5813919423_68e39b70ccFloating above the Arizona desert in a hot air balloon is not only a way to to see a lot in a short amount of time, but also a wonderful opportunity to experience the beauty of the Arizona desert. Hot Air Expeditions knows how to do it right, and creates a unique experience from watching them inflate your balloon at take-off, until you float back to earth and enjoy a gourmet meal right at the landing site.

My 5-year-old daughter and I had the opportunity to enjoy a Hot Air Expeditions balloon ride in June – it was a slightly hazy but beautiful morning and I was amazed at what we could see from the balloon, from the wildlife to the incredible vistas. As Michigan natives this was our first time in the Arizona desert and I can’t think of a better introduction. Our pilot was wonderful – not only personable and entertaining but it was apparent that he was used to having families and kids in the basket. There were stools for the little ones to stand on to see over the edge (as well as peek-out holes in the basket if they preferred to sit – my daughter sat for a quite a lot of the ride), and the pilot did a few science experiments to show all of us what happens if you pour a little water over the edge of the balloon or how a tissue will appear to rise instead of fall when you’re descending, even if you don’t feel that you’re in fact going lower. He even took us down for a quick ‘pit stop’ when my daughter needed a potty break.

You can find out more at http://www.hotairexpeditions.com/. See more photos from our hot air balloon ride on Flickr and here’s a short video (4 minutes) of what our hot air balloon flight experience was like:

Deb writes as West Michigan TravelingMom as well as at Mom of 3 Girls and Just a mom’s take on things…. You can also find her on Twitter – she’s @DebMomOf3.