Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta October 2 - 9, 2016
This year will mark the 44th time that the Balloon Fiesta has filled Albuquerque’s crystal blue skies. The Balloon Fiesta is still the premier international ballooning event, powered by the perfect October climate and a phenomenon called the "Albuquerque Box," (a combination of weather patterns and geographic landscape, the box allows balloonists to control and even retrace their adventure). So the place to be in October is at Balloon Fiesta Park. The 360 acre Park with 100 acres of grass and booths will be filled with balloons and concessions selling everything from traditional New Mexican food to balloon memorabilia. Each year balloon teams from around the world participate in the event and news coverage originates from more than 50 countries. It has become the most photographed event in the world. We are thrilled to be part of this amazing event and we invite you to join us!
This Eight Day Balloon Fiesta Tour Includes: Deluxe Motor Coach Transportation by Trobec Bus Company Grand Rapids, Hibbing, Virginia, Eveleth, Duluth, Little Falls, Rice & St Cloud, Twin Cities Seven Nights Lodging: Des Moines, IA (Drury Inn); Oklahoma City, OK (Embassy Suites- Pre and Post Nights); Albuquerque, NM;(Best Western Plus Rio Grand Inn- Three Nights); Des Moines (Fairfield Inn) While in Albuquerque- TWO Days at the 44th Annual Hot Air Balloon Fiesta Wednesday's A.M. Mass Ascension; Thursday's A.M. Mass Special Shapes Ascension; Thursday Night Special Shapes Glowdeo; Seven-Eleven Hot Air Balloon Discovery Center & Museum In Addition to the Fiesta: Trolley History "Route 66 Neon Sign Tour"; Time to Explore Old Town Opportunity to Ride in the Wednesday A.M. Mass Ascension on Rainbow Ryder's Hot Air Balloon (Optional) Nine Meals: 5 Breakfasts, 1 Dinner & 1 Lunch(Plus Hot & Cold Appetizer Buffet at the Drury Inn in Des Moines) Luggage Handling, Most Tips and Fully Guided with a Happy Trails Tours Representative On Board $150 per person deposit due per reservation. Deposits are fully refundable with cancellations made by June 1, 2016. Full payments are due July 15, 2016. Monies returned with cancellations between July 15 and August 15, 2016, are contingent to what Happy Trails Tours receives back from hotels, charters, tour companies, restaurants and theaters. Cancellations after August 15, 2016 receive no refunds since at that time we are financially committed to all inclusions. Thank you for your understanding. Trip cancellations insurance is available at an additional charge. We highly recommend purchasing travel insurance when you make your initial deposit as it offers peace of mind and financial security and pre-existing conditions are waived. Final documents, day-by-day itineraries, hotel address & phone information should arrive in early September. We need a minimum of 25 people by July 28, 2016.
Day 1 Oct 2, Sun: Travel Day Beginning in Northeast and Central Minnesota to Des Moines, Iowa (Drury Inn) This tour includes boarding in towns throughout the state of MN with our charter, Trobecs of Trobecs, St Stephens. We’ll begin in the early morning in Grand Rapids, Iron Range Cities (Hibbing, Virginia, Eveleth) Duluth & Cloquet. In the morning boarding will also begin in the central portion of the state in Brainerd, Little Falls, Rice and St Cloud. Once in Burnsville, we'll blend together on a beautiful Trobec Motor Coach and continue our journey to the beautiful southwest after lunch. A mid-afternoon stop will be made at the MN / IA boarder at the "Top of Iowa" for refreshments prior to continuing on our way. 5:30 pm- We’ll arrive to the lovely Drury Inn West Des Moines, Iowa. This property offers a light dinner to include hot and cold appetizers, baked potato, salad, type of meat entre and more. Cocktails, snacks and soft drinks, alcoholic beverages are also complimentary. The rooms include Two beds, coffeemakers, hairdryers, irons & ironing boards are provided in each room. They also have an indoor pool for your enjoyment.
