My foray in to the west coast of US has been very little. I've heard plenty of stories about the lifestyle of the west coast, which is supposed to be much more easy and carefree compared to the life in the east coast. With the pacific coast, the warm weather and the sunny disposition, its easy to imagine why one would think that. Places like Napa Valley I guess seals that deal. Maybe because it was a vacation but everything that has been romanticized about Napa Valley seemed true to me. The winemaking culture in itself is a very romantic lifestyle (hard work as it is) and everything that surrounds it supports that perception - from the food, to the places that supply that food, to the little neighborhood stores that carry the food, its a very idealistic life. To top it off, if you add a ride on a hot air balloon, well - then that just takes the cake.
It was a good thing California time is 3 hours behind NY - that was the only way I could wake up for the ride. But once you get on the ride, you know why it has to be in the morning. The sunrise over the Napa Valley vineyards was breathtaking. Our balloon company, Napa Valley Balloons was top-notch. They had the morning planned out perfectly. First it was a meet-n-greet session with coffee and juices, then the flight, and then a post-flight breakfast with champagne at the Domain Chandon's etoile restaurant. The lifestyle of Napa Valley was on full display from above, and I captured it as well as I could.