Bucket list check – Set off 99 Red Balloons 

“…99 red balloons floating in the summer sky..”

This was one of the single most 100% original Sami ideas I ever added to the bucket list. I always envisioned myself standing at the edge of a bright green field setting bunches of cherry red balloons to the wind. I feel like I got my idea from my cousin’s wedding decades ago. It’s funny what the mind recalls even at such a young age.

I always wondered if I’d ever do this because well, that’s a lot of balloons and where am I going to find a field? Then I became environmentally conscious and researched balloon releases. As much as I love the idea, I ruined it for myself because I learned “what comes up, must come down”. I even researched alternatives without strings and maybe a biodegradable material.

Ultimately, I ended up setting 99 red balloons free in the comfort of my living room at two in the morning while Goldfinger’s cover of “99 Red Balloons” played. This song has been one of my favorites since Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen had a carnival day in a film many decades ago.

We even went as far as buying a helium tank. If we’re being honest here, it most certainly did not fill all of the balloons. Or even half for that matter. You know what that means. We took it upon ourselves to blow up nearly fifty balloons and tried not to pass out.

Baby Z had a blast with a room full of balloons though!? I mean, how was she supposed to sleep when her house was taken over by latex full of air. The next day, the balloons were re-purposed and became props to the most perfect Valentine’s Day photoshoot of her.


(side note: one balloon did actually escape into the world. The cheap tank we got didn’t last very long. I expected it’d be safe to take the mostly drooping balloons outside for some naturally lit photos. Most continued their sad, droopy excursions and descended right into the leaves below. Except that one that slipped my grip.)

I had 99 balloons in my grips, but that ain’t one anymore.

Fun is not defined by anything but what you make it. Buy a bag of balloons and set them free at the break of dawn. Or not. You can just throw them around your living room, spinning and twirling to Nena’s classic song.

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