Day 2 Oct 3, Mon: Travel Day to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (Embassy Suites) 545 Miles 6:00-7:00 am- Enjoy a delicious breakfast (included) at the Drury Inn. Set your baggage outside your doors at 6 am. We'll continue south to Oklahoma. Our day will go by quickly as we visit and get to know others on board the coach. 6:00 pm- Our lodging tonight is the beautiful Embassy Suites Oklahoma City. This property also offers cocktails in the early evening, and also has a nice restaurant, lounge, swimming pool. All the rooms have all the amenities one would need such as; two beds, coffeemakers, hairdryers, irons & boards. www.oklahomacity.embassysuites.com
Day 3 Oct 4, Tue: Travel Day to Albuquerque, New Mexico (BW Plus Rio Grande Inn) 564 Miles 6:00-7:00 am- Enjoy a delicious breakfast (included) at the Embassy. Set your baggage outside your doors at 6 am. From OKC, we'll travel straight west along I-40 directly as we cross into the Texas Panhandle of the Old West and continue our journey to the “Land of Enchantment” also known as New Mexico. Once we reach the Texas/New Mexico border, we'll move into Mountain Time. Our lunch break will be in the Amarillo, Texas area. 5:00 pm MT- Our lodging tonight is the Best Western Plus Rio Grande in Albuquerque, NM (10 minute walk from Old Town). We'll be here for THREE nights. This property is in a great location within a 10 minute walk of the historic Old Town. We also only 10 miles from Fiesta Park where all the Balloon Festivities are held. They have a restaurant in house, one king or two queen beds in the rooms, free hi-speed internet, hair-dryers, iron and ironing boards, coffee makers in each room, an outdoor pool and a hotel shuttle that will take you to many venues. 6:15 pm- Dinner, included tonight at the hotel. (Menu specifics to be announced).
Day 4 Oct 5, Wed : Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta 2016 10 Miles from Hotel Mass Ascension, a launch of all the participating balloons have been a feature of Balloon Fiesta since its earliest days and is the most spectacular display of sound and color in all of aviation. During mass ascensions, balloons launch in two waves. Launch directors, also known as zebras because of their black-and-white-striped outfits, serve as traffic cops, coordinating the launch so balloons leave the field in a safe and coordinated manner. Weather permitting, balloons begin to launch at about 7:00 AM on mass ascension days, led by a balloon flying the American flag to the strains of The Star Spangled Banner. Rise and Shine Early This Morning for Wednesday's Sunrise Mass Ascension. This is an amazing site and part of what makes this event so spectacular. Because the hotel does not serve breakfast as early as we have to leave, you'll want to head over to the Hospitality Tent for coffee and refreshments (Opens at 5:30 am). While you are having your coffee, the Dawn Patrol balloons are lifting off to check the winds before the rest of the balloons go up. You're sure to enjoy your time in Fiesta Park. The Seven Eleven Balloon Discovery Center is open from 6:00 am - 11:00 am today. You'll not run out of things to do this morning. 5:15 am- Check in and begin our sunrise morning event of the "Mass Ascension" which begins at 7:15 am. Now... here is where you'll have an opportunity to participate. You'll get breakfast on the grounds - paying on own. 10:30 am-Those who are flying "high in the sky" this morning with Rainbow Ryders return to the Fiesta Field. You'll receive your champagne toast, pin and certificate. _____pm- Return to the Best Western for some time to rest (Or to enjoy time at your leisure in Old Town). 6:45 pm- We've set up a narrated "Route 66 Neon Light Tour" of Albuquerque. We have a fun tour in store for you tonight. Settle back in the comfort of our motor coach as an Albuquerque tour guide steps on board and shows us the cool neon lights along Route 66. This specially designed tour is a popular tour among tourists visiting Albuquerque! Enjoy. 8:30 pm- Return to the hotel for a well-deserved nights sleep.
