Ringing Out the Old Year in Newcastle

New Year’s Eve! How did the year go by so quickly? Time is flying, life is short, another year is gone.

It’s a little bit scary to see how fast it’s going, but I kind of like the reminder. Life is short! I need to pay attention and take advantage of the time we have. We’ve learned to grab our opportunities and live it to the fullest.

So we celebrate the endings as much as the beginnings. This has been the end of a wild year for us, and there was a lot to celebrate. During 2012 we’ve lived on three different continents, and four countries. We visited a fifth country. We’ve seen and spent time with countless friends and family members, some of whom we’re only lucky enough to see every few years. Brian and I have spent more time together than we ever have since we met. For the first time in our lives as a couple we actually lived together nearly full time. The long-distance romance finally got that long hoped for no-distance status.

That alone has been one of our biggest goals. Five plus years is a long time to live away from the one you love so much.

So we celebrated.

 

Newcastle holds an annual New Year’s Eve parade. After spending a few hours with my Girl (who is here visiting us for about five weeks), giving her a tour of the town center, we met up with Brian, grabbed a hot chocolate and staked out our street corner to wait for the procession along with about thirty thousand of our neighbors.

 

The weather was beautiful, but cold! Hot chocolate in hand, sexy hats on our heads, we shivered a bit while we waited.

 

It was the perfect time to people-watch. This woman, who was speaking french, kept catching my eye. I might need to find myself a mask like that for next year.

 

It wasn’t long before the parade started. We were treated to a procession of Viking themed costumes and mythical creatures. For a small town parade, it was really quite nicely done.

 

And it was so nice to be there, holding my daughter’s hand and smiling at the show. It felt just like those days when she was still little. I miss those days.

 

Dancers, creatures, lights and flames filed past while the music played and the street torches flared.

 

Most defied description. Maybe I need to read up on my Viking history because I didn’t recognize any of the creatures or stories.

 

That didn’t matter though. It was still pretty fantastic.

 

The parade came to an end and the jam packed crowd jammed and packed even closer. Everyone pushed forward to get a good view of the fireworks to come. There were a couple of minutes there when we literally could not move a step in any direction.

 

But everyone was happy, and things settled down once the show got started.

Fireworks

 

And what a show! All those American 4th of July celebrations through the years have ingrained in me the feeling I get when I see and hear fireworks. They mean happiness, family, joy, celebration and hope for good things to come.

When they were over and the crowds finally cleared, we walked the few blocks back to Grey’s Monument where we hoped to find a restaurant with room to take us. For the second time in two days, we lucked into an opening in a popular restaurant without a reservation and enjoyed a good meal before heading home. Of course, we had to stop for my final project photo:

FromWhereIStand-366

 

366 days of 2012 are gone. These feet have taken me some amazing places with some beautiful people. I’m so lucky that I got to spend this last night of the year with two of the people I love most.

Happy New Year to you all. May this year bring beautiful experiences, good friends and great opportunities your way.

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About akil3655

A Scotsman and his American photographer wife traveling the world and writing about it. Tales, reviews, photos, interviews and crazy goings on. Because you never know what's going to happen.

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