It was April and I had been dating a boy for just a short while. It was his birthday and he didn't seem like the kind of person to buy for, he was more the type of person that you experience for. I wanted to give him an experience. When we had first met he had asked me "would you ride a train across Canada with me" at the time, I don't think I said anything out loud but in my head I squealed "yes!". But only a few months dating the boy, I thought a trip for two on the Rocky Mountaineer might have been too much. Price is never an issue for me but it might have been for him.
So then I settled on a hot air balloon ride early on the morning of his birthday. It includes a typical Champagne toast and breakfast for two (once both feet are planted firmly on the ground). Though silly romantic, I knew it was something he had never done. I wanted to give him adventure that wouldn't over whelm him. He might have enjoyed it. A birds eye view of the city spent most of his adult life in all while watching the sun rise above the hills and mountains.
Well, it didn't happen. I had to cancel because the weather was still wet. It was spring in Calgary. It was a huge risk to take.
And then we broke up.
I still have the card sitting by my front door. It was perfect birthday card for a hot air balloon ride with a man who was once the love of my life. I don't know what I'll do with it, I should just throw it away. It's still wrapped in the paper bag it came in so I often forget it's even there.
I never told this boy what I had planned. I always figured I'd have another chance to treat him. I didn't and that's okay. We went to Banff instead and we hung out at the spa. We drank too much, sang and danced as a woman played piano and in the wee hours of the night, sat side by side as we hammered out songs on the piano. and then I fell into a plant. I remember the next day my tummy hurt from the crunchy things we ate at the bar. We went home and went for a walk stopping at one of my recent haunts for chicken sandwiches ending the night with Harry Potter.
I'll go on a balloon ride one of these days, once I get the idea in my head I can't let it go until I've done it.
To balloon is to levitate above the ground, drifting silently as if in a dream. With its beginnings in 18th-century France, the endeavour has changed little since. You are still completely at the whims of the wind.