I was soooo uber excited to watch him to open this and couldn't wait to see the excitement on his face!
He was going to be spending Christmas at his sister's house and we wouldn't get to see each other on Christmas morning, so we exchanged gifts with each other that year on the morning of Christmas Eve!
We had only been dating less than a year, and he wanted me to go first! I love surprises and presents, so I had no problem going first! He chose the order in which he wanted me to open my gifts and away I went. Carefully taking my time (as I always do), I first read the sweet card, and then had an envelope to open... You will never believe what I saw when I opened that envelope!
It was from Airship Ventures and he had just gifted me with a ride for 2 on the same Zeppelin!
What on Earth?!?!
I mean how many people get or give the gift of riding a Zeppelin anyhow???
So instead of keeping both rides, we only kept one and figured out when and where we could take this ride.
The home base for Airship Ventures was located in Mountain View, CA (which happens to be where Dave is from - born and raised). We could either take a ride up in San Francisco, or we could wait until they come down to Long Beach, CA (about once a month or so - if I'm remembering accurately). Since we both love San Francisco, the choice was kind of already made for us! We would make a trip of it and that would only add to the memory! I went ahead and booked our ride, planned a weekend up in San Francisco, and off we went!
This was now almost a year out, it was a Friday night in November of 2010, we flew up and once we were there the weather was windy and rainy. We were hoping that it would clear up, and by the next morning it did!
We were stoked and had even saw the Zeppelin from our hotel room, floating by on another ride.
Just so you know, that while we were out and about later that day the winds had died down and we saw the Zeppelin up in the sky yet again!
So a month or two later I find out that Airship Ventures was co-branding with Farmers Insurance and floating across the country doing a 'Covering Communities Tour' offering flight seeing tours to the public in 16 cities — from April thru September, starting in New Orleans and going to cities across the country including Chicago and many others.
It did! And off to Chicago we went to go ride one of only two Zeppelins in the world!
August came and we made our way to Chicago, and filling in with things like going to Lollapalooza just added to the fun!
The first morning in Chicago we headed out to the DuPage Airport all full of anticipation and excitement! The drive is about an hour and 20 minutes from downtown and just as we exited toward the airport I get a call from Airship Ventures Our flight has been cancelled due to poor conditions. Can we reschedule? So yes, we did and we rescheduled for the next morning! On that next morning we drove out and exited...no call yet! Things were going good!
So by now, I'm sure that some of you are wondering why we didn't just call it quits and ask for a refund. Well that wasn't anywhere in the realms of our minds - we wanted a ride, and would do anything to get one!!!
A few months later, in December we flew back up to San Francisco and yes we were disappointed AGAIN. I don't even remember the reasoning. Weather or technical related I'm sure. Try try again, I say! And that we did.
Eventually on our 6th attempt to ride we were in San Francisco at the meeting place and ready to go, when we were "asked out" once again. We just had to laugh! We told the receptionist how much we had been through and how far we've travelled just to take our ride, she told that that they were sold out for the rest of the weekend, but that she would give us a call. Okay thanks...
We went back out to our rental car and laughed about all of this and how lame it has been. Then my phone rang, it was the Airship Venture receptionist, and she told me that she spoke with a few people and after they heard all that we had been through that if we were available the following evening that they would upgrade our ride and they'd put us on the sunset ride over the city. We were definitely game and we signed on. See you tomorrow!
Tomorrow came and we went to go meet them in Mountain View this time around vs meeting in Oakland where we met them the day before. Luckily we had rented a car for this visit! It was something that I had contemplated not doing. We arrived in Mountain View and everything seemed to be going smoothly. We did our safety briefing and had gotten further along than ever before.
Dear Friends of Airship Ventures,
Flying on the World's Largest Passenger Airship, the Zeppelin Eureka, is a very special experience that all of us at Airship Ventures have been proud to be able to offer for the past four years.
We have been honored to join with passengers to celebrate weddings, birthdays, engagements and many other key moments of life aboard our ship of the air.
Sadly, you may have spotted in the news recently that Airship Ventures has ceased operations. Despite managing to survive through the worst of the recession, unfortunately we were unable to find a branding partner to allow us to keep flying and bringing our unique kind of joy to the skies.
We are reaching out to you to say "Thank You" for being among our supporters and being part of our memories. We'd like to encourage you to go to our Facebook page and share your photos and stories of Eureka to lift the spirits of her crew and fans at this sad time. You may also want to follow @airshipeureka on Twitter as I'm sure she'll have some comments to make on the memories and thoughts that are sent her way.
There is, however a small window of opportunity to bring Eureka back to the sky.
If a title sponsor of the airship were to emerge by Nov 28, there is the possibility that we could resume operations and save Eureka.
For more information on the benefits of title sponsorship, and a link to download a blank airship with which to brainstorm designs, visit www.airshipventures.com/sponsorship
The benefits of sponsorship, aside from incredible visibility would be long lasting - the brand that opted to be part of this unique opportunity would be forever known as the company that saved this iconic and much loved attraction. Not to mention, the sincerest gratitude and appreciation of all the people who are involved in her operations!
You may follow the efforts to save Eureka at facebook.com/airshipventures and on Twitter using the hashtag: #saveeureka
The Team at Airship Ventures
WOWZERS! I was in shock! Holy Cow! What freakin' perfect timing we had! I cannot tell you how PISSED OFF I would've been had I not gotten my ride and I had received this notification! But heck thank goodness it didn't go that way and we did get to ride and enjoy that awesome and very special 2009 Christmas Present!