Hot Air Balloon - ADV Flights

ADV Flights are amazing. We just did the Hot air balloon this morning and I say I had an absolute fun. I can't say anything bad about all of it so let me start from the beginning. I saw their deal on Groupon and before I made the purchase, I called them directly asking if they can honor that price so that they won't have to deal with Groupon and their paperwork will be less. I kind of know that when companies have such deals with third party sites it takes time to process all that jazz and the customer couldn't care less but hey, if I can help them out why not. So I did call ADV Flights and asked. They agreed to honor the discounted price and that same afternoon I called back gave my credit card info and scheduled our first try. Yes first try. And that was November 23 Friday. Driving to it before 0600, we can already tell it's to foggy. Still hoping for it to go away, we kept on driving to the place. Weigh ourselves in and wait for the decision. About 0630 or little later, they handed yellow paper saying we cannot fly today because of the weather. Completely understandable as Safety is the most important thing. That same day I called and asked to be rescheduled but the next day is already full so Sunday it is. We come Sunday and the fog actually got worse while we're on our way and already expected for it to be cancelled. Called Monday to reschedule with no worries but when the time is coming up I keep checking the weather and rain is all around. Hence I went ahead and cancelled it myself prior.
February 7 Thursday I decided to try if we can do February 8 Friday. Our scheduled fly was supposed to be February 9 Saturday but since I know it'll rain it will be cancelled. I emailed yesterday about the request and they said they're trying to get a second flight but won't make any promises. They're also booked for today for about a week and a half. So squeezing us in was really an effort. A couple of hours later I received a call from Stewart (nicest gentleman on the phone since my first phone call) telling me that they figured it out and we are good to go tomorrow (which is today). I was jumping internally and told him he just made my day. It's true, I was not having the best mood and he just switched that mood.
Today we arrived around 0605, straight to weigh in and waited for everyone to be checked in. Had a little briefing before the first hop drove off. Here's the timeline:
0638 First hop drove of to location
0720 Van went back to fetch Second hop
0735 Arrived where the first hop found a safe location to touch down
0745 Up Up and away!
0809 About 'half' where we at and got the briefing on lading position
0817 False alarm landing and got up again :)
0844 Touch down with tipping over the basket - a must if you ask me!
0927 On our way to get some food with their vouchers.
Tipping over while inside the basket is optional. Three people went out before we did it. I'm guessing they do not want to be dirty? My husband and I didn't care as always and happily did it without any dirt afterwards. After our little group picture with Derek (our cool pilot that know what he's doing), we went back to the parking in the morning. Before we left we had a little toast with mimosas and heard the tale why they always do it after flying. Right after the toast, we got our certificates for the graduation ceremony. Then after the we got vouchers for breakfast in the nearby Skydive Perris' The Bomb Shelter Restaurant for $7.50 each.
Wear correct clothing - Layers and layers for winter. I suggest Winter is better since if you do this by summer, not only it's more crowded but when you're up there Sun is closer hence you'll be a little toasted? I hope not. Don't wear open toed shoes as wherever you land it might have mud.
$226 for two of us I'd say it's so worth it. Sure, the view is magnificent. It's how they accommodate us last minute and they unexpected certificates, vouchers and toasts they have for everyone. I love it. Oh, and do the second hop! We got about an hour up top and picture with the pilot and the balloon laying down. Just more enjoyable if you ask us. I'm not sure if you can request to which hop you prefer but I'm so glad we experienced what we did.


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