Do you have a “Bucket List”? A Bucket List is a list of things you want to do before you pass away. I know that sounds pretty morbid but in a way its a great list to have so that you can honestly say that you lived your life to it’s fullest and accomplished things that you really wanted to do or experience.
I have a long Bucket List. Sadly about 90% of the things on my list I know in my heart I will never get to do. Things like laying my hands on the Great Pyramids in Egypt, going on an African safari and seeing the wildlife in it’s natural habitat, taking a boat ride up the Amazon and go into space. I need to focus on the more “do-able” things. Two of those more do-able things on my list were to ride in a helicopter and fly in a hot air balloon. My ideal helicopter ride would be over NYC, Alaska or the Grand Canyon. As for the hot air balloon just to fly anywhere would be great.
Yesterday, thanks to Hershey’s, two of my Bucket List items were knocked off the list. I was able to take a helicopter ride and see NYC and I rode in a hot air balloon.
I honestly thought riding in the helicopter would be scary. After all it’s much smaller then an airplane. I was afraid I would feel like I was going to fall out, or the ride was going to be very bumpy. WOW! I was so wrong! The ride was so smooth. Even taking off and landing was effortless. I’m not exaggerating when I say that you felt like you were driving in a car, not a helicopter. The ride was THAT smooth.
** You can click on any photo in this post for a much larger view **
Myself and three other bloggers hopped into the helicopter for a ride over to an airfield in New Jersey where we were going to take a ride on Hershey’s Air Delight hot air balloon.
Helicopters are very small inside. Probably no bigger then sitting a car. And wow, is it ever LOUD! No wonder many pilots where those big headphones.
Check out the control panel. There is not much there compared to an airplane like an 747 or something large like that.
Within a minute we were up in the air. It was effortless! I hardly felt a thing. If it wasn’t for watching the ground get further and further away I would never have thought I was up in the air over the Hudson River.
Once we were up in the air I kept having a line from the Robin William’s movie, The World According to Garp (great movie!) going through my head… “I’m flying”, as his character Garp smiles and looks out the window (just before he dies in the novel too – ugh!).
I wish the skies were sunny and blue. Sadly it was a dark and gloomy day. Even so the weather was NOT going to dampen my day. Not by a long shot!
As you can imagine seeing New York City from a bird’s eye view was spectacular and breathtaking. I ♥ NYC and now I had the incredibly amazing opportunity to see my beloved city from a whole new perspective, one that I will never forget. We even got to see the Statue of Liberty from above.
Within minutes we were over New Jersey. I must say there are A LOT of mansions in New Jersey. WOW! I took many photos of them from above. I actually took 217 photos on my camera, a half dozen photos that I uploaded from my phone on Facebook (personal Facebook page) and about a half dozen videos too (also uploaded to my personal Facebook page). I have to try and figure out how to upload the videos on my phone to my blog.
The flight to the airfield was relaxing (seriously, the ride was so smooth!). As I was taking pictures I noticed that the door that was holding me in was very thin. I was also only strapped in by a lap belt. Even though that might sound scary I was truly at peace with the whole ride. It was incredible. I cannot describe it in words.
New Jersey is equally as beautiful from above.
It took roughly 15 minutes of flight time to make it to the air field where the Hershey’s Air Delight was waiting for us. If you look in this photo (below) you should be able to make out the Hershey’s Air Delight hot air balloon (it’s a bit to the right of the middle of the photo).
Landing on the air field was a piece of cake. We were way out in the middle of a field too. We had to hop a ride on a golf cart (something I have never ridden on before) to be taken over to where the balloon was waiting for us. Of course we had to wave good by to our helicopter and pilot. He had to head back to NYC to pick up more bloggers to take them over to where the hot air balloon was.
I have never seen a hot air balloon up close before. I have only seen them on TV or in books and magazines. I was amazed at how BIG they really are. Wow!
The Hershey’s Air Delight hot air balloon will be at this air field all weekend long for 29th Annual Quick Check New Jersey Festival of Ballooning. The event runs from Friday, July 29, 2011 – Sunday, July 31, 2011. Hershey’s will be giving people at the festival rides in their balloon (tethered to the ground, only going 50′ – 100′ in the air). Once up in the air balloon riders will be treated to a sampling of Hershey’s newest chocolate creation, Air Delights. For more information about the festival visit www.BalloonFestival.com. It is held at the Solberg Airport in Whitehouse Station, New Jersey. It’s located 42 miles from New York City but by helicopter it took about 15 minutes. Wow!
