This was the year I had been waiting for, after celebrating a less-than-exciting welcome into 2011 in Florence, Italy, I was going to have an amazing time in Sydney.
We found out that Lorenzo’s parents were coming for a visit around the New Year back in November but they had originally planned to be traveling at the time so Lorenzo and I were hard at work deciding what we’d do. As the time passed, we had less and less of an idea of where we’d ring in the new year. Originally, I had thougth it best that we just arrive bright and early around to Circular Quay and wait it out. Then the factor of bad weather, or weather too good to be true came, into play and we thought maybe we should have a back-up plan.
Eventually, my friend Joey mentioned that her office building, which sits just over Luna Park was open for the evening to employees and friends of employee with an open bar, a balcony and a BBQ. Lorenzo and I thought we’d found our heaven.
Then, Lorenzo’s parents decided they’d stay in Sydney for NYE and we were back to square one.
As we trudged through Darling Harbour in mid-afternoon, I was getting angry and acting a little bit like a spoiled kid. You see, Lorenzo can have a very chilled out way of looking at things, often meaning that the planning is left to me and when I am confronted with too many ideas, nothing gets done. At 3 o’clock on the day, we still weren’t sure where we’d end up and I was not about to miss out on seeing the most famous fireworks in the world.
We quickly made our way to Pirrama Park at the water’s edge in Pyrmont, all the way I was dead set that we wouldn’t even have a view of the Harbour Bridge and we’d be forced to run back to Circular Quay or hop on a ferry, any ferry, to the north shore. However, we arrived to a park pleasantly scattered with families and food stalls and a perfect view of the back side of the Coat Hanger. I was forced to hold back a smile and eat my words as Lorenzo said I told you so. That will teach me to act like a spoiled little kid.
We walked up to Harris Street in Pyrmont to get snacks, reading material and drinks for the day and settled in on the nice grass of Giba Park, directly above Pirrama Park.
Surrounded by a huge group of Irish bacpackers, a couple of drunk English girls and a smattering of families, it felt as though we’d found the perfect spot.
Sunbathing and reading Cosmo and Grazia passed the first hours leading to the nine o’clock family fireworks show rather quickly. It was the hours until midnight that seemed to drag on. Getting through a six-pack of Corona, and one bottle of champagne in five or so hours and sharing grass space with your boyfriend’s parents doesn’t exactly make room for the most action-packed hours of countdown but I did manage to sneak in a little nap as my usual bedtime passed.
Even though they were continually stumbling back closer and close into our tiny space, the huge group of Irish guys and gals enjoying their holiday in front of us did help to boost the mood a bit and it was easy to sit back and realize how lucky we were to be there.
When the clock finally started counting down I almost couldn’t believe I was actually there. At the stroke of midnight the first burst of fireworks came off the top of the bridge and we stood in awe, mesmerized for the next twelve minutes. When it was over, I had to take a moment to reflect.
My favorite part of New Year’s Eve is the moment when the fireworks end and everyone around is hugging and kissing. In that moment all over the world, everyone is so grateful for what every day of their lives has brought. New Year is a day of hope and new beginnings, a way to put away what’s happened in the past, good or bad, and move on. That moment, everyone is looking forward.
I couldn’t help but smile.
I am so thankful that I had a chance to ring in the new year in Sydney, I wonder where in the world I’ll be next year!
All of these photos were taken with my iPhone4, pretty impressive!!