So, my wife has been dying to go to the Chester County Balloon Festival for the past few years, and we decided to make it a quick overnight camping trip this year. After I was able to get a FREE camping site right up the road our plans were put in motion.
On Friday we made the quick 30 minute drive to the camp site without mom because she decided a New Kids on the Block concert was more important. Once on site we proceeded to setup and had the chance to use our Anderson levelers outside of our driveway for the first time (and love them already). We grilled some hot dogs and the kids were ready for some fun with dad, so we dug out the fishing rods and headed over to the pond.
Now let the fun begin!!! Without mom around we’re all allowed to play in the dirt! Also, without mom around we’ll also pack 3 fishing rods for 4 kids. For the next few hours I managed the sharing, baiting and untangling of these 3 rods and fish swam by and laughed at me. I swear I saw a trout throw a piece of power bait back at me on one occasion.
After we failed to catch ourselves a meal we walked over to the archery range and went back to sharing the only youth bow we have. I swear the kids have just as much fun pulling the arrows out as they do putting them on target. Everyone shot well and had a blast, but the kids were about to protest the lack of marshmallow roasting.
The sun finally set, so the kids played tag in the dark with glow sticks while I got the fire going. We were the only ones out in the center of 47 mostly wooded acres, so they had free reign to make noise and run. By the time they were starting to wear down the fire was ready for some prime marshmallow roasting. Without mom around we were able to stuff of bellies with 2-3 marshmallows at a time until we all started falling a sleep in front of the campfire. Some of the kids headed in to sleep, some fell a sleep in chairs and I stayed awake playing with fire until mom arrived.
The next morning we rose bright and early to see the hot air balloons. We made it to the airport early to see the AM flights which were canceled. We ate breakfast in the hangar and then hit the festival to see what was happening. Most of the vendors were sales pitches for gutters, windows ,etc. There was a kids area that we paid to get into which had some paper plates and glue for kids to cut up and make planes along with 2 PC’s to play a RC plane video game.The activities were a bit disappointing to say the least. The only moonbounce on site would have kept the littlest kid entertained had the older ones not complain that they were bored forcing us to drag her away to look for something else to do.
There was a local diving school doing free “Try Scuba Diving” sessions in a pool, so we gave it a try. The folks from the scuba school were super nice and we had a great time in the pool. It was amusing to squeeze into and out of the wet suit for sure. Apparently short & fat isn’t a size.
After getting tired of walking around the fair frustrated we headed home for the day. My wife later saw that there was a tethered ride on Facebook so we headed back to see what we were missing. By the time we returned the balloons were grounded and packed up and they never got off the ground again. Other than the camping, the trip was a waste and I don’t think we’ll be doing the Balloon Fest again.
On the bright side I got Sandie a balloon ride for her birthday, so we can check that off our bucket list.