Quechee Hot Air Balloon Festival

This past Saturday, Rielly and I ventured into Vermont for an extremely picturesque sunny day the Quechee Annual Balloon Festival in Quechee, a village in Vermont. I knew a few months ago that I would be missing the highly anticipated annual Hillsborough Balloon Festival, which is closer to home, due my upcoming vacation (white water rafting in Maine with Kait!!!) So after hearing about the Quechee Balloon Festival and seeing a lot of hype about it online, I figured I would make that my next adventure instead.

The ride was only an hour and 15 minutes including 40 miles on the same highway so it wasn’t too bad. Once in Quechee, we came across a large field for parking, but continued on to drive by and check out the festival first. We passed a man playing his electric guitar through an amp on the front porch of his yellow house, a serene lake sprinkled with tall green grass, and a winding pavement road leading to a gorgeous covered bridge over an immaculately structured dam; a waterfall of river water cascading over bulging rocks, overlooked by a nearby restaurant patio.

Upon entering the festival, we paid $15 which lasts the entire weekend, received a black wristband and were immediately overwhelmed with happiness as we stepped into the world or artisans tents; handmade beer soap and headbands, dresses, and tapestries handmade in Bali, an entire field of food trucks, tables filled with flavored olive oils and vinaigrettes, samples of pesto and bubbles floating by our faces.

Read this ^

Casual sex ring

Rielly and I both bought headbands from this vendor. If you read the tag, this woman Kim lives in Bali with her hunky Indonesian husband who walked around the tent shirtless and accepting money from people. These are all Kim’s designs and she makes them in Bali by hand with her husband and friends. The material was gorgeous; smooth and study with tantalizing designs. I wanted all the headbands, beaded wallets, and dangling earrings. Rielly bought a blue and gold v-neck dress.

Anons Thai Food Truck (Where we ordered a curry chicken combo plate with pad thai, an avocado spring roll and cucumber salad)

When I saw the “Corn Dogs Made Here” sign I immediately peed my pantalones (Just kidding, I was;t wearing any pants.)

Rielly’s indulgently cheesy vegetable pesto crepe from The Skinny Pancake. We sat and ate lunch while listening to live folk music from the young and talented Eric George as paraglider jumped from planes above the stage and soared through the air. We then watched a “flying dog show” where dogs ran around and caught frisbees in the air, and visited the dam around the corner.  We also watched a family juggling act perform; the oldest son tossed fire and  the father balanced a chair with a young boy strapped into it on his chin. The youngest boy rode around on a unicycle and Rielly started to cry in amazement.

My friend Katie Con mentioned to me that the must-go place in Quechee if I ever go again is Simon Pearce, the store and restaurant pictured above where glass is blown everyday at their flagship hydro-powered mill, where owner Simon set up shop after “Finding Ireland in Vermont,” according to his website, where I absolutely recommend reading his story and would really like to go to. Glassblowing is a very beautiful process. Katie also recommends watching the amazing and moving HBO documentary called The Crash Reel about Simon’s son, Kevin Pearce, a pro snowboarder who suffered a traumatic brain injury while training for the 2010 Winter Olympics.

After eating this thai food I think I realized I really do just love Indian food more. Unless it’s pork dumplings and wonton soup from Thai Garden in Keene. It was good, but a little to peanuty and I can’t handle too much of that. I really enjoyed the lemons, however ( the fresh, hollow, crunchy white sprigs atop the pad thai).


We saw Katie Con!! After being in the sun and even laying on the grass for almost 6 hours we sat in the beer tent and sipped on cold IPA’s. Then out of nowhere Katie Con appears with Sam and Hannah! Check out that sunburn, kids. I even put sunscreen on. I suppose reapplying is important, I’m glad I am learning this at 22. Another lesson learned is that although the festival is $15, spending the entire day there is a bit much, especially when the balloons didn’t go up. But, we tried to get our money’s worth.

After arriving at the festival at 11 and leaving at 6:30, and no balloons going up into the air because it was too windy, Rielly and I were completed “winded.” We were disappointed that the balloons didn’t go up, and because we considered paying $20 for a tethered hot air balloon ride (the balloon stays tied to the ground but you go up in the air) and were really excited about that. There were hundreds of people laying on a grassy hill with their families waiting for the balloons to go up, but they probably were able to go back in the morning and see them ascend on Sunday.

On the way home, Rielly and I stopped by the infamous Quechee Gorge which is 165 feet deep and sits below Route 4. It’s a vast and long snake-like gorge.

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