“Do what makes you happy. Be with who makes you smile. Laugh as much as you breathe. And love as long as you live.” — Rachel A. Nunes
I am many things. I am many things, but morning person is not one of them. So any time that I manage to wake up in the wee hours of the morning to experience the sun’s first glow, I ask myself why I ever missed a sunrise.
The morning blue hour feels so serene and quiet compared to its evening counterpart. And there is something mystical in the way morning dew evaporates into a soft cloak of fog over trees and lakes and mountains. Why do I ever miss a sunrise?
We drove from the coast into Salem, Oregon around 12:30 midnight. I had known for a few days that hot air balloons would be gracing the Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm over the weekend, and it was only perfect that we’d be in Oregon during the same time.
It was all happening at dawn, which was 6:18 AM Salem time, which meant getting up and ready by at least 5:30 AM! I calculated every minute. I had to, because I needed to know down to the very last minute I could press snooze on my alarm. Gah!
But when you have a field of colorful tulips and equally vibrant hot air balloons waiting for you at the crack of dawn, that snooze button suddenly feels unnecessary. Priorities, man, priorities…
Why is it that some things make us jump right out of bed without hesitation, no matter how early? Why is it that some things feel like they drain the life out of us while other things bring life back into us? It’s true that we liven up when we do the things we love. And honestly, finding that balance during the week is still something I need to master.
While at the tulip farm, we stopped by a vendor stand where an older man was carving wooden shoes. A shoe maker! He was the sweetest man, was wearing wooden shoes and even a wooden-shoe necktie. And something he said reminded me why it is so important to continue to pursue the things that we love, no matter how insignificant we think they are…
“I usually start carving after a long day of work,” he said. “I can spend hours doing this, but it never feels like more work. I don’t ever get tired. It’s just one of those things I love to do, and in return it relieves my stress.”
Shoemaking to him is what the outdoors, travel, and photo-taking is to me. It brings me life. What makes you jump out of bed in the morning?
…Whatever it is, find the time to keep doing it!
Love & Magic,
WOODEN SHOE TULIP FESTIVAL, OR
Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm is located in Woodburn, Oregon, northeast of Salem. This farm has views for days! And the hot air balloons bring a touch of magic. This year, the tulip festival runs from March 18 – May 1, 2016. There’s still time to go!
Here are some pointers if you plan to visit:
- The farm serves as the lifting base for hot air balloons. However, hot air balloons are not part of the festival, so they may or may not make an appearance.
- Check the farm’s Facebook for updates. This is how I knew that the hot air balloons would be there for the weekend.
- Hot air balloons take off at dawn (and are weather dependent). Plan accordingly.
- Once the balloons take off, they don’t necessarily come back. Catching them at take-off is the better bet!
- Because the farm did not open until 9AM, we needed a special pass to enter before opening (dawn) for the balloons. We paid for the season pass bc it was cheaper for a car of three. However, a Photographer’s pass could also get you in.
- You cannot ride the balloons unless you make a reservation in advance. More info here.
- Have fun, and please don’t stomp on the tulips! :)
We were really lucky that there were some very kind people flying their balloons at the farm that day.
They called us over and asked if we wanted to ride for a few minutes, completely free. Yes, please! :)
Views from above…
My bf has a hilarious story of a hot air balloon experience when he was a kid. Hehehe…So he was especially giddy to have been able to fly, if only for a few minutes.
Until next time! <3
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Stay curious, wild hearts!