Since I was a little girl, I have been enamored with the colorful mélange of patterns on hot air balloons taking flight. Photographs of hot air balloons from New Mexico, Turkey and Myanmar flying over vast terrains captivated my imagination. Now that we are calling Maine home for a short spell, we decided to take a quick journey up into the sky with Androscoggin Balloon Adventures. Maine’s annual hot air balloon was cancelled this year (nationwide, no festival is slated to run), but we were lucky enough to have the Lewiston Sun Journal cover our passage since it was taking place during the weekend that the festival would have traditionally been held. I’m grateful that we happened to coincidentally book our ride during this weekend, because we ended up with one of a kind video and photo coverage as souvenirs of our first hot air balloon ride. Instead of the few dozen balloons that would traditionally launch during the festival, only two private flights launched the morning of our flight (us and another group from Dixfield).The sheer size of the balloon is magnificent, and once we had launched off of the ground, it was akin to gliding in the air. When we first took off, I was slightly nervous due to my fear of heights, but shortly afterwards, the experience of being up high above the buildings and trees induced a peaceful feeling. Due to wind patterns, the best times to fly are early morning or just before sunset. We opted for the former and found ourselves on a field at 5:50 AM. There are only two commercial operators left in Maine and I’d highly recommend Jim from Androscoggin Balloon Adventures. He’s taken up people from ages 4-94 and many a proposal, anniversary and special occasion has been done aboard his flight. The novelty of a hot air balloon is not in its efficiency in getting you from point A to point B, but rather the romanticism around the idea that in 1783 (the inception of the hot air balloon), humans were already thinking about how to traverse the skies. I’d be happy starting off every Saturday with a new adventure like this!