So much for going in order of appearance … hold on for the aforementioned posts about our Christmas trip. I’m riding a New Year’s high, and feel it’s in our best interest for me to get that out of my blogging system before we go back in time.
Seeing the Sydney New Year’s Eve fireworks was one of the things I’ve been most excited about this year – so much so that it even appeared on my Day Zero list. How lucky are we to have great friends who have the absolute best view of the Harbour that you could ask for …
I actually started the day in perfect Aussie fashion. Not only was it New Year’s Eve, but it was also Surfing Friend’s birthday, and her birthday wish was to start the day surfing. It was a beautiful morning, and the water was crisp and refreshing. Bondi was packed, so surfing was a challenge, as we were stacked up a few people deep. Surfing Friend and I have little (read: no) control over where we end up when a wave takes hold, so it was mostly practice in staying out of other surfers’ ways, and trying not to earn any wrath.
10a.m. at Bondi … I was wondering how many of these people were staying for the fireworks that night. It was packed like sunscreened and umbrella-ed sardines.
I felt disco groovy after our surf and a quick coffee … so ready for those fireworks. I put on party attire (dangly, flowy, shiny things), and we ferried over to Mimi and Joe’s, along with another of our mutual American friends. We expected the traffic to be impossible for driving. Turns out that it really would have been fine, but I will never complain about a chance to be on a boat on a lovely day. There was so much excitement all over the city.
We started the evening with champagne and snacks, and Mimi and I, in particular, got giddier and giddier with each little festive event. There was a sky writer (art work displayed above), and someone flying a Blue Angel style stunt plane over the harbour.
At 9, the evening began in earnest with the family fireworks display – an impressive feat all on its own, rivaling any 4th of July display I’ve ever seen in the states. Mimi and I were giggling and shrieking at that point. I should mention that we’re not normally the giggly/shrieky type, lest you get the wrong idea (or underestimate the captive hold this event had over the two of us).
We shared a gorgeous dinner, prepared by our hostess, and Partner-in-Crime and I busted out our 1998 Shiraz from our trip to Hunter, which we’ve been saving for a special day.
At some point, the excitement mounted when there was a boat parade in the harbour: All manner of large sailboats adorned with Christmas lights drifted dreamily by.
A little before midnight, a whole crew from across the hall came over, including the resident couple, and a mass of their relatives. I think there were 8 Brits in all, joining our gang of Yanks, and we all began to make introductions and share stories of where we were from, how long we’d been in Sydney/were here for, and so forth. Champagne, blowers, and party poppers were passed around, and everyone found a perch by the windows.
In case you’ve never seen images of the Sydney fireworks on TV, you should, at this point, be made aware that it is one of the largest displays in the world. It costs somewhere in the neighborhood of $500 million and uses 7 tons (or, as they say here, tonnes) of shells. Fireworks span the harbour, and are launched from barges in the water, in front of the Opera House, on the bridge, and from buildings downtown.
It was awesome.
It was super mondo awesome.
It lived up to every squeaky-dance-around-the-housey-horn-blowy-geeky-giggly hope I had stored up.
Taking pictures was sort of hopeless … you know how it is … but here’s one sort of neat shot:
I took a couple of little videos with my camera. There’s no sound, but you can certainly get a picture of the magnitude.
Or, you can go over to Mimi’s blog and watch the whole display …
I tend to do a lot more reflecting on year’s gone by on my birthday, and I’m not a huge resolution person; though, I generally try to choose one thing that I consider a worthy and accomplishable goal. This year, I resolve to break my ugly habit of always (always) being late for things. I am going to be on on-time person in 2011.
Other than that goal, I think I’ll just put a wish out into the world for more of the same happiness and adventure I’ve had this year.
And may you have the same!