Saturday, December 31, 2005

Happy New Year!

We spent the second-half of our Christmas week with Sam's parents back in New York. They had already done the great and wonderful tourist thing, so it was a nice few days just getting to hang out and visit.

Saturday night, however, we spent New Year's Eve in Times Square.

That's right. TIMES SQUARE. And it was amazing. We got tickets to the Olive Garden's Party, and as cheesy as that sounds, it was spectacular. There was good food, an open bar and dancing. But, best of all, it meant we could spend the night viewing the giant hoards on Broadway in the warm comfort of a restaurant with bathrooms nearby. We sat at a great table and watched as the crowds slowly gathered to the point where there was literally not room for even one more person in the street. And then, at 11:30pm, with streamer-decorated tiaras and top hats proclaiming "Happy New Year!" we headed outside to join them.

And it was, in a pathetic understatement, awesome. We stood, in a crowd of tens of thousands and sang "Imagine" by John Lennon. Tears welled in my eyes as I thought about the hope I felt there. How all these people from these different places could all sing those words, and it seemed maybe things *would* get better. Be better in the new year. And to hear everyone take a breath and join in "You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm nto the only one . . ." - it gave me chills. I get tears in my eyes now just thinking about it.

And then the countdown. Everyone yelling from 10, screaming in joy as the ball dropped, grabbing those close to them and kissing them, hugging strangers and yelling above the din "Happy New Year!" It didn't' matter we had never spoken, in that minute we were all friends - sharing this amazing beginning to a new year. Sharing where they were from, who they were, passing out hugs as if we had all known each other forever.

And then Sinatra's "New York, New York" began to play and before I knew it we were all kicking it up, arms around each other, singing again. And as I turned to look at Sam, his arm around me on one side - his camera snapping pictures with the other, his parents behind us dancing with our new found friends; I felt like the luckiest person in the whole of the world.

"If I can make it there, I'd make it ANY where, it's UP to YOU! NEW! YORK! NEeeeeeewwWWWW YooooooooooooRK! . . . ."

It was the greatest way to spend the beginning of this brand new shiny new year, and an even better way for Sam and I's first New Year's as husband and wife.

Hello, 2006. Awfully glad to meet you. I have a feeling we're going to get along just fine .

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