Happy New Year Everybody!!!
We celebrated New Year's at the home of our good friends from the Netherlands, Peter & Brenda. They had just returned from visiting family in the Netherlands for Christmas and so were pretty brave to tackle a big party like this, still suffering from jetlag. It was another genuine "expat" function and as usual, was lots of fun.
The dress code was formal and everyone looked very spiffy in their attire.
James and Leanne (our neighbouring Aussie expats who live down the street) spent Christmas and New Year's in New York, keen to see the famous Times Square celebration. Ever seen the big clock and the big ball etc? Probably USA's equivalent to Sydney Harbour. I remember seeing footage of New Year's from around the world and they always seem to show Times Square for USA. It's funny, here they show Sydney Harbour for Australia.
Anyway, I think they were feeling a bit lonely in NY, so we had mobile phone calls going back and forth as the countdown started. Afterwards, we found out that although it was an experience to say "I've been there, done that", it wasn't one they wished to
Check out the time!
repeat. The whole area was a dry zone, heavily policed (at least you'd feel safe I s'pose) and they had to get there SEVEN hours before hand to get a decent spot and then stand there for the whole time. Poor Leanne recently had a knee reconstruction. I can just imagine the agony she must have been in. It was extremely cold as well. We did have New York on our list for a possible New Year's destination, but I think now we'll give it a miss!
Around the time of "countdown", we all huddled around the TV to watch the countdown at Times Square and tried to see if we could see James and Leanne. (possibility pretty slim!) Several people called James on their mobiles all at the same time and in true "scallywag" fashion, while one of us was talking to them, others (predominently Clinton) left about ten messages on James' voicemail to sort through.
Once it hit midnight, the explosive fanatics surfaced, the the streets were lit up with fireworks and the sound was deafening! The kids had fun with sparklers and lots of eyes were cast heaven-ward to see the explosions of light. Tim
Phone calls to James & Leanne
Everyone trying to call at once!
and Claire (our Pommie friends) had both of their mums visiting, so we had the pleasure of spending both Christmas and New Year with them. I love the photo below of them watching the display together!
At one point, the guys set a long trail of fire crackers off down the middle of the street- most people were out partying and doing the same thing.
About 5 minutes into the fire crackers' run one of Peter and Brenda's neighbours arrived home and tried to drive down the street. These long strings have to burn themselves out- you can't just interrupt them. Instead of waiting the few minutes to let them finish, these people slowed down and then drove over the top of them!
Shortly afterwards, the neighbourhood security "dude" rocked up and gave Peter a ticket for using illegal fireworks! Apparently the neighbour had complained. It was all very bizarre, considering the entire neighbourhood was lit up like a ... er.. Christmas tree with fireworks. Also, the security dude admitted that whilest fireworks are illegal, they stretch the rules for 4th of July and New Year's Eve. So he contradicted himself by writing the ticket. Anyway, I
don't think there will be any actual repercussions and besides- it made a good story.
So, hope everybody had a wonderful New Year's Eve and hope your year turns out to be fantastic!
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