TAMPA, Fla. - It's sunrise in Pasco County and for most people, it's just another weekday.
Kids are off to school and grownups are on their way to work. But I would rather have my head in the clouds and my feet in the basket of a hot air balloon.
"It's truly its own way of flying. It is actually the oldest form of aviation. It's the very first thing that ever flew, and the way we fly today isn't much different from the way they flew in the 1700's," said Tom Warren of American Balloons.
Tom has been flying balloons since 1998 and has seen the world, but he says Tampa Bay is by far his favorite.
"The scenery here is gorgeous. You can get up high enough here to see the Gulf of Mexico, the Bay, the Sunshine Skyway- it's still an absolutely gorgeous place to fly," explained Tom.
It's almost time for takeoff, but first we have some inflating to do. It takes a lot of heat and air to blow up the balloon.
After that's done, it's launch time. We spend an hour gliding over the trees and through Pasco County. It's a ride much more peaceful than the rush hour traffic in the distance.
"We get to get up every morning and watch the sunrise. It's absolutely fun, and it's something we enjoy doing," said Tom.
After nearly two decades of flight, Tom has a lot of stories to tell. Proposals are his favorite.
"I love people getting caught up in it. I actually had another proposal where they had so much fun, he forgot to propose. And I asked him after we landed if he got cold feet. And he ran to the balloon and proposed to her," Tom said.
But what goes up must come down, so our ride ends with a perfect landing. Tom now has one more successful balloon ride to add to his list.
Rides are offered on a regular basis. Click here for scheduling information.