We have officially purchased tickets to the 2019 Balloon Fiesta in Albuquerque, New Mexico!
We purchased a spot for a recreational vehicle. This means our entire 8 day stay will be cheaper than 1 or 2 nights at a hotel, AND we won’t have to book a flight to the event. But this also means we now have a deadline for the van conversion. A little intimidating, but definitely something we are hoping isn’t a ‘real’ deadline per se. Our plan is to be finishing up the build and on the road several months before the festival.
This is sort of like a fun anniversary for my wife and me. We went before we were married for 2 nights (I think). We had to pay for flights, hotel, taxi and uber to and fro, eat at restaurants or food trucks for every meal… It was a seriously pricey weekend. We saved up for it, but now our goal is to be thrifty while still enjoying as much as possible.
In addition to saving the money by having our home with us, we will have enough food stocked for dinners and such that we won’t NEED to purchase every meal from a vendor or restaurant. We still might, though. There are a TON of food trucks at the event who will tempt you with everything from fresh-made donuts to the taste of New Mexican specialties. Hello Green Chile Cheeseburger. Shoutout to ONiell’s.
About the festival
Typically you get to witness a mass ascension of 600 balloons, which is hard to describe. They also do a ‘glow’ session where the balloons are inflated at night and you can see the glow of the flame inside. They follow it up with a crazy fireworks show, which is definitely worth seeing.
According to BizJournal, this is New Mexico’s largest event BY FAR with over 800,000 in attendance. For a ticket price of $10, you can imagine why. As you walk around the vendors selling clothing, ornaments, food, or basically anything else you can think of, you start to see why it is the worlds most photographed events. Everyone has their cameras at the ready. Seriously, even the most mundane moment is usually cropped to hide all of the people also taking the same picture. But it’s worth it.
The worst part about the event when we went was definitely the commute and wait times to get into the park. It took us over an hour and a $50 cab fare to get to the park that was about 7 miles away from our hotel. Now we get to avoid all of that with our camping pass 🙂
What this means for the van conversion
It gives us about a year to work on the van. I truly hope it doesn’t take us that long, but there it is. October 2019 is the absolute LATEST we can be on the road 😁
See you there!