Sunday, November 1, 2015

Blogger Fiesta

Our fourth Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta
(By Karen)
I've confessed before that I am a RVing blog junkie. I have over 90 blogs on my tablet and smart phone that I read regularly. I am also on RVillage, Campendium, RV Happy Hour and on Facebook.

It is entertaining, keeps me focused on my goal, allows us to discover great campgrounds and boondocking spots and meet interesting people.

In October a lot of bloggers were converging in New Mexico. Some were here for the great weather, some en route to Arizona and others were here for Balloon Fiesta. We were chatting back and forth with different bloggers and arranged a few meet-ups. We recently joined Xscapers (part of Escapees RV Club). This newer group was having their first convergence.

SockMonkeyTrekkers met the RV Wanderlust buffalo 
We've been following RV Wanderlust for awhile now and have communicated through blog comments and on Facebook. They were staying in Santa Fe before heading to the Xscapers Balloon Fiesta Convergence. I contacted Brittany on Facebook and arranged to have dinner at one of our favorite locals restaurant in Santa Fe, The Pantry. We spent a really great evening taking a tour of Meriwether, their beautiful home on wheels, eating great food and sharing stories by their campfire. We really felt we had connected with kindred spirits. We made plans to see them again at the convergence.

Greg and Brittany at The Pantry
Eric and Karen at The Pantry
Another blog we enjoy reading is Evie and Her Mom. Evie and Joy were staying at Abiquiu Lake about 50 minutes from our home in Los Alamos. We invited Greg's mom Frances to come with us. She also loves Evie's blog.

It was a stormy Saturday when we drove up to see Evie and Joy. It was such a fun afternoon! We sat outside until the rain chased us indoors. We took a tour of their most excellent C class home. We loved all the little touches that make their place so comfy. Evie has added a lot of very clever storage solutions that we will try to copy. They shared great stories with us about some awesome adventures and one or two small mishaps. We laughed and had a wonderful time. Such an inspiration.  

Frances, Joy, Greg and Evie
Karen and Evie
The Moms
Evie and Joy in front of their home
The final event in our Blogger Fiesta week was to hook up with the Xscapers group gathered at the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. This was our fourth Balloon Fiesta but our first RV convergence. Since we only live less than a two hour drive away and I had to be at work the next day - we chose to drive down at 0'dark hundred arriving in time for the dawn patrol. We spent the morning watching the mass ascension which starts around 7 a.m. It is very hard to describe and the pictures just don't do the magic any justice. You are standing in the middle of a huge field with literally thousands of people watching crews prep and launch balloon after balloon after balloon. And not just your typical balloons. Albuquerque attracts the special shape balloons. It is an absolute, not-to-be missed event. 

We got to the park at 5:30 a.m. 

It was not only the first Xscapers Convergence, but it was our first time at a gathering of RVers. We went to Quartzsite a few years ago, which was fascinating. But, we weren't with a group and didn't know anyone. We walked around and saw lots of groups, but kept mostly to ourselves. 

This was the first weekend of Balloon Fiesta and the weather was very overcast and a little bit of rain in the morning. This wasn't the best scenario for picture taking. I love the bright, blue, New Mexico sky filled with colorful balloons. But, a cloudy sky filled with colorful balloons isn't half bad.  

Met up with a Storm Trooper while watching the prepping of the Darth Vader balloon.
I had no idea he was flashing bunny ears behind my head. Can't trust a storm trooper. 

I LOVE the special shape balloons. 

They symmetry was very interesting. 

Balloons and people are everywhere you look out on the flight field. 
After the morning mass ascension and breakfast burritos, we decided to walk over the camping lot and check out where the Escapees and Xscapers and a whole lot of other groups were gathered. We needed to get in our 10,000 steps. It was fun to walk around all the different types of RVs. We new we were at the Xscapers camp when we spotted the Technomadia bus.  We didn't expect to find anyone around, but we knew where we would be gathering for the evening pot luck.

After ogling all the RVs, we walked back to our camper van and took a very nice nap. In early afternoon, we woke up and decided we would head over to the gathering place with our homemade carrot raisin salad to share. As we were about half-way across the flight field, it began to rain. It was raining lightly at first and then the light rain became a deluge with thundering cracks of lightning. We ducked into the media tent and waited out the downpour. The Facebook messages from Xscapers said they were delaying the potluck until the rain stopped. Once the rain was just a light mist again, we got kicked out of the media tent.

Technomadia's home

Greg in the media tent waiting out the storm
We wandered over to the Xscapers gathering spot and folks were starting to come out of their campers. A couple of tables were set up for the pot luck and people began setting up their chairs in a large circle. I was a little bit star struck seeing bloggers I've been reading for several years.  It was a little bit surreal, but a lot of fun. Big thanks to Travis and Melanie Carr of Xscapers for organizing such a great event. The group stayed for the week and had lots more gatherings and classes.

Deb and Jeff Spencer held a drawing at the potluck and handed out a number of prizes. We got two packets of Dometic bowl cleaner/tank treatment and an awesome 12 volt fantastic fan. We've used it several times since the party and we LOVE IT!  We hope to get to many more Xscapers events. It was such an awesome, fun group of people.

Here are the bloggers who were there that first weekend, but I know I missed a few:
Wheeling It; Technomadia; RV Wanderlust; Drive, Dive Devour; Rolling RecessThe Roaming PintThe Kuhl Odyssey; RV OutlawzWanderWasi; Rolling Under the StarsThisawayz and Thatawayz

Deb and Jeff Spencer

Here is a link to the video that Travis Carr of Xscapers put together of the first convergence. 


  1. Karen and Greg,
    We had such a nice time when you visited. It's so much fun to meet readers of our blog. And mom and Frances had so much to talk about, what fun it was to see them together. Love your pictures of the balloons. You are always welcome to drop in for a visit anytime.

  2. This is a gorgeous place, and I won't soon forget it. Attended an event here sponsored by the company. The reception hour at venues in Chicago was held in one of the rooms next to the hall. I loved their buttery mashed sweet potato.


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