In January, we attended the 20th Annual Hot Air Balloon Festival in Chateau d'Oex, Switzerland. Paul undertook the journal and photo editing duties. It was during this trip that the infamous "flight above the clouds" took place.
On one of June's late days, Annie, Lisa, Bryan, and Paul boarded a Northwest DC-10 and headed for Italy. They and Alf were joined in Siena by Robin and Stephani Weaver, and the next several days were filled with the famous Palio festival and ballooning around Tuscany. Paul's Journal tells the story in detail ... perhaps too much detail ... until just after the Palio, when it finally becomes exhausted and surrenders in favor of a simple Photo Album.
After Siena, Alf and Annie headed to Burgundy for some additional ballooning.
Ballooning in Prague was on the agenda for late August and early September. The story was told in a journal written by corkscrew enthusiast Don Bull ... with some additional commentary by Alf. Also in attendance: Annie, Chris, Cam, Patty, Sam, Ellie, Christie, Bernie, Richard, and Rosemary! After the bad weather cleared over the Czech Republic, Don and Bonnie Bull had their first-ever balloon flights. Meanwhile, there were a number of corkscrew-related (and other) misadventures ...
From Prague, it was on to Salzburg for more ballooning adventures.
The ballooning crowd eventually dispersed and flew off to various parts of the globe on various airplanes. Alf's airplane took him to London for the annual meeting of the ICCA. The days at the Rembrandt Hotel were largely uneventful, although when a hurricane in Florida caused an extra night's stay ... things happened.
Alf's December visit to London included a number of fine restaurants and theaters, as well as further investigation of the London Phone Booth Tart Card phenomenon.
After London, Alf went to Paris and Le Parc Hotel, there to spend Christmas and Boxing Day and to welcome the beginning of 1999. His Paris journal also covers the unique wares of Gabriele Thiers-Bense and Claudia Puschel-Knies, the Paris sewer system, the Erotic Museum, and the innovative work of Lenin's Embalmers.