Sitting in the early morning lobby of our inn. It's deserted until a young couple emerge, sleepy eyed from down the hallway. They engage in lobby loitering, seeming to be waiting for something/someone. At three minutes past 6:30 "Mom" emerges from the hallway just as the hot air balloon pilot enters from the subfreezing temperatures outside.
After introductions, Mom conducts a brief interview of the pilot. "How long have you been flying hot air balloons?" she inquires.
"Counting today?" he asks.
After a brief listing of his balloon credentials and accomplishments, Mom seems reassured her hire is competent enough to take her thousands of feet above the landscape without "hotdogging." Sadly, her probing of his background was more thorough than that of American mainstream media's of potential personalities wanting to be president.
"So, are we ready to fly?" asks the pilot.
"I've been ready all my life!" says Mom as she reveals "Dad" is still upstairs asleep.
The party of four dives into the dark and cold of the predawn morning to lay to rest Mom's lifetime dream on what will hopefully be a most memorable day, this Friday the 13th, 2006.