While the death of the Red Baron is shrouded in controversy, many historians believe that the fatal shot originated from a British hot air balloon that surprised the German ace by flying out of the sun. Take a romantic ride through revisionist dogfight history with todays Groupon: for $147, you get a semi-private hot air balloon ride plus post-flight champagne toast (a $245 value) from Stillwater Balloon in Lakeland. One Groupon is good for one person. Because balloon flights are completely dependent on weather conditions, it is recommended that guests schedule early in case a cancellation is required.
Launching its flights from a port three blocks away from the St. Croix River, the family-owned Stillwater Balloon has been offering hour-long, birds-eye vistas of the scenic river valley to stalwart gravity-defiers for over 35 years. Stillwaters safe, high-quality balloons are manufactured by Cameron Balloons, one of the worlds major balloon manufacturers, and are operated by experienced pilots. To achieve the most beautiful lighting conditions possible for photographs, balloon rides begin either at sunrise or 2.5 hours before sunset and grant gondola occupants a giant-wicker-basket perspective of treetops, rooftops, and river leviathan tops. After the excursion and a successful landing, you'll celebrate with a complimentary champagne toast and get to keep the specially engraved flute, which can later be used to make mating calls to passing Canadian geese.
Depending on total passenger weight and which balloon is used, between 8 and 16 humans and human impersonators can ride at one time. So invite friends, slip on your favorite pink-rimmed aviators, and prepare to inspect the St. Croix River valley from the sky as the valley inspects you from itself.
For safety reasons, expectant mothers are not allowed on Stillwater Balloon rides; all passengers must be able to stand for one hour. A 24- to 48-hour cancellation policy applies to Groupon users.
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