Right now I'm listening to the cute little voices of my two youngest nephews talk about the penguins they are watching with Aunt S on a live cam. (The other nephew is still sleeping.) Yesterday was sunny and the perfect day to go to the park. The little boys loved it! Then we went home to eat lunch and then we went out and got ice cream. :) Sometimes you just have to do fun things when you only have three of the grandkids staying at the house.
I really didn't think I'd get 5k written this week as I only had Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday to write. But I did. I don't know if I'll be able to get anything else written this week as we'll have the little boys until after lunch on Sunday. But who knows, maybe during some nap time I can get a little more written. I only have about 10-12 more parts to write of TCR-5. :)
This story is a re-write of one of the adventures of Priscilla de Silvosa. If you followed her travels partway across the U.S. you might remember this story. But it has been several years, so I hope you enjoy it anyway. It's only two parts.
Priscilla's Hot Air Balloon Ride
It was a lovely October morning in southern Alabama. Miss Priscilla de Silvosa hurried her traveling companions out of her friend’s house and over to their parked RV.
“I believe it is your turn to drive, Amy,” she said, turning to the dark-haired girl beside her. Amy Lassiter, a younger friend from back home, had agreed to become Priscilla’s traveling companion as she spent a year visiting every state in the United States. Their “home away from home” was a red RV and Priscilla was quite proud of it.
Susanna and Elizabeth, the two younger girls who were spending a week traveling through Alabama with Priscilla and Amy, quickly climbed into their seats, and, after a final wave to their friends who had been so gracious about opening their small home to them for the night, the RV pulled away from the house.
It was still very early. The sun hadn’t risen yet and the air was a bit chilly, even for Alabama.
“I can’t believe I’m going to ride in a real hot air balloon!” Elizabeth exclaimed.
“Me either!” echoed Susanna.
Miss Priscilla looked back with a smile. “I believe I’m just as excited as you are, girls. Only Amy here seems to take the idea as calmly as though she has ridden in a hot air balloon every week of her life. But then, she takes almost everything in a calm way.” She shook her head teasingly at the driver and her pearl necklaces clicked together.
Still keeping her eyes on the road, Amy retorted, “Someone has to be calm and sensible on this trip. If I don’t, who would?”
Now before my readers begin to wonder just who these four companions are, let me tell you a bit about them.
Miss Priscilla de Silvosa was by far the oldest one of the party. Having spent many years abroad where she had helped track down the infamous “Marshmallow Thief" and enjoyed other delightful and thrilling adventures, Priscilla had returned to her native land where she settled down once more in her large mansion with her many dogs, two cats, and her wonderful secretary, Miss Smith. However, it wasn’t long before, realizing how little she had seen of her own country, Priscilla had the idea to travel across the good old USA by RV, spending about a week in each state, visiting places of interest, exploring state parks, and learning about the country along the way. Not wanting to go alone, Priscilla settled on Amy Lassiter as the perfect companion for her expedition.
Amy was an only girl in a family with many boys. She had grown up on a farm outside of the town Miss Priscilla lived in. As her education had been finished, Amy’s parents thought this trip would be a good experience for her and, much to Amy’s delight, gave their consent. Both Priscilla and Amy brought along a dog. Amy’s dog, Timber, was a rather large German shepherd whose very presence added to the feeling of safety the travelers felt. After much consideration, Priscilla chose to bring her small, dog whose name was Penelope, though Amy quickly shortened it to “Nellie.” (Amy dearly loved nicknames.)
As the trip grew closer and Priscilla noticed the extra beds, she had her secretary send out open invitations to all her friends and acquaintances stating that she and Amy would be happy to have two others join them in each state. There had been other companions joining them in Oklahoma, Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi, but in Alabama, Susanna and her best friend, Elizabeth had joined them.
“Sensible?” Miss Priscilla scoffed with a little laugh. “Who needs to be sensible when you are about to take your first trip in a hot air balloon?”
Amy laughed too. She had told Miss Smith that her main objective in the trip was to keep ‘Cilla (as she quickly nicknamed Miss Priscilla) from doing too many crazy things. It was quite difficult at times, but Amy was enjoying herself.
The drive to the launching site for the balloon ride was reached at last and everyone climbed eagerly from the RV. Priscilla was excited. She had climbed mountains and been out on boats, she had flown in airplanes and ridden on trains (her favorite mode of transportation), but never had she gone soaring up into the blue sky in a balloon. Quickly she shoved a hat pin into her hat called, “cream creation.” She didn’t want it falling off on their adventure.
After some instructions, the owner of the balloon, Mr. Archer, helped everyone in and all ties with earth were taken up.
There was much nervous laughter as the basket lifted off the ground.
As they rose higher and higher, Priscilla peeked over the side. This was so different from a plane. When the noisy flames which heated the air in the balloon were turned off, everything was silent and they drifted along on the wind current.
“I feel like I should whisper,” Elizabeth said softly.
“Can anyone hear us from below?” asked Amy.
Mr. Archer shook his head. “No, not really. I suppose if we were close and you shouted, they might, but you can hear people talking on the ground from one of these.”
“Really?” Priscilla looked interested. “I wish we could go over some people. It would be quite an experience, I am sure. Oh, I wonder if the F.B.I. uses hot air balloons to find out what some criminals are saying. Imagine drifting along above them and listening to their conversation, all from the safety of the air.”
“And what would happen if they shot a hole in your balloon?” Practical Amy looked up at the large bag filled with hot air.
Have you ever ridden in a hot air balloon?
Do you think a hot air balloon would be good to use for surveillance?