• Blaine Hoppenrath

Balloon Fiesta with no Balloons?


There were balloons, I just didn't see any.

On Friday, I was running late to work (shocker) and saw all the balloons floating in the air over the city from the Mass Ascension that morning. It got me very excited for the weekend ahead, my plans were to go Saturday's Mass Ascension and then workout and hit up the Michael Ray/Old Dominion concert at the field.

Guess what. Saturday went NOTHING like I had planned. It started with a trip to the park and ride, where they told me that they were at capacity and I wouldn't be able to get a ticket. The only option was to go park at the field. I was already running about 30 minutes behind my timeline and the last thing I wanted to do was fight traffic with 10,000 (give or take a few) of my closet friends.

Needless to say, I bailed.

I went back home and changed my schedule around so I could get to the concert on time and hopefully see my cousin who's band was playing at the field. Sidebar: Andrew is not actually my cousin, but once you marry into the Jones' you assume the title of cousin. Anyway, there was no way I was bailing on my workout, but I was bummed that I had to switch to the 60 minutes class from the 90, but I was still getting my workout in.

I had to stop by the grocery store (which later on would make me late to the field) and grabbed the WRONG JUICE! I took one sip and almost spit it out, it was a bummer. But I didn't have time to go back and get the juice I actually like. Fortunately, the fruit I got was delicious and made for a good "lunch."

Getting to the park took longer than expected, so I missed the meet and greet and only opportunity to meet him (there is also no such thing at Will Call at balloon fiesta so there is that too. Either way, after missing mass ascension, swapping my workouts, getting the wrong juice, and being late I just aimlessly began wandering the field.

That is when a random woman asked me to take a picture of her and her friends. She then invited me to sit with them. I anxiously accepted and enjoyed the concert with them. They were all camping out and after running out of alcohol they left to go hangout at their campsite. There were a handful of women, all lifelong family friends, all ages, and surprisingly welcoming.

The offered for me to come back and hangout and I accepted. What else did I have to lose? Back at the camp, I hung out with all of the women and learned a new drinking game (Picalo) and enjoyed a beer wile a handful of their husbands made some food to snack on.

Kelsey is younger than me, taller than me, and reminded my of a friend from high school swimming. She was down to earth, a kindergarden teacher, and after this school year, has a big adventure ahead (moving to Durango with her husband) and was amazingly generous.

Audrey is the woman that invited me to join the group. She is Kesey former step-mom and full of spunk. A solid six inches shorter than me she is full of energy and beyond outgoing. I mean who in their right mind invites random people to hand out? She did and I am very grateful! In her own words, she drinks and smokes and passionately loves Jesus.

Coleen is the life of the party. I get the feeling she has really lived her best life and while that may have changed over the past few years she hasn't stopped living and has two beautiful children. She had no shortage of energy and there was something about her I can't quite put my finger on that made me drawn to her personality, but I liked her.

Bailey is a taller version of Jennifer Lawrence. Super chill, super tall, and super cool. She is also 29 and a chiefs fan! And while our lives look completely different from each other it really didn't seem to matter. She teaches, has been married for seven years, and has two beautiful children.

I ended up bailing around 7:30 and finally made it to my car around 10:30 (and two Ubers later). I was surprise at how amazing these women and their families were. I don't know if I will ever see any of them again, but it gives me faith and hope that people are good and sometimes we just have to take a risk to get to know one another.

So, there it is. A ballon fiesta with no balloons. Not what I expected but better than I could have imagined.

But here is a picture from last year's fiesta:



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