I Wanted to say thank you once again for the flight with my AAW guest. That was a pleasant surprise and a much needed one today. When I am up in a hot air balloon my heart melts and my face smiles. There is nothing like it!
I want to thank you again for the flight we had last night. I was very impressed by your organization and the volunteers who helped to make it all possible. Marina couldn't stop talking about the flight all the way home. Thank you for letting the girls be involved in the setup as well. It was definitely a first class flight!
Tony, Dan, and Crew:
I would like to thank you for creating a wonderful experience for Joeanne, Katherine, and myself. We had an unbelievable time last Friday. It will be something we never forget. Your team treated us with kindness and sincerity. It is so wonderful to see a group of people doing something they are passionate about. Your main concern was to treat us like royality and ensure that we enjoyed the experience. It was a fantasitc time from start to finish. Thank you so much!
Onward and Upward!
Tony landed on our farm last weekend. It was so exciting and beautiful. The sky was deep blue, the balloon was gorgeous, and all the people connected to this flight were delightful. We have a dairy farm and ice cream business. Our customers were very surprised when the balloon landed across the street from our ice cream and milk store. It was as if were had entertainment for the evening. What a great time everyone had just watching the landing and storing the balloon. Thank you for the bottle of champagne. It certainly wasn't necessary. We all just delight in watching the balloons pass over our farm. Again, thank you for the lovely sight and God speed on all your future
Manning Farm Dairy
Thanks again for such a wonderful flight for Jeff. HE LOVED IT!!!! We already had the photos developed late yesterday. Showing them off now at work. Jeff said you were personable, knowledgeable, very informative and had a sense of humor. Gregory was a big help to as we followed him around on the ground. I have given your website this morning to coworkers.
Diane & Jeff Jones
I just wanted to again express our sincere thanks for a very memorable experience that you and your staff gave us on Saturday. While I know that Mary had quite a bit of trepidation prior to going up (and I guess I had a little too), it turned out to exceed both of our expectations. While the ride itself was very enjoyable, the friendliness of yourself and crew and the added extras really were what made it even more special. We've given your name to several of our friends who have expressed an interest and have given you our highest recommendation. Please pass on our gratitude to the guys and we wish you a great season of ballooning.
To Tony, his family, & the crew,
We want to thank you for giving us such as awesome experience in many ways. The balloon ride is really something I'll (we'll) remember for the rest of our lives. The PA scenery was really beautiful & the weather was perfect. Well worth the wait! We enjoyed the champagne & snacks & the pins & certificates - all unexpected by us. As I mentioned to you, we wil recommend you to anyone we know who is interested, for sure. Again, thanks to you for fulfilling one of my dreams. Have a great summer flying. Take care.
Chris and Milt Zeulch
The flight went off perfectly and leaving from the park and took us directly across the township. Thanks for being flexible in your planned launch site. It really added to our experience. I would recommend this trip to anyone. The weather was gorgeous, the leaves were turning and numerous sightings of wild life made it a trip of a lifetime. My family really got a birds eye view of how beautiful our township really is. Kind of makes you appreciate the open space we have. You and your crew did a fantastic job and you have our highest recommendation.
Tony - You Rock!
What a great way to "lift off" our week! The kids (and the adults!) were wowed and awed by the experience of seeing the balloon filled and flown with all the detailed instructions. Than you so much for sharing.
East Benton Vacation Bible School
Dear Tony and Crew,
We want to write to say thank you again for making our hot air balloon engagement a morning we'll never forget. The friendliness and warmth of your staff made our day that more more enjoyable.
Christine Panasevich and Ryan Krupovich
I just wanted to drop you a line to say "thank you" for the wonderful balloon ride. Everything from our take off to the landing was so smooth. Not even a bump on the landing!
I've been wanting a ride for so long and I'm very glad that Nick picked you and your crew as you were all so nice and kind to me and I know I made a less than graceful exit from the basket!
I have my certificate framed and up on the wall.
I'll remember that day always and thanks for the memory!
I'd like to thank you, Tony and everyone else who helped out yesterday for an incredible ballon trip. I think we really lucked out with the weather. I don't think we could have asked for a better day. Both Liza and I enjoyed it tremendously. We hope to fly again with you guys soon.
"I hate to eat and run, but we've got a hot air balloon to catch." I explained after swallowing my last hurried bite of Veal Milanese. "Really? You don't hear that everyday!" the waitress responded. "I'll wrap these up for you and come back with the check." It was 5:30 when we left our waterfront patio table at Esca, an Italian restaurant in New Hope. We had 15 minutes to reach our departure point in Richboro if we wished to see the inflation of the balloon we would be riding in. My Mom had planned the full day of festivities, but the play we had seen before dinner ran a bit longer than expected. When it comes to celebrating my birthday, each year she tries to top the one before. For my 26th, what she had planned was completely unexpected.
Endless Mountains Hot Air Balloons, Inc.
The bearer of this certificate is about to experience the flight of a lifetime!!!
J.C. is entitled to a flight in a hot air balloon.