Day 5 Oct 6, Thurs: Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta 2016 10 Miles from Hotel Rise and Shine Early This Morning for Thursday's Special Shapes Ascension - Lift off at 7 am. Another HUGE event at the Balloon Fiesta is the Special Shapes Ascension. Balloons can be made into any shape, and some of the most popular ones are the hand-holding bumblebees, the Creamland cow, and the head of Smokey the Bear. Each year brings a new special shape balloon. Again, since the hotel does not serve breakfast as early as we have to leave, you'll want to head over to the Hospitality Tent for coffee and light refreshments. They are open early! _____ Board the coach and we'll return to the hotel for an afternoon to enjoy as per your leisure. Another opportunity to relax a bit . Our hotel is walking distance to Old Town and you may wish to explore at your leisure this afternoon. 4:30 pm- Depart for Fiesta Park. 5:00 pm- Arrive to Fiesta Park for the Special Shapes Glowdeo. Another wonderful event awaits as the Special Shapes Glowdeo balloons lift off at night. They are beautifully illuminated followed by an amazing fireworks display! 10:00 pm- Return to the hotel for another well deserved night's rest.
Day 6 Oct 7, Friday Travel Day to Oklahoma City, OK (Embassy Suites) 564 Miles 7:00 am- Enjoy a Breakfast (included) at the Best Western. Set your baggage outside your doors at 7 am. 8:00 am-We'll get on our way this morning with fond memories of the Balloon Fiesta. Interstate 40 brings us straight east through the Texas Panhandle to Oklahoma City. We'll make a lunch stop in Amarillo, Texas at the Big Texan Steak House, included. Stops will be made as the day goes along. We'll cross back into central time as we arrive to the Texas border. 7:00 pm - (Central Time) Estimated arrival to the Embassy Suites in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
Day 7 Oct 8, Saturday Travel Day to Des Moines, IA (Fairfield Inn) 545 Miles 7:00 am- Enjoy a Breakfast at the Embassy Suites. Set your baggage outside your doors at 7 am. 8:00 am- Begin our journey homeward, north along Interstate 35 to Iowa. We'll put our seats back and relax as we travel along. 5:00 pm- Estimated arrival to the Fairfield Inn in Des Moines. This property offers a nice indoor pool to enjoy, one king or two beds in the rooms, coffeemakers and hairdryers, irons and ironing boards. They have great restaurants within walking distance of the property.
Day 8 Oct 9, Sunday Homeward Bound With Many Fond Memories 7:00 am- Enjoy a breakfast at the Fairfield Inn. Set your baggage outside your doors at 7 am. 8:00 am- Board the coach and begin traveling home. We hope you've made new friends and experienced new things on your tour to Albuquerque to the Balloon Fiesta. Stops along the way are made every 2 1/2 to 3 hours. Set your seats back and relax as we are homeward bound. Estimated arrivals to the various towns are as follows; 1:30 pm- Burnsville Mall - Applebees 5:15 pm to Sartell; 5:30 pm- Rice Holiday Station; 7:15 am- Little Falls Walmart; 6:30 pm to Baxter 4:45 pm- Cloquet; 5:30 - Duluth; 6:45 pm-Eveleth; 7:15 pm- Virginia; 7:45 pm-Hibbing; 8:30 pm Grand Rapids.
Disclaimer: Happy Trails Tours acts only as an agent for the various independent suppliers that provide hotel accommodations, transportation, theater, or other services connected with this tour. Such services are subject to the terms and conditions of those suppliers. Happy Trails Tours, INC and their respective employees, agents, representatives accept no liability whatsoever for any injury, damage, loss, accident, delay, or any other default of any company or person in performing these services. Responsibility is not accepted for losses, injury, damages or expenses of any kind due to sickness, weather, strikes, hostilities, wars, terrorist acts, acts of nature, local laws or other causes. All services and accommodations are subject to the laws and regulations of country in which they are provided. Happy Trails Tours INC is not responsible for any baggage or personal effects of any individual participating in the tours/trips arranged by Happy Trails Tours. Individual travelers are responsible for purchasing a travel insurance policy, if desired, that will cover some of the expenses associated with the loss of luggage or personal effects.