Getting into a hot air balloon is easier said then done. You have to put your foot in a hole on the side of the basket, step up, grab a bar above your head and swing your legs into the basket. That is not so easy, especially if you are out of shape or “plus size”. Thankfully I was able to do it (yeah me!). Look in the photo below. You can see the hole that you need to step in to get into the basket.
We were tethered to the ground so the balloon didn’t fly away. There were other bloggers/people coming to experience Hershey’s Air Delight chocolates so there wasn’t time for us to take a ride across the field and beyond. That is OK. It was still a lot of fun.
By the way the basket was REALLY small. There were four of us in the balloon (me, another blogger, the balloon “captain” and a representative from Hershey’s).
Once we were up in the air we were giving some samples of Hershey’s Air Delight chocolate. Have you tried this chocolate yet? I know a few people have but I have yet to see it sold locally. If you have tried it before I would love to hear your thoughts about it.
Hershey’s Air Delight was designed to give chocolate lovers a way to savor and enjoy chocolate. It has a light and airy texture that helps the chocolate melt with ease making it the ultimate chocolate experience. The chocolate is actually aerated, the first of it’s kind for Hershey’s. You can actually see the air bubbles inside the chocolate. Check it out in the picture below.
For the record those are people on the ground in the background.
So what is my impression of the Hershey’s Air Delight chocolate? DELICIOUS! It’s definitely Hershey’s chocolate (you can easily tell Hershey’s from other chocolates). It’s very rich and creamy and does melt easily in your mouth. I LOVE chocolate and I do get some serious chocolate cravings from time to time. I must say that one chunk from the Air Delights chocolate bar would be more then enough to kill your chocolate urges. It’s THAT rich and creamy. Even one or two of the Air Delight Kisses would be more then enough to satisfy even the biggest chocolate lover.
I brought home some chocolate for my family to try. I had my kids split a chocolate bar. They were not happy that I didn’t let them have a whole Air Delights chocolate bar. Even having just 1/2 of the bar both kids were happy and satisfied with what they had. I don’t think they missed the other half of the bar. The mouth watering chocolate experience they had with just 1/2 of the bar was enough for them.
My husband had three of the Air Delight Kisses and he said that it was plenty of chocolate for him too. My husband could easily finish off 1/2 a bag of regular Kisses. I guess there is something with the chocolate being aerated that makes them very rich and creamy. They also feel a bit “lighter” too.
Hershey’s Air Delight chocolate is available across the nation. Since it’s new it might not be available in all markets – yet. It’s available in 1.44 ounce single serve bars and 9.4 ounce bags of Kisses. Currently they are only available in milk chocolate. I am hopeful that one day they will offer the chocolate in dark, white and mint flavors too. YUMMY!
For the record it’s HOT in a hot air balloon. I was a bit concerned about eating chocolate with all the heat but thankfully the Hershey representatives kept everything chilled so the chocolate didn’t melt.
Check out just how much heat comes from the balloon’s “engine” (for lack of a better description). I have both an up close photo and one taking from the ground when other bloggers were heading up in the balloon. Pretty amazing huh? You wonder how the balloon doesn’t catch on fire!
I’m not one to get my picture taken. I HATE getting my picture taken. Since this was a once in a life time experience I had to get my picture taken to remember this special day. Not that I’ll ever forget today’s adventure. That is not possible! I am going to remember this day FOREVER!
The two pictures above of me in the balloon (the middle and bottom image) are credited to Insider Images. For some odd reason my blog wouldn’t let me embed that into the photo like the one at the top of this post.
Soon we had to hop back on the helicopter for our trip back to NYC. This time around we had a black helicopter.
The ride back home was equally as amazing. We even flew directly over Newark International Airport (or at least I think it was Newark). It was really cool to see the airplanes from above. Some of them were moving around the run ways getting ready to take off.
Check out this photo of both New Jersey (to the left) and New York City (to the right). The Hudson River is in the middle.
I was sad to land in New York City. I didn’t want the day to end! It was a whirwind experience. Even after I landed I still had my head in the clouds (no pun intended 🙂 ).
THANK YOU HERSHEY’S! Thank you for the most amazing and memorable day, one that I will never, ever forget. And thank you for helping me to knock two things off my Bucket List.
For more information about Hershey’s and/or their new Air Delight chocolate please visit their official website, www.Hersheys.com. You can also find them on Facebook, www.Facebook.com/Hersheys and of course on Twitter, www.Twitter.com/Hersheys.
*I was not compensated for this post. I was an invited guest of Hershey’s to experience the hot air balloon ride and to try out free samples of the Air Delight chocolates. All opinions expressed are my own.