Thursday, December 15, 2011

Full of Hot Air

August 13th
Nebraska Balloon and Wine Festival

My good friend Alysia came back from San Francisco for the summer for an internship, so we made it a point to stock up on girl time and to catch up. There was no better way to bond and beat the heat than to relax in her brother's pool and sip wine.

Alysia always seems to know about upcoming events, and thankfully she always invites me along to the ones that pique her interest. After spending a good portion of the summer listening to me talk about Nebraska wine, she knew that I would be interested in checking out the Nebraska Balloon and Wine Festival in Omaha.

We spent most of our Saturday walking around Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo, because the Balloon and Wine Festival didn't start until evening. Seven hours at the zoo wasn't enough time to see everything, but we were able to see the main attractions, including my favorites, the Lied Jungle and the Cat Complex. It was the last weekend of freedom before school started, so the zoo was pretty packed.

Every time I go to the zoo, I feel like I've been dropped into somebody's Zoo Tycoon creation. My zoos were always pretty awesome, but it's hard to compete with the reality of our own Henry Doorly Zoo. It's only missing dinosaurs.

After we had pretty much wore ourselves out at the zoo, we headed over to the Balloon and Wine Festival. There were several food vendors, business booths, and about a dozen different vineyards in attendance. Alysia made me feel like an actual wine connoisseur by listening to my suggestions about which wines to try, and I managed to sample a few new ones as well. At dusk, the balloons light and launch.

Unfortunately, we weren't able to stay for the hot air balloon launch, because Ribfest was going on back in Lincoln and we wanted to check out some BBQ-y goodness as well. The ribs were awesome, but next year I'll make sure to go to each event separately so I can get the full experience.

Nebraska Balloon and Wine Festival's Website

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