I forgot the champagne. Hot air balloons and champagne have a long and colorful history. When we finished our balloon ride, we packed up the balloon and basket and drove back to Intercouse, PA. Nevermind, that’s where we took off.
Then our pilot and his partner whipped out a small portable table and poured us all champagne and told us this story…
A long time ago, in the 1700s, two men invented the first known hot air balloon. Made of a variety of materials pieced together, it rose because they built a bonfire on a platform underneath the circular material they had rigged up. It went up, but then it came down…in a village where the terrorized local inhabitants ripped it to shreds. The villagers thought it was from the devil–some THING from the sky that must be destroyed. So, as the men perfected their balloon, they reasoned that if they were actually on the platform, feeding the fire, they would also be ripped to shreds. Hmm…what to do?
Why, just take some bottles of champagne and throw them out as they dedscended. The villagers caught the champagne, and nobody ripped anybody to shreds. Champagne is champagne. Veuve Clicquot is my favorite brand, but whatever they served in the parking lot after our balloon ride was just fine. A toast to that wonderful story.