Cloud 9 Living – Hot Air Balloon Ride (review)

Last month I had the awesome opportunity to do something I never thought I would do…go on a hot air balloon ride. I’m all for thrills, I love roller coasters, but am terrified of flying since I’ve never been. When Cloud 9 Living contacted me and I saw Hot Air Balloon Ride as one of my options I had to pick that…the leaves were changing and how awesome would it be to see the mountains that surround me from above?

The entire thing from start to finish with Cloud 9 Living was easy, I selected Hot Air Balloon Ride that was closest to me and put in my code, selected my preferred days and whether I wanted sunrise or sunset…since I’m not a morning person I picked sunset. After I did everything on the Cloud 9 Living site they sent it to the hot air balloon company (in my case it was Valley Ballooning) who took care of everything. I had an initial date of October 10th but on that day the wind was too strong and we had to reschedule. It was all simple and done within Valley Ballooning and that date come around and everything was a go, the wind was a little strong but they decided to go ahead and go for it. I was a nervous wreck…excited, but nervous.

The van I rode to the launch site in and the basket I would be riding in. It actually holds 12 passengers and the pilot.

This was our balloon stretched out…it was huge.

I loved watching how they set up the hot air balloon. They had about 3 fans at the bottom that started filling it up with air and then after awhile they were able to tip the basket up and the balloon was floating.

There are I think 3 large fans down at the basket blowing air into the balloon.

This gives you an idea of how large this balloon is, there were 2 men going in and out of the top here to close it up. The balloon is a little less than half filled with air at this point.

The balloon FINALLY starting to lift off the ground.

It was up! We loaded up right after this picture because we were trying to hurry while it was nice.

We were one of 3 balloons going up that day, we were the first to start preparations but we were also the largest balloon so we were second to get off the ground.

The first balloon that took off. I was getting VERY nervous at this point. I was in the basket and ready but my heart was racing seeing how high that balloon was getting.

As we were about to get off the ground we were instructed on how to position ourselves when we do land and that those of us next to the pilot would get hot at takeoff as he fired it up to get it going…and he was right, me and another guy had to crouch down to keep from getting too hot. I texted Jeff a picture as we got off the ground and the nervousness turned into excitement.

Off the ground!!! this is the 3rd balloon getting ready.

The main reason I wanted to do the hot air balloon ride was because I’ve lived surrounded by mountains my entire life. I look up at them daily and was excited to see them from above. Let’s just say I was NOT disappointed.

My first picture of MANY (don’t worry, I won’t post them all lol) of the mountains.

I thought I would be terrified to be so high up but it was so exciting! This is looking almost straight down.

At one point there was a plane that was coming into a local small airport and it circled around us…do you know how odd it is to be taking pictures at eye level of a flying airplane.

I have so many pictures of a ton of interesting things that we passed over…but if I put them here you would be all day trying to load the page. My last picture can be of me with a the 3rd hot air balloon coming behind us. We were passing cameras around to take pictures of each other like this.

I would HIGHLY recommend giving someone an experience from Cloud 9 Living for a holiday, birthday…or just because. I had a blast and it was just out of the ordinary. Cloud 9 Living has a LOT more than just Hot Air Balloon rides some other things are: ride in a race car, learn to fly, wine tastings, tours of cities…the possibilities are endless. If you don’t know what someone would like to do, then give them a gift certificate to Cloud 9 Living so they can pick their own.

I couldn’t have asked for anything better that day. It was even better than I had imagined. I want to thank Cloud 9 Living and Valley Ballooning for allowing me to have this wonderful experience.

Cloud 9 Living currently has a contest going, the 9 days of Christmas and you can win your very own experience. To enter, go HERE.

I received this experience for the purpose of reviewing at no cost to me. All opinions expressed are of my own and not influenced by anything or anyone.

About Jackie

Jackie is a stay at home mom to five wonderful children, 4 boys and a girl ages from infant to 10 years old. Her life is anything but calm, most days it's pure mayhem. You can follow her on twitter @monkey_mayhem
Jackie Staples


  1. Thomas Murphy says:

    This looks awesome! I want to try it

  2. Vickie Couturier says:

    you are brave woman,,wow,I dont know if I could have done that,but so glad you had a good time

  3. Karen Medlin says:

    I don’t think I could do that!

  4. I would die. But I’m SO glad you decided to give it a go 🙂 What a great memory you created!

  5. Looks and sounds like an amazing experience! We have a hot air balloon festival near here and I am totally going next year!