Unlike Murphy's Law, which was officially passed by the U.S. government in 1927, the law of gravity was never actually ratified by Congress, allowing birds and winged toddlers to break it at will. Join the flying flouters of gravity with today's Groupon: for $299, you get a private flight for two from Valley Ballooning (a $649 value). Valley Ballooning's flights depart from Woodstock.
Valley Ballooning lifts passengers high above the Shenandoah Valley, providing a panoramic bird's-eye view of the landscape for miles around. While sailing quietly along at tree-dwarfing altitudes, airborne excursionists get a unique look at topographical highlights such as the Appalachian and Blue Ridge mountains, as well as brief glimpses into the recent past and distant future. The Shenandoah River, local vineyards, and sunbathing farm animals add to the visual buffet, providing plenty of inspiration for striking landscape photography and plein-air macaroni sculpting. Operating on the same thermodynamic principles that cause the sun to rise and set, a balloon covers anywhere from two to 10 miles on a typical flight, which lasts 30–60 minutes. Each flight is followed by a chase team on the ground to ferry passengers back to the launch site. Perfect for nose-nuzzling couples and newly reconciled figure-skating pairs, Valley Ballooning's exclusive flights for two also include a glass of sparkling cider for each of the passengers. In addition to cameras, voyagers may want to bring sunglasses, hats, or UV-blocking goalie equipment, as most flights outside of the winter months take place near dawn or dusk.
For those weighing more than 230 pounds, an additional charge of $1 per extra pound applies. For safety reasons, expectant mothers are not allowed on Valley Ballooning flights.
Valley Ballooning takes passengers’ breaths away with safely obtained, unobstructed aerial views of the Shenandoah Valley’s majestic rivers, vineyards, and animal inhabitants. Tours at sunrise or sunset cover up to 10 miles, with experienced pilots pointing out such incomparable sights as whitetail deer bounding below or the Blue Ridge and Appalachian Mountains frolicking in the distance. Toast packages conclude with the celebratory ringing of sparkling-cider glasses.