2010: Happy New Year!

Just a brief note to wish everyone a Happy New Year in 2010. May this new year be better than the last! And to all you fellow travelers out there – may you all have safe and (hopefully) enjoyable trips to many new places.

As for me, I started 2010 off with a trip to Discovery Green (downtown Houston). The winds were low enough for the “AeroBalloon” to go aloft. A local temporary hiring firm is sponsoring the rides in the balloon from December to February 28, 2010. I paid my $20 USD (YIKES!) and boarded along with three other passengers.

The helium-filled balloon reached an altitude that was reported to be equivalent to about 35 stories. (The experience remined me of the recent animated movie “UP“!)

The view from above looking down on the launching pad.

All that holds us from blowing away is a 1″ stainless steel cable!!

A view of the Minute Maid sports stadium (on the east side of downtown Houston).

A view of the ice skating rink from above. We remained aloft for only 5 minutes (ca. $4/minute!!). After a way too short time aloft, they reeled in the cable and pulled us down.

Before leaving Discovery Green, I took in the park’s current art exhibit which featured dozens of globes, each one focusing on a particular aspect of the environment.

Several globes all lined up in a neat row.

Some nearby buildings made for a rather picturesque Houston skyline!

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