As the early-morning sky lightens and the sun paints the horizon in purples, blues, oranges, and yellows, a fleet of balloons takes flight. These are Boise Hot Air Company’s balloons—colorful inflated vessels bedecked with purple and yellow stripes, red checkerboard patterns, and the stars and stripes of the American flag. Captains take groups aloft at 30 minutes before official sunrise in baskets equipped with seats and dividers for added safety. Flying only in fair weather and usually at speeds of no more than 8 miles per hour, the captains pilot leisurely flights low over the countryside of rolling hills from March through November.
Preserving memories and masterpieces since 1986, Perfection Framing provides a wide range of services for an even wider range of occasions. Through the use of archival museum-quality materials, UV-protected glass, and distinct moldings, a team of artistically inclined framers collaborates with customers to complete static narratives. Perfection Framing also transfers prints to canvas, coating each piece for popping contrast and pure saturation while reducing high-gloss glare and lowbrow scoffing from art-school dropouts. Though custom framing rates vary as much as the visuals contained within, complete works start as low as $49 for an 8"x10" with basic mat, glass, and backing; average orders run between $100–$300.
Nestled on a sloping, well-manicured hillside, Ste. Chappelle Winery transports visitors to a gothic chapel in France. Rows of grapevines intersect with the stout, picturesque building, which houses a tasting room equipped with tall archer’s windows on all sides. There, 20 varieties of wine are uncorked by resident oenophiles, splashed into awaiting glasses for sampling or dyeing mismatched neckties. In the warmer months, crowds gather with blankets and bottles on the lawn for live music events, held as part of a summer concert series.
Piloted by a professional driving staff, Boise Party Bus's fleet whisks between 16 and 24 clientele away on celebratory jaunts customized for special occasions and tours. Each non-smoking ride arrives equipped with a full bar, hardwood dance floor, and miniature water park built into the tire rims as a driver accommodates requests you make throughout the trip.
Alongside services for private parties, Boise Party Bus's passengers charter the fleet for the Best of the Northwest Wine Tour or Snake River Valley Vineyard Tour to sample boutique wines at five local destinations. Guests on The Great Idaho Brew Tour make pit stops at up to six of the state's best brewers for pours of craft brew on a voyage that Boise Weekly lauds as "a genius idea."
Ponderosa Aero Club has sent Boise residents skyward for more than 35 years and acquaints aspiring pilots to the blue beyond with discovery flight lessons. A licensed flight instructor first debriefs students on the fundamentals of taking off, maneuvering, landing, and using radio equipment to order a frisbee-tossed pizza. Attendees then approach the club's fleet of Cessna and Piper Cherokee Archer aircrafts for a preflight inspection. As guests climb into the cockpit alongside their aerodynamics mentor, they can enlist the help of a camera to keep midair memories intact. Planes soar over Boise during a 30- or 60-minute scenic flight, the latter of which includes a tour of Snake River, Swan Falls, and Lake Lowell before a complimentary lower view of a cloud's reproductive system. Patrons can shoot postflight pictures upon their return to earth while staff members award them a logbook and certificate of completion.
"The eyes on those marines were something to remember, because they had really been through it. And they were laughing and talking and smiling, but their eyes didn't smile. They were just fierce." These are the words Ceil Dennis—a lieutenant colonel in the Army Air Corps during World War II—used to describe his encounter with off-duty marines when he first landed on Iwo Jima. They wanted to sit in Dennis's P-51 airplane, a welcome sight for the troops spending three days on and three days off fighting for control of the Japanese stronghold. Their eyes told the story of men who, according to Dennis, "earned that island the hard way."
The recorded interview is part of the Veterans History Project, a collaboration between the Warhawk Air Museum and the Library of Congress, that is designed to preserve the voices of the past for future generations. It's just one of several ways that the museum honors the lives and sacrifices of military personnel.
Museum President John Paul and his wife, Sue, cofounded the 40,000-square-foot nonprofit museum at the Nampa Municipal Airport to house the ever-growing collection of planes and war memorabilia, including wartime sweetheart pillows, ration books, and some of Rosie the Riveter's actual elbow grease. Paul's passion for historical aircraft and wartime artifacts began in 1950, when he was 8 years old. He ran from his classroom to see the source of a deafening roar over the school, discovering the blue underbellies of two WWII F4U Navy Corsair fighter planes and the hobby that would become his vocation. Over the years, Paul's love for vintage fighter planes has led him on scavenger hunts and rescue missions, salvaging historic aircraft that would otherwise have been abandoned as scrap metal.
They run the nonprofit organization along with their son, John-Curtiss Paul, who was named after the Curtiss P-40 WWII Warhawk. The family aims to educate visitors about the technology, cultural, and social changes that North America has seen since World War I. Guests can schedule a tour of the museum, visit the gift shop, or even request a sponsorship ride in a restored P-40 aircraft.