting unpacked. Now, I think God was just playing with me.....Doesn't it look like a hot air balloon?? Or perhaps a fun exclamation mark!?! Lol
Before the balloons inflate, they had a ReMax skydiving team. They wore red, white, and blue jumping gear and had flags and streamers attached to them. Totally reminded me of the National Championship game.
Getting closer....I so need to do this some day!
By this time, the lawn was really getting packed. Literally, when I sat down here there was just one family in my view.
And, after getting 3 hours of sun bathing in the balloons began to get blown up!
Getting bigger and bigger......

And soon they were turning upright!!!
And the ReMax balloon was the first to take off.....
And then the blue/yellow one....I like to call this one Klein HS! Go Bearkats :)
Pretty colors!!
So many pretty pictures :)
The skies were filling with hot air balloons...
The balloon blown up right in front of me was the In-Touch balloon and they left close to the end, it was fun to watch the whole process so close.
The most fun balloon went right over the crowd, so there weren't many good pictures but you kind of get the hint.
And away...they go.

I loved it so much I found this vendor that made cloth air balloons and thought I'd get one for my travel room. I think it'll look great hanging in the corner of the room.
Mitsubishi had a VIP lounge at the festival and I just flashed my keys and got to sit under a tent with free drinks, chips, cookies and candy. I had some chips and some organic juice. It was more a promotion for the juice but I didn't mind. It was nice.....
The "after" picture showing how many people had really come to the festival. In fact, I left after the balloons and there were people PILING into the festival. It was insane, but hopefully the live music lasted a while and they could get some good food from all the vendors.
A faraway shot of the VIP area....Nothing special, but I loved the free coke :)
The next morning Grandma Bev and I headed to LaMadeleine for a french breakfast. LOVE my cappuccinos on a Sunday morning. Ahhhh LaMadeleine, you make me smile!
They were having a farmers market, as well, in the area around my grandma's house so I went. Didn't buy anything but could have if I hadn't gone crazy the day before! Soon after that I headed home and had dinner and some more shopping with my mom. Kohl's had a good clearance sale so got 5 more dresses lololol Can't help it! Love to look good these days.
Next weekend: Eastland, Texas for a little Texas Highways investigation :)

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Downtown Houston

So, last weekend I THOUGHT I would try and save some money and stay in Houston to save gas/hotel bills. However, it might have been cheaper to have gone out of town lol.

So, Deborah and I started the weekend at the Berry Center in Cypress, TX for the Shop Til You Drop craft fair.
This is one of the more interesting parts of the craft fair. This was the "Bras for a Cause" booth. Different organizations decorated them for a silent auction. The white beads in the middle of the cups said something very inspirational. Forgot what it said though.
So, then I took off downtown Houston to follow one of my travel books called Houston. Nice, huh? This statue was next on the list....at Lyric Center.
Behind the sculpture were these three men. So you're greeted no matter which way you come from. :)
A far away shot of the sculpture and the building it decoates which is across from Wortham Center.
I walked around downtown for a while. Here's Buffalo Bayou. Wish it wasn't so brown, though.
Beautiful view of downtown...
Wortham Center houses the Houston Grand Opera and the Houston Ballet. Will be visiting for both reasons this year! Well, at least for the Nutcracker in December.
The front of Wortham Center in Houston, TX.
There's a great plaza in front of Wortham Center. These lights probably look really wonderful at nighttime. It was a great resting place from the 100+ degree heat.
Part of the fun plaza. Loved the red balls...very unique.
The Bank of America building in the sky :)
Hobby Center...where we saw Wicked! And I've seen Aida here, too. Wonder what else I have seen lol.
Tranquility Park downtown. Love this shot!
Full shot with the tops of buildings...
Closer to the fountains that resemble the touchdown on the moon.
Loved this building hiding in the skyscrapers. Used the zoom lens :)
Other side of the fountain....
Sculptures in front of Hobby Center...
Nice one, huh? It was such a pretty day...
I found this sign under a shaded tree on the other side of the street. Kinda sad, really.
Alley Theatre. Will be here to see Peter Pan and A Christmas Carol!!
Then it just got too hot outside and I didn't have a hat or water. So I headed to the Galleria to see if I could find any good deals :) It was soooo busy on the streets so I just pulled into Dillards and that was it. Good news: I found this one Indian-inspired skirt that I've had my eyes on for months!! for like 75 % off. Yes!!!!!!
But Dillards didn't connect to the rest of the mall. I tried to find the Macy's but there were too many people and I was too confused. You could hardly switch lanes to turn so I just headed home. Sunday was Eat, Pray, Love with my mom and errands. Great weekend!!
This weekend?!? Plano Hot Air Balloon Festival!!!!!!! Will Brandy ride in a hot air balloon?!?! Stay tuned!!