A swift navigation through twisting country roads led us to Solly Brothers Farm with several minutes to spare. We met our pilot, Scott and his crew, who got to work on unfurling a massive expanse of nylon across the smooth, grassy length of open field where we now stood. The weather was favorable for flight, we were told, but one could never be too sure too soon. Planning to accompany us on our trip was a couple who had attempted to fly three times prior, but were continually cancelled due to unsuitable conditions. Scott's crew tested wind direction and speed by releasing a black helium balloon into the air. "That's going to be us" I thought, as the balloon traveled relatively upward (a good sign) rather than horizontally. Scott kept in correspondence with a fellow pilot, who was simultaneously preparing a balloon for his own set of passengers in the same field along side of us. When they began their inflation, the lifeless, synthetic polymer snakes mutated into rapidly expanding, undulating blobs. Their fluid motion and bright patterns caused me to think of them as enormous, rainbow jellyfish. When they finally took shape and lifted off the ground, we contributed our weight to the edges of the basket to keep it on the ground. Scott then began to open and close blast valve of the propane burner, each time causing an abrupt burst of flames too shoot out loudly enough to be a bit jarring. We were instructed to step into the basket one by one and it wasn't long after we were all aboard that we began our ascent.
My heart pounded slightly as I watched the crew drop their ropes and their faces became less distinguishable. We were now subject to the whims of the wind and a certain degree of control had to be relinquished. The balloon bobbed slightly on its initial ascent and a fear of airsickness briefly overtook me. It was mere seconds however, before the craft's movement steadied and any inkling of apprehension was replaced by a peaceful calm. The view was magnificent. Surprisingly close on the horizon was Philadelphia's skyline, each building easily discernible. A minimum of clouds and the early evening sun allowed the city to be both viewable and radiant. I marveled in this new perspective; to not only be surrounded by the vast reaches of the Earth's horizon, but to have a bird's-eye view of the ground below. The patchwork fields and rows of houses took on an unnatural quality, as if they were part of model train set. Backyards were dotted with inviting-looking, aqua-blue pools. Some had tennis courts, firewood piles or scrapped cars. Other houses appeared in the smallest clearings of woods, as if their rooftops were etched into the blankets of dense foliage. Many residents eagerly ran to their lawns to wave and shout their salutations. The canines of these communities were not as friendly but were no less fervent. Startled by sound and apparently the pitch of the propane burner, dog after dog greeted us with incessant barking and frantic running from fence to fence. Although the horses and cows didn't seem to mind, the deer were spooked, too. Herds of them bounded from field to field, taking refuge within the closest stretch of woods. Still, the echo of the burner's noise rang out through the trees like slow-motion shotgun blasts.
Moving from the greener areas, we drifted over an enormous quarry, where our tandem balloon was making a dip into its depths. Thankfully, we floated at a safer altitude but could still hear the buzzing of the power lines below. Scott kept in contact with what was known as the chase car. His crew navigated the roads below us and tried to keep track of the most likely place where we would land. The wind prohibited us from drifting towards some of our targeted spots, but fortunately there were many fields to choose from. Landing in backyards is also an occurrence that is common, yet not always preferred. Some residents welcome the balloon and its passengers, while others have been known to be less hospitable. Scott eased his way into an open field and we made our decent as surprisingly fast as we had gone up. He warned us of slight "bounce" and told us to hold on. The basket hit the ground with substantial thud, tilted diagonally and our bodies bumped a bit. Aside from a missing earring, our group was unscathed. We waited for the crew to exit the chase car and keep us anchored. Once out of the basket, I helped them to pull it through the field and closer to the car as countless crickets sprang about my feet. Some interested locals assisted us in deflating and putting away the balloon while Scott and his crew answered their inquiries. By the time we packed up the car and headed back, twilight was upon us.
When back at the farm, we were treated to a champagne toast and a tale of the history of hot air ballooning. In 1783, two brothers, Joseph-Michel and Jacques-Etienne Montgolfier of Annonay, France were experimenting with a special type of paper that they invented that contained silk. They found that this material had buoyancy when heat was applied. This led to the construction of a balloon that would be big enough to lift a person. There was much controversy at the time as to who should be the first to fly, spurred on by King Louie XVI. It was argued whether it should be the King himself, a scholar or perhaps a condemned criminal whom no one would care about if an accident were to occur. It turned out that the first passengers were a sheep, a rooster, and a duck. The flight was a success and the animals made a relatively safe landing. Save for the rooster, who suffered a broken wing. It was discovered, however that the wing was broken by a kick from the sheep and not from the landing. Soon after, humans began to fly in the balloons. But as with the precarious nature of the landing that is still present today, pilots could run into trouble if they ended up in the wrong place. Terrified or angry farm owners would view the balloons as a malignant force there to destroy their crops and would retaliate by tearing them to shreds. Balloon makers quickly learned that it would be too expensive to continually build new ones, so they made sure to bring champagne to appease the land owners. And with that story, we lifted our glasses to the Balloonist's Blessing:
The winds have welcomed us with softness, The sun has blessed you with warm hands, we have flown so high and so well That God had joined us in laughter and set us gently back into the loving arms of mother earth.