New Year's Eve is always very exciting for us this, but usually we are pretty low key in our celebrations. In New York, New Year's Eve meant celebrating my sister's birthday, spending time at home with family, and then either hanging out with a few good friends or with family while watching the NYE shows and fireworks on TV. We would never dream of going to Time Square to wait in the freezing cold for hours just to watch the ball drop! I can't understand how all the people that go do it! I would be uncomfortable and cranky.
Anyhow, this year we decided that since New Year's Eve happened to be in the summer, we would brave the crowds and head out to see the famed Sydney's New Year's fireworks! This meant we had to claim a spot at one of the locations with a view of the Harbour Bridge by no later than 3 PM. Yep! We had to wait 9 hours. Step 1 in taking on such an endeavor is to go prepared. Prepared how you ask? With lots and lots of food of course!! We went to the grocery story and thought we would be feeding the entire park or something because for some reason my aunt Sheema and I kept adding items to our cart!! Finally, we decided we had enough food.
We arrived at Blue Point Reserve and were able to find a nice spot on the grass. It wasn't right by the water. If we wanted prime spots, we would have had to have come even earlier and would only have been able to claim a tiny patch of hot concrete in the midst of the really busy crowds, which didn't sound like much fun with little kids in tow. Our spot farther up the hill was grassy and shady at times and we got a nice breeze once in a while, the only downside was the trees blocked a bit of the view. The bathrooms were fairly nearby, however the lines were always ridiculously long, like 30 minutes to an hour! We made ourselves comfortable, played games, posed for pictures, and most importantly....ATE!
As night fell, we were all still in great spirits. The kids were not complaining. They were either busy with eating or running around. We pulled out some glow bracelets and posed for some more fun pictures. I should probably mention that although the place had filled up, we still didn't feel like we were overcrowded in our tiny space. It continued to be a great experience as 10 o'clock drew near and the first round of fireworks began.
There were a few other rounds of fireworks to entertain the crowd, and finally, after hanging out and eating for 9 hours...midnight arrived. Hannah had more or less fallen asleep when the fireworks began, but Kian was still going strong! How exciting it is to ring in the new year in a big crowd of people with fireworks going up overhead. It was also neat that we were one of the firsts in the whole world to welcome 2015 (sorry New Zealand, I don't know why the media never mentions you as the very first country to ring in a new year!).
Here is a fun, short video of the fireworks festivities. Pardon the few trees in the way! :)
Overall, I'd say gorgeous summer weather + lots and lots of food + amazing company + excellent fireworks = an incredible New Year's Eve!!
The journey home was not smooth sailing, with so many people trying to leave and take the trains out of there at the same time the crowds were about as bad as you would imagine. Still in spite of the sweat beads rushing down our back as we carried tired kids through crowded streets, we managed to enjoy lots of laughs. We eventually made it back to my aunt's place all in one piece sometime before 3 AM, very very exhausted but also extremely happy!!
Happy 2015 everyone!
Tomorrow, we are going on a road trip!!!