The email was simple...really nothing more than a subject line and a link.
Subject: Want to get up early?
Link: This website
Now those who know me very well wouldn't expect me to be the author; after all, I'm the one who thinks if people were meant to pop out of bed, we'd all live in toasters. I'm the last person you'd expect to suggest getting up early. And it's not just early, it's REAL EARLY. Like o'dark thirty early. But I've always wanted to see a bunch of hot air balloons float off into the sky, and if that happens at 6am, well, I'm going to have to get up early to do it.
And early it was, 4am to be exact, when the alarm went off and we rolled out of bed. Fifteen minutes later we were in the car headed to Foley, a small town just across the Alabama line. The passing miles were punctuated by a gradual lightening in the east and Wayne's numerous comments about how he couldn't believe I was really up at that hour of the day...voluntarily. That's OK; it wasn't the first time he's given me a hard time.
Finding the launch site was easy...we just followed the line of cars. We parked and then trooped across a muddy soccer field to a collection of tents with people milling around. There was just one problem: There weren't any balloons. They need the winds to be less than 5mph in order to safely inflate the balloons and Mother Nature wasn't cooperating. And the direction could have been an issue too as Foley isn't far from the coast. Balloons floating out over the Gulf might be a lovely sight to look at but if you're in the balloon with no way to get back to shore.
So we hiked back to the car and drove home. All total, it was 90 minutes over, 15 minutes there, and 90 minutes back home. There were other activities later in the day at the festival but not for quite a while and it just didn't seem to make sense to stay. We were back home before I normally get out of bed, a fact that did not escape my better half.
You can imagine the hard time our friends gave me when they found out I had arisen well before the sun came up. Some questioned if I was ill and even our oldest son said he was reluctant to call on Sunday afternoon because he figured I was still sleeping to make up for it. My shoulders are broad; I can take their hard time.
Fast forward to Tuesday morning. As is often the case, Wayne hit the snooze alarm on the clock radio a couple of times, claiming a few extra minutes of sleep before getting up for his regular round of golf. As he finally pulled himself out from under the covers, he thought it seemed awfully dark for 6am. Was it raining? Nope...he'd forgotten to reset the alarm and he was up at 4am. We're retired so we don't need an alarm all that often and it stays set at 6am. Well, unless there's a reason to get up earlier, that is. He'd forgotten all about our Saturday morning adventure by the time he turned the alarm on on Monday night.
Guess who's getting the hard